Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair Recovery: Slow Process When Bending ... May Need Additional Surgery

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I am 11 weeks post op from Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair Surgery. I've been attending physical therapy for 10 weeks and I saw the doctor last week for my monthly follow up appointments. I am having trouble bending my knee and at the time of the visit I was at 70 degrees. The doctor told if i'm not at 100 degrees the next time I see him (in 4 weeks,well now 3 weeks). I have to do an MRI and may have to do additional surgery. Honestly after the visit I felt so sad and scared. Regardless I am trying not to think about that and focusing on getting my knee to 100 degrees. I have made process since, the last time the physical therapist checked I'm at 83 degrees and I'm only 17 degrees away from 100!!! YAY!!!!

I love that I'm making process but I'm still scared. When I'm not in PT, I'm doing the exercises at home. My motivation and emotions are all over the place and I'm honestly not in the best home environment for healing.


  • I don't have any pain (other than 24/7 tightness/discomfort on my knee and pressure when I try to bend). I feel whenever I bend my knee that there is point where I can't bend anymore. Pain isn't a factor but it's like there is something stopping my knee . I don't want to type this because I don't want to jinx myself but it's a similar feeling to the sensation I felt before the surgery when my knee was locked and I couldn't bend it.
  • My knee is still swollen which is normal. It could be scar tissue but one of my physical therapists doesn't necessarily think it's the scar tissue. He thinks it's fear. I don't disagree but I'm working as best as I know how.
  • I can get my knee straight
  • I can walk without crutches (not that great). I use 1 crutch when I'm outside just to be on the safe side.

I'm rambling but I want to know if anyone has experienced these feelings. I just need to rant because I can't really come to any body else that understands and doesn't try to shame me/dismiss my feelings.

0 likes, 24 replies

24 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Danix

    I have contracted knees after 6 1/2 months in hospital. I had successful spinal surgery

    but I wasn't expecting knee problems. A therapist comes to our house & instructs me

    on exercises but it's a slow process. At present I'm using a wheelchair but my doctor tells me

    I should regain the ability to walk again. Do you do any pool therapy ? It really helps.

    I wish you success in walking normally soon.


    • Posted

      @Danix. The only way I can describe this tightness is if you were to imagine a wide piece of tyre tube (like a sleeve) around the knee and someone inserted a stick and was twisting it tighter and tighter. Turning it like a key if you will. Yes I get the door stopper thing too, because when I bend it gets to a point then won't go further, when the door stopper kicks in๐Ÿ˜‚

      Do keep us updated after your next Dr visit.

    • Posted

      @Colleen97531: Ok I can't relatto the tyre tube analogy. How do you work around knee bending when you feel the tightness/door stopper sensation? Do you feel pain? Can you describe it?

      Also did you have to wear a knee brace for a month after surgery. I'm asking because I noticed that my thigh hasn't returned to normal. Meaning I lost a lot of thigh muscle tone after knee surgery and my injured/healing thigh is much smaller/skinner than my other thigh. It seems all the fat/skin/muscle moved to my upper thigh and hasn't moved since my surgery.

      I am assuming it's my quad muscle healing and still needing more time to be stronger but I was wondering if that was normal for you? If you noticed this in your recovery/healing.

    • Posted

      @Colleen97531: Heyyy how are you? I've been MIA for a while. Quick updates, I'm at 105 degrees now. Avoided/possibly postponed knee manipulation but seeing doctor soon so may have to do it. 35 degrees away from 140 degrees full flexion/ROM. How's everything? Happy New Years/2020!!!

    • Posted

      Hi Danix. So great to hear you've improved your ROM. As for me I'm still battling this tightness. I have stopped PT and surgeon visits as both said they were very happy, and didn't need to see me again. I do understand that recovery can take up to 18 months, but I am really over this now, and I'm only 5 months LOL. I just want my normal back.!! I've kept the depression at bay by recognizing and being grateful for the small steps in the right direction. I've started doing a bit of gardening, but do battle with going down on my knees, but I twist and turn till I get down. The neighbors must have a good chuckle watching me!!

      I battle in the mornings with a very stiff knee from being so still for so long, and this is uncomfortable and a little painful, but after 5 or 6 steps it's easier again. Other than that, l have no pain, just discomfort from the tight knee. But I must say, the tightness is definitely improving, albeit very slowly. I can now say I am having many more good days than bad days.

      I still struggle with steps. Going up, if the step isn't too high, I can go foot over with the operated knee, but going down with the good knee first is really a challenge. It pulls terribly over the knee, and I have a feeling of something clicking in and out of place with each step, making me do an odd hip lift to compensate.

      But I will keep on keeping on, while full recovery happens.

    • Posted

      Oh, an I forgot to mention, on good knee days, my ROM reaches 132 deg.

    • Posted

      @Colleen97531: It's great that you don't have to see the doctor's or go to PT anymore. Yes the stairs are tricky especially going down, plus tightness is the worst. Do you know where you are degrees wise?

      To give you an update. I am not in a good place. Earlier this month I went to see the doctor who was glad that I was making progress. I was happy to. He set a goal for 120 by the next time I see him. If I reach that, no knee manipulation. At that point I was/am? 15 points away and at the time very doable. I felt very encouraged, happy, and excited.

      However I haven't been able to go to physical therapy in the past 2 1/2 weeks because my PT was rejected (not my insurance company). It was denied by the company that authorizes PT. Pretty much I am taking too long to recover so they are stopping my physical therapy because they want me to do home exercises (which I have already been doing). Currently going through the appeal process (which can take up to 30 days and they can still deny/reject my appeal).

      This honestly has derailed my focus and now I am worried and scared. I've been exercising at home but my morale and focus isn't there. I need the structure and discipline of PT to help me and I don't have that support anymore. I thought I was out of the woods with the knee manipulation but it looks like I am heading in that direction. I don't know where I am at now in terms of ROM since I haven't been able to get measured I am not sure if I am getting worse or staying the same. My follow up doctor's visit next week and I don't know what to say or do in the meantime and afterwards.

      If I have to get my knee manipulation, how am I supposed to support it? Debating getting a gym membership now because I don't know if this will be enough. I honestly don't have the discipline to do this on my own. Honestly I am very sad and discouraged.

    • Posted

      Oh Danni, I am so sorry to hear you are not doing well. This is such a difficult journey as it is, and now to faced with the PT denial is just awful. I am in South Africa and our insurance does not require authorization to be given for PT, as long as there are funds available. My funds did run out, but I was able to free up some other financial constraints and I paid for 3 months of PT on my own. Like you, I needed the discipline, and I am so glad I made the sacrifice. My ROM now reaches 134 deg on good knee days. I use an app (not sure if I'm allowed to give the name on here) with which I measure my own ROM. I'll happily share the app name with you if permitted. I've found it to be quite accurate.

      I know it's hard to keep the faith, as I've been there and done that (ended up on antidepressants) but I kept on keeping on, and when I log back t today, I'm amazed at the progress I've made. I'm not home and dry, but any means, but I see more light than darkness at the end of the tunnel now.

      Do keep in touch with your progress, and let me know if I should share the app name.

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