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Discharge Instructions for Meniscectomy

A meniscectomy removes all or part of the meniscus in your knee. It is done when it is not working the way that it should.

How long it takes you to heal depends on how much damage you had.

Steps to Take

Home Care

To ease pain and swelling:

  • Put an ice pack on your knee for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, many times a day. Put a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
  • Wrap your knee in an stretchy bandage. Do not wrap the bandage too tight.
  • Raise your knee above your heart.

To care for your incision:

  • Clean your incision as your care team taught you.
  • Wash your hands before and after cleaning it or changing the bandage.
  • Keep it clean and dry.
  • Ask your doctor when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.

Use a knee brace or crutches as your care team taught you.

Physical Activity

Your doctor or physical therapist will give you exercises to help with strength, balance, and range of motion. You may also have some limits:

  • Keep pressure off your leg.
  • Ask your doctor when you will be able to go back to work.
  • Do not drive unless your doctor has said it is okay.


You may have had to stop taking medicine before surgery. Ask your doctor when you can start taking it again.

You may be given pain pills.

If you are taking medicine:

  • Take your medicine as directed. Do not change the amount or schedule.
  • Ask what side effects could happen. Tell the doctor if you have any.
  • Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any prescription medicine.
  • Do not share your prescription medicine.
  • Medicine can be harmful when mixed. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one, including over the counter products and supplements.


To lower your risk of a tear:

  • Use the right techniques when you workout or play sports.
  • Wear the right footwear for your sport and playing surface.
  • Do exercises to make your quadriceps and hamstrings stronger.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you should wear a knee brace for sports.


Your doctor will need to check on your progress. Go to all appointments.

Call Your Doctor If Any of the Following Occur

Call the doctor if you aren't getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, more pain, a lot of bleeding, or leaking from the incision
  • Swelling, pain, or heat in your lower legs
  • Pain that you cannot control with pain pills
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.


Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Sports Med—American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine


Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation


Arthroscopy. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/orthopaedic/arthroscopy_procedure_92,P07676. Accessed March 4, 2019.

Knee arthroscopy. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00299. Updated September 2016. Accessed March 4, 2019.

Range of motion exercises, active: teaching. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated May 11, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2019.

Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 3/4/2019