Meniscus rupture: How long does it take to be able to do sports again?

That depends on: In uncomplicated cases, 2-3 weeks after the operation can be light sports again, 6-8 weeks after the knee can usually be heavily loaded again. In more complicated cases, however, it may be that you can never play sports in the same way as before. Mind you: We are talking about normal mortals, not high-performance athletes. Everything is a little faster.

Now what does it matter if a meniscal tear is complicated or uncomplicated? One might think, especially of the extent of the meniscus damage. But it is not like that. Surprisingly, the severity of the meniscal damage plays only a minor role in the prognosis. Much more decisive is how badly the surrounding knee joint was damaged. How much the ripped meniscus rubbed on the neighboring cartilage surfaces. And how long! If a meniscal tear or even a meniscal tear remains untreated for a long time, the knee joint is often affected much more than during a rapid surgical procedure.

If meniscal damage is suspected, go to the doctor quickly

Conclusion: It is absolutely worthwhile to have a (suspected) meniscal damage treated quickly, so do not put the doctor's visit on the back burner. This is especially true when the knee is already more severe complaints and the ability to exercise is severely limited. For then one must assume that the torn meniscus disc rubs constantly on the articular cartilage and the damage increases more with each further week of waiting.

Once again back to sports after the operation: Of course, the resilience after surgery also depends on how old and how fit you are. In younger people, the damaged knee joint surfaces naturally heal a little faster. Nevertheless, even in young adults, the duration of the untreated problem is the deciding factor for the time afterwards.

