Return to work depends on the kind of job you have. Dr. Cayen suggests working not more than 2-3 hours per day during the first few weeks after surgery and to take frequent breaks. Sitting for long periods of time after knee surgery can theoretically increase the risk of blood clots.Â Spend your first few weeks after surgery doing your physiotherapy and resting.
School: It is reasonable to take about a week off school after knee arthroscopy. After that time, you will be able to attend most of your classes unless they involve prolonged standing/walking or physical activity.
Sedentary/Desk job: It is reasonable to take 1-2 weeks off of a sedentary job after knee arthroscopy. Many patients start working from home after a few days (as long as they are not taking narcotics for pain).
Jobs involving walking or lifting: Typically patients can get back to an active job approximately 4-6 after a partial meniscectomy. This changes to about 3 months after meniscal repair. When you do return to work, Dr. Cayen suggests return to work gradually, with graduated hours and graduated duties over a number of weeks.
Return to Sport
If you dutifully perform your physiotherapy after your knee arthroscopy (including a home- or gym-based strengthening program), you may be able to return to sport approximately 6 weeks after partial meniscectomy and about 3 months after meniscal repair surgery.
Your physiotherapist will test out your leg strength before allowing you to return to sport. These tests include one-legged quadriceps and hamstring strength (3 rep max) and hop tests. Your operated leg needs to be 90% as strong as your non-operated leg before returning to sport.
Importantly, your physiotherapist or athletic therapist needs to train you on agility and sport-specific drills before you return to sport safely.