Meniscus Repair Aftercare

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SummaryMeniscal repair is preferable to meniscectomy, and there are many techniques described. However, the postoperative care restrictions often preclude the patient's rapid return to activity and make a repair seem less desirable. Although meniseectomy is not as physiologic as a successful meniseus repair, many surgeons resist performing a repair because of the technical challenges such a repair presents. A restrictive and troublesome aftercare program also makes the meniscal repair less attractive. What is the appropriate aftercare program? Wide variation exists in published postmeniseus repair rehabilitation programs. Few objective assessments of these variables are available. A comparison of a “slow” rehabilitation program that restricts weight bearing, limits motion, and delays the return to sports for 6 months with an “accelerated” program permitting unlimited weight bearing, full motion, and no restrictions on pivoting sports showed no difference in meniscal repair healing. This comparison supports an aggressive aftercare program, especially for repairs done in conjunction with an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

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