Author: Dr. med. Jörg Zorn

Do you have your own experiences or a different opinion? Then write a comment (please observe rules).
Comments (15)
External meniscus: partial removal
15 Friday, 03rd August 2018 at 03:11
Kai (23 years)
At the beginning of September 2017, this happened with the press ball, which changed my life in the middle of the game. Right knee! External meniscus and inner band through! The doctor said that a refixation - that is, sewing the outer meniscus - would do it again. Around the beginning of February 2018! I made my way with crutches through Uni and Physio. You get lazy - and fat. A torment. Eternally on crutches and continuously swells the knee. Tablets and thrombosis injections were announced. A quarter. It's annoying - blah ...
Anyway, it was later with the sport somewhat. The "everyday life" was restored, and kick was also in it. Well, now and then four days in a row football then a bit much, because the first swelling occurred, but were in the norm. But you could at least join in "normal" again. I was a young adult again!
Now - on July 14, 2018 - at a festival where you consistently pogt, the next injury. The knee swelled up. At home then 140 ml were pulled out by puncturing. Doctor call to doctor call - and all of a sudden you have the MRT appointment the same day. Nearby and not 8 weeks later! Diagnosis: external meniscus again. The doctor said: "What is to be saved will be saved, but if it looks like the pictures, you have to do a partial removal." Said, done! OP on 27.7.2018 - and part of the outer meniscus was removed! ,
Sure, it's only a week later. I take tablets and get thrombosis injections. But I can, if the swellings allow it, whiz through the house without crutches. Food, hygiene and the dog annoying - everything is back in it. Without a walker. And the knee does not hurt. Ok, Novamin and Ibo's have a say in it. Plus sore muscles, because the leg was not moved. But I'm cool, do not bother - and every day I feel a little better. I hope that in 2-3 weeks I have the kind of knee that a 23-year-old should have. No pain. No swelling.
If you have the option to sew on the meniscus or remove a part, I would like to avoid the longer crutches, physiotherapy or the so-called rehabilitation time (4-6 months). Part removal is faster. Two months on crutches, parents and friends, 2 months of Physio and DonJoy splint (this is the skeleton around the leg so it will not bend too much). After that, the time when everything should be "over", the swelling come back. Ne, friends: That's corrosive!
Sorry for the thought out spelling.Hope my comment helps and does not seem too annoyed: D.
Meniscal and cartilage damage
14 Monday, July 02, 2018 at 08:20
Had on 30.11.2017 an operation on the inner meniscus (partial removal and smoothing). Already after pulling the drainage, I was able to move almost without complications. And six weeks later I was even back on the snowboard. After that, I was also jogging for three weeks without any problems - until three weeks later I had pain on the operated knee again. Now, on 28/06/2018 - due to a diagnosed cartilage damage - a cartilage transplantation should be made. In the case of the atheroscopy, however, it turned out that the cartilage damage (3rd to 4th degree) is too large and therefore no transplantation comes into question for me. Wanted to know if anyone has made similar experiences here in the forum or what opportunities there are to stop the Athrose as good as possible, to delay a knee prosthesis as much as possible. Looking forward to tips!
Meniscus surgery
13 Friday, April 13, 2018 at 23:38
Ulrich (55 years)
Was operated a week ago on the right inner meniscus! Partial resection by 30% and smoothing intensity! No cartilage damage! The operation was performed by a specialist in arthroscopic surgery! Important! The procedure lasted 45 minutes, after which I was immediately fully recovered! After four days I was back in my practice, but I used the walking aids for a total of 9 days!
You do not do yourself a favor to burden yourself too soon. That is misunderstood heroism! The drainage came out after a day, the seams after 8-10 days!
Always make a nice dressing change and pay attention to sterility! Physics after one week start, light sports after 3 weeks, slowly increase! Less is more! Do not overdo it!
Good luck.
After 3.5 weeks full use
12 Saturday, February 03, 2018 at 11:49
I operated on my 2nd knee or meniscus on Jan. 10, ie 3.5 weeks ago. Today I participated again in the hockey game. Full use. No sound. Everything great.
3 years ago exactly the same at the other knee. Even then no problems. But I suppose that if I twisted my knee a bit, the whole thing would have been different.
To be reasonable and to be hellish at the beginning, then it works. By the way: Both OP's were partial removal + smoothing.
Sports after meniscus OP
11 Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 23:03
Michael Steier
My inner meniscus has torn in mid-October. I hit a root unhappy while jogging, and it happened. The operation took place two weeks later. Already after 2 days I went without crutches again. As a precaution, I switched from snowboarding to skis during the first week of January, and it worked out very well. Tomorrow I'll try Sqashen for the first time.
I wish all of my fellow sufferers all the best and a speedy recovery.
Meniscus operation 2009
10 Friday, January 19, 2018 at 16:31
Dirk 56 years
In 2009, I had surgery on the meniscus. After that I was free of pain for about 1 year (doing fitness sports). Then the knee started to hurt again. I had an MRI done to diagnose arthrosis. I have to live with that now. I was told that it had to do with the 0P 2009.
Well, I do not need an artificial joint yet. But now also starts the other knee. The same symptoms as 2009. Well, what to do? OP?
OP inner meniscus tear
9 Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 02:43
At the age of 65 I had to undergo surgery on the inner meniscus in mid-November. Already after 2 days I got along well only with an assistant.
New Year's Eve, I danced with my husband without a complaint in the new year and even now I'm probably up. I'm glad about my quick decision to surgery. It should also give others courage ...
Meniscus surgery
8 Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 17:31
Had on 30.11.17 a meniscus surgery (partial removal of the inner meniscus), because I had a very deep tear, which had also damaged the cartilage tissue severely. Needed on the second day - after pulling the drain - no longer crutches, and could go as well as free of complaints. However, I have to do without sports - except light cycling.
About 5 weeks after the operation, I was snowboarding for a few days without any pain and went jogging for the first time. Even without any pain.
Wanted to encourage all fellow sufferers that after about 4-5 weeks after the operation can do normal sports again. There are certainly other cases, but I can only speak for mine.
Meniscus surgery
7 Friday, December 15, 2017 at 19:23
I had surgery on the meniscus three days ago, I can go back with a crutch and ride a lot of bicycles. That was the reason why I could go fast again and strain my knee. I realize now how important it is to do sports.
Inner meniscus ruptured, cartilage worn
6 Thursday, 04 May 2017 05:46
Hello everybody,
I hope you get some answers here :) I will be operated on Friday, and this is my cracked inner miniscus and additionally to the treatment of my worn cartilage. The cartilage is to be replaced, better said renewed, since no longer recognizable outdoors. My point is that I would like to know if there are any who have already had similar experiences and could possibly tell me how long such a healing process lasts. It is clear that it can be different for everyone. But I would like to get an idea of ​​the recovery.
Thanks in advance
Meniscal tear (buckethandle tear)
5 Monday, 25 July 2016 at 05:21
I suffered a meniscal tear while playing football. I was just walking straight ahead and that at a slow pace, while walking, my leg was slightly tilted and it cracked really loud. After that I could not walk anymore or move my knee.
Have many visits to the doctor, but after 8 months, it was found that I have a meniscal tear. Was then operated on and after 6 months I started playing football again.
Before the injury, I have played for more than 12 years until the national league, but after the surgery, it is not the same as before. Overall, I was not able to play for 2 years. Now I can play, but the fear is very big and there is a strange feeling in my knee that keeps me from playing.
For me, a piece of meniscus has been removed, and meniscus can occur again, but have been operating Physio for quite a long time and go to the gym regularly.
Can someone tell me why I still have a strange feeling in my knee or is that just the fear?
Greetings, Umer A.
Sorry, not assessable
4 Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 17:21
Navigator Team

that is impossible for us to judge from a distance. That can only be a doctor on site.
This is also intended for commenting, we can not edit individual questions, but we do not have enough capacity.

With the request for your understanding
Best regards
Your navigator team
3 Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 2:32 pm
I have now torn 2x the outer meniscus (one bucket handlebar crack) and between accident and Op at 2x was about 1 month.
The MRI images also showed cartilage damage.
Can it therefore be that now more than 8 weeks after the Op still not properly run (or properly sports, football) can ??
The first time I was able to play normally after 4 weeks.

PS: The Op was trying to get as much of the meniscus as possible.
Could it be that I have too little of the external meniscus to play again painless?
Kind regards
no fear!
2 Monday, September 28, 2015 at 15:39
Navigator editors
Hello Lezin,

Of course you can not really judge anything from afar, but it is very unlikely that you will not be able to walk after that. Much more likely is that after the surgery, everything works better again.

All greetings and many greetings
Your navigator team
I probably have a meniscal tear
1 Monday, September 28, 2015 at 14:01
I'm scared of the op. That's stupid, I'm a very sporty girl who has been playing soccer for years. I love sport, but that's why the op.
What if I can not walk properly? Can you never do sports again? I'm afraid. In 4 weeks my op.