Rehabilitation following knee surgery for a meniscus tear injury
Two years ago, Sam sustained a knee injury when skiing. He thought it was a simple sprain and it seemed to get better. Although whenever he did a lot of sport, it would flare up again, causing him pain and affecting his mobility for a couple of days.
Three months after the injury, Sam did the 3 Peaks Challenge and his knee deteriorated significantly.
Eventually, Sam was diagnosed as having a meniscus tear, unusually it was a horizontal tear and he had to undergo complex surgery to thin the medial meniscus.
Sam came to us for post knee surgery rehabilitation. Previously a fit and active twenty five year-old, he was keen to get back to normal and enjoy sport again as soon as possible.
Hands-on physiotherapy revealed that Sam had instability around his hip joint and lower part of his spine which made the left leg weaker and forced the right leg to compensate. His programme was designed, not only to rehabilitate the injured right knee but to strengthen the left leg and build his core muscles.
In the underwater treadmill, Sam started with the water level high and a slower speed of 5kph. He moved dynamically – forwards, backwards and sideways – to work on his supporting muscles and used hand weights to increase the resistance. He also performed exercises such as knee raises to improve his range of movement and strengthen the muscles.
By the fifth session, Sam was running at a speed of 8.0kph with the resistance jets activated and the water level dropped to 800mm.
Finally, to reduce any inflammation following the intense training, Sam had cold and compression therapy applied to his knee.
To extend the rehabilitation process at home, Sam was given a set of exercises to perform on a daily basis.