Knee Arthroscopy – Meniscus Tears and Recovery Time

Chipper Jones plans on returning to the lineup on April 10th… his knee arthroscopy for a meniscus tear was on March 27th as reported by Sports Illustrated. 

One of the most common questions I get in the office in someone contemplating knee surgery for a meniscus tear is: 

How Long Will It Take To Recover From My Knee Surgery? 

or

How Long Will it Take to Recover From My Meniscus Surgery?

Is the fact that Chipper Jones is recovering from his knee arthroscopy quickly unusual?  Not really. 

First, “recovery” is a subjective term.  

“Recovery” can imply:

  • Recovery from anesthesia
  • Being able to walk without a crutch/cane?
  • Being able to return to ‘work”?
  • Being able to jog/exercise
  • Being able to return to “full” activities?
Make sure you communicate clearly to your surgeon exactly what YOU mean by recovery!  
Most patients who undergo an arthroscopy for a meniscus tear ( and have no evidence of arthritis) generally experience a relatively rapid recovery.  

 

Following a “routine” knee arthroscopy for a meniscus tear, most patients are:

  • Walking without a cane in a day or two
  • Off pain medications within a few days
  • back in the gym performing light exercises within 7-10 days, or earlier. 
  • back to full activities within a few weeks to a month.
Hopefully Jeremy Lin experiences an equally rapid return :-) 

Now, the above assumes the piece of meniscus was removed and not sutured  or repaired (then we will limit your activities).  

The above is also for the “typical” patient.  Not all patients are “typical”.  Some will take longer to heal, some will heal quicker. Chipper Jones is obviously following a fairly typical or slightly accelerated course.  Complications may set some patients back too :-(  No surgery is without potential complications and you should review these with your doctor.   Although an arthroscopy is minimally invasive and “simple” or “routine” by Orthopedic standards.  The only truly “simple” or “routine” procedure is a surgical procedure on someone else.  

Suggested Reading:

Meniscus Tears

Jeremy Lin and Meniscus Tears

Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

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