During the early stages of physical therapy intervention for your meniscus tear you will be assigned a home exercise program (HEP). An HEP is a printed copy of some or all of the exercises that you will be performing during your PT sessions. As your meniscus begins to heal following surgical repair your therapist will begin to add more advanced exercises to your therapy sessions and to your HEP. Your HEP will be very similar to the exercises that you are performing in clinic. This HEP will include exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles of the knee such as your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles and may include:
- Quad sets
- Hamstring curls
- Straight leg raises
- Prone hip extension
- Side lying hip adduction
You may also be assigned stretches for hamstrings, quads, and the iliotibial band (ITB) which is a long thick piece of connective tissue that runs along the outside of your thigh from your hip to your knee. It may also be beneficial to elevate your injured leg several times a day to help manage the swelling that has occurred from the surgery which, if it persists, can impede the healing process during recovery. Also, your MD and therapist will discuss with you specific activities that you will need to avoid while during the recovery process. Some activities that your surgeon and therapist may ask you to avoid are as follows:
- Resisted leg extension machines
- Cutting or twisting activities
- Resisted lateral movements
During this recovery process your surgeon may also require you to wear a hinged knee brace locked in full extension. It is important that you wear this brace for the duration that your MD requires and only to remove when you are performing exercises. This brace must also be worn while in weight bearing positions and your Dr. may limit the amount of weight that you can bear through your leg. If you follow these guidelines set forth by your health care professionals it will allow the repaired tissues in your knee to properly heal and gain integrity for when you are ready to get back to weight bearing and more normal activities.
If you are experiencing any knee pain or have been diagnosed with meniscus tear, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.