Meniscus Repair Protocol

Keys to a Successful Outcome

  • Brace should be locked in full extension for the first post-op week.

  • Ice should be used liberally for the first two weeks

  • Only toe-touch weight-bearing is allowed for the first 4 weeks.

Phase
Brace
ROM
WB
Exercises
Week 1
Locked in full extension*
PROM**
Toe-Touch WB***
Straight-leg raise ex, quads/add/gluteal sets, ankle pumps. Well-leg stationary cycling, Upper body ergometer ; Upper body and core.
Weeks 2-4
Unlocked 0-90°
PROM; 0-90°
Toe-Touch WB***
Continue manual resisted ex of the foot, ankle, hip; Trunk stabilization program; Single-leg balance and proprioceptive ex; Aerobic ex w/out operated leg.
Weeks 4-6
Unlocked 0-90°; may discontinue at 6 weeks
PROM; 0-120°
Wean off brace and crutches
Incorporate functional exercises; Stationary bike low cadence; Slow walking on treadmill for gait training (low-impact treadmill preferred).
Weeks 6-8
None
PROM; 0-135°
WBAT with no limp as a goal
Increase the intensity of functional exercises; DO NOT overload exercises; Tolerate 90/90 Squat
Weeks 8-12
None
FPROM
WBAT
Add lateral training exercises; introduce more progressive closed chain and agility leg exercises. Begin sport-specific training.
Weeks 12-16
None
FPROM
WBAT
Low-impact activities until week 16; Initiate return to running program; increase intensity of exercises.

 

*Off for exercises and hygiene

**Twice-a-day, without brace, perform an "edge of bed dangle" and allow gravity only to bend the knee back as tolerated, but no more than 90 degrees. Keep bent for 1-5 minutes for a good stretch. Straighten the knee on your own once time is up, relax for a bit then bend again if desired.

***Toe-touch WB with brace locked in extension. Crutches used for gait.