Individuals who undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus often experience pain after the procedure, requiring physical therapy and sometimes further surgery, according to WebMD. Physical therapy begins immediately after surgery, although the knee often remains immobilized for the two weeks following, with two additional weeks of limited activities recommended.
While patients typically resume daily activities a month after a meniscus repair, for several months they must avoid activities that put heavy stress on the knees, such as running or squatting, reports WebMD. As of 2015, 85 percent of the repairs of moderate-to-large tears that occur in the red zone, or the outer edge of the meniscus, are successful and heal well. Patients often experience less pain, a full return of knee function, and the long-term prevention of osteoarthritis in the knee.
Tears in the white zone, or the center of the meniscus, do not heal as well because the blood supply to that area is often insufficient, notes WebMD. While the surgery is typically safe, risks can include damage to the blood vessels or nerves around the knee, blood clots in the leg, the usual risks associated with anesthesia, and infection. Ideally, patients undergo the meniscus repair surgery as soon as possible after the injury occurs, but surgeons can still repair red zone tears successfully after a watch-and-wait period.