Fit Life: 3 things to know about rehab after meniscus surgery

Published: Feb. 14, 2020 at 10:42 AM CST
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We're taking you on the journey through meniscus surgery and into recovery this month in our Fit Life series. We're showing you what happens as you move on from the surgeon to an athletic trainer.

An hour of physical therapy doesn't start with a gut check. Instead you get a questions about your level of pain.

"'Any pain with this?," asks Athletic trainer Alex Jauregui-Dusseau. "A little tightness through the top," responds Paul Adler.

This is 14 days after meniscus surgery. Call it the 2 week 'surgi-versary.'

"You're right on track with where you would need to be," Alex tells Paul.

The focus on the rehab table is on improving flexibility. That includes making sure your incision scars heal properly.

"We just want to make sure they don't scar down. That they move really well," explains Alex. "if we don't work on these they will heal. But, they won't be very mobile."

Next, Alex breaks out what looks like a butter knife. The process has a fancy name. Paul's very simple summary is that it helps work out muscle soreness.

"Go ahead and bend it back now," asks Alex. "How does that feel?" "Not as tense," Paul responds. "So, you're at 125 (degrees) without me pushing on you," explains Alex.

So far, that's a 5 degree improvement from the start of the session. And, we're not done yet. There are muscles balled up in knots. Alex uses select sustained pressure to release the pain.

Before you leave the table, there's application of what Paul calls the Octopus Legs. It's really a type of temporary tape applied to the leg.

"The tape helps with getting the swelling down," explains Alex. "When it put this on you, I pull tension on the strips."

it's just enough lift to help remove the swelling and bruising from the area.

"We're trying to get patients back to something active," says Alex.

The ultimate goal is to get up off the table and back on the run. Next week, we'll look at the exercises in the second half of the session.