Knee Surgery Recovery Time Required for Different Procedures

knee surgery

This article discusses knee surgery recovery time needed for the different types of procedures. It also gives a brief introduction about various types of knee surgery procedures. From reading this article you will get an idea about the purpose and benefits involved with each procedure. Athletes and senior citizens become vulnerable to different types of knee injuries and complications. This results in damage to the internal structures where knee surgery is inevitable in many instances.

With technological advancements, knee surgery recovery time has become much quicker and you will be able to function again with minimal pain within a short period of time. Take a look at different types of knee surgery and the recovery period required for each type:


This procedure will be performed when damage occurs to a portion of the knee’s cartilage known as the meniscus.A tear of the meniscus causes swelling and pain within the knee resulting in movement related issues. It is performed by making small incisions around the knee to insert a small camera and other instruments that are required to safely remove the damaged meniscus. It is the most common form of arthroscopy and the knee surgery recovery time for this procedure is usually 6 to 8 weeks.

Meniscus Repair

arthroscopyMeniscus repair can be described as a surgical procedure to repair the damaged meniscus. In certain situations, it becomes beneficial for the patient to repair the cartilage rather than completely remove it. This procedure will restore the normal anatomy of the knee and the recovery period can be a bit longer compared to other procedures. Physical therapy is needed to speed up the recovery period and the knee surgery recovery time required will be around 10 to 12 weeks.

Meniscus Transplant

A meniscus transplant can be described as an arthroscopic procedure where the surgeon replaces the damaged meniscus with cartilage from a donor. Partial weight-bearing status is required for 4 weeks and most patients will be in hinged knee brace locked in full extension for 4 weeks. The patients should not perform any high impact activities for a period of 4 months.

Plica Surgery

knee arthroscpyWhen the lining of the knee joint becomes inflamed it can cause swelling and pain especially near the knee cap. When the knee cap is mobile it pinches the plica triggering pain. The surgical procedure utilizes a scope and a specialized tool to remove the inflamed tissue The knee surgery recovery time for this procedure is around 2 weeks.

Lateral Release

When the patella is pulled to the outer area of its groove a lateral release is necessary. This knee procedure will alleviate pain in the patella immediately. It is an arthroscopic procedure, and the patient can go back to normal daily activities within two or three weeks. Complete recovery will become a reality in three to five months as well.

Tendon Repair

Tendon repair is the only surgical option when the patellar and quadriceps tendon ruptures completely. Knee surgery recovery time from this type of surgery can take up to 12 weeks.

ACL Reconstructive Surgery

post surgery kneeACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is one of the four major ligaments within the knee. In order to perform ACL reconstructive surgery, the doctor and patient selects replacement tissue from their own body or a donor. The knee surgery recovery time can range from 4 to 6 months.

Partial (unicompartmental) Knee Replacement

This procedure replaces the damaged portion of the knee with plastic and metal components. The recovery period can vary between 3 to 6 weeks but the pain and swelling may last up to 3 months.

Total Knee Replacement

Patients suffering from severe degenerative arthritis can opt for full total knee replacement. The knee surgery recovery time for full knee replacement ranges from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the discipline shown by the patient with the recommended rehabilitation program.   One very important consideration regarding knee surgery recovery time is dependent on the physical therapy program prescribed by the orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist.