If a conservative, nonsurgical approach is taken, the pain
and swelling of a torn meniscus should resolve
within a few days. Recovery and rehabilitation becomes a long-term commitment, as does making certain that the muscles surrounding the knee are kept strong to promote joint stability. If knee arthroscopy
is performed, the rehabilitation process balances swelling
and healing. The goal is to return range of motion to the knee as soon as possible. Physical therapy is an important part of the surgery
process, and most therapists work with the orthopedic surgeon
to return the patient to full function as soon as possible.
After surgery, once the swelling in the knee joint resolves, the goal of therapy is to increase the strength of the muscles surrounding the knee, return range of motion to normal, and promote and preserve stability of the joint.
The prognosis for return to normal activity is good but depends upon the motivation of the patient to work hard with their physical therapist and to continue that work at home after formal therapy has been completed.