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Old 12-04-07, 12:52 AM   #1
Hardheadmandca
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Recovery from knee surgery

It has been one week since I had arthroscopic knee surgery to clean up a torn medial meniscus. I have been pain free since the surgery and feel my Range of motion is 95+% normal now. I see the doctor for a post-op meeting on Friday.

I assume she will let me get back on the bike this weekend, or possibly Monday of next week.

Any advice on the best approach to riding for the next few weeks? I usually have relatively flat 17-20 mile lunch time rides during the week, and longer weekend rides with far more hills.

Any ideas on how soon I can add those hills back in?

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 12-04-07, 07:07 AM   #2
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It is very easy to get to 95% strength, it is the last 5% that takes a while. With my athletes tears like that it takes them 2-4 weeks to get back into a 100% workload. You will be able to do some light riding I am sure but nothing to over the top. Also if you feel pain then stop cycling. This injury can easily mess up your MCL too.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:26 AM   #3
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Hey Brian. If you've just gotten some of your meniscus trimmed out, you'll be back in no time. I would guess that your doc will put you back to full activity with the caveat of ... if it hurts - stop.

Now a meniscus REPAIR is much different. I had one several years ago (skiing) and it was 6 weeks on crutches and about 6 months before I was back. I went in thinking I was getting just a trim (like you got), but my ortho guy was able to do a repair. You must meet several criteria in order to qualify for a repair - including tear length and location. I wasn't happy when I came out of anesthesia hearing that my recovery had turned from a few days to many months of PT! Of course, my surgery was in April, so the entire year was lost.

Good luck Brian!

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Old 12-04-07, 09:09 PM   #4
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Brad, it was just a trim and I feel great. No limp when I walk and no pain. I'll be happy with spinning in the flats for a couple of weeks working on my cadence, but I do want to get out and climb some, and start running and swimming fairly soon.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:22 PM   #5
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I've had surgeries to reconstruct both ACLs. First time had meniscus repair as well.

Both times was about 9 months before I felt better than 75%, but I was on a strict PT regimen the first time. Second time, not so much, but no meniscal damage either.

I used cycling to strengthen my legs back from their very atrophied state post-surgery. At first I was restricte dto the trainer, but eventually released to full cycling as my strength progressed.

Nowadays I'm back to full strength for cycling, hiking, and tennis; but I wear a custom brace to play soccer on one knee (doctor - not the same one - did a half-ass job 2nd time, thinking about getting it redone...)

Best of luck with your recovery. I know how stressful it can be.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:17 PM   #6
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Thank you. That's quite an experience you've been through with your knees. I'm impressed.

I can't imagine the difficulty you went through.
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Old 12-05-07, 08:21 AM   #7
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Eh, I'm a pretty tolerant person. The most frustrating part is when you really really REALLY feel like you're ready to get back into the game, and the doctor comes in and says "Not yet."

My wife was really helpful in making sure I didn't jump the gun too. She would not hesitate to kick my arse if I was doing something I was not supposed to be doing.

It was pretty interesting building my leg muscles back up following surgery. I mean, they were GONE. Looked like one leg had the muscle mass of an 8-year-old, seriously. Started slow, focusing on flexibility, stability, and range of motion (VERY bad if you do not gain this back early), then shifting focus to stength and endurance.
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Old 12-05-07, 11:37 PM   #8
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Looked back at my logs for last year - also had a meniscus trim. Was back on the rollers (zone 1) in 4 days. Did a 60 mile hill ride on day 10, but rode moderate pace. Full on training rides in the hills started on day 20. Was weak at that point, but had little pain. Also started back up in the gym at about that time, but lower weights than before surgery.
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