Can I still play sports and exercise before surgery for a meniscus tear?

If you have a meniscus tear, should you stop exercising and playing sports until you see an orthopedic surgeon and have surgery? Are you doing more harm to it by continuing to be active? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer those questions for a patient with a meniscus tear who wants to play golf.

Stefanie asks:
I’m a serious golfer, playing 3-4 times a week. I just found out I have a large horizontal tear in the inside meniscus on the right knee. I’m waiting to get in to see a surgeon next month. Can I still play golf or should I rest it?

Surgery is often performed for active people with meniscus tears. Those surgeries could involve trimming out the torn part of the meniscus – a partial meniscectomy – or sewing the tear back together – a meniscus repair. Often the patient has enough pain in the knee that she can’t do the activities she wants, so she does surgery to get back to sports.

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In this video, I discuss whether an active person with a meniscus tear should stop what she does to avoid doing further harm to the knee.

Have you suffered a meniscus tear? Could you still play sports and exercise with it? I’d love to hear your experience with it!

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Risk of playing sports with a meniscus tear
Ask Dr. Geier – Do you need surgery for a meniscus tear?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

2 Responses to Can I still play sports and exercise before surgery for a meniscus tear?

  1. Thank you so much for the article!
    I am in a similar situation waiting for my meniscus surgery and am curious what additional things I can do to have a smooth surgery and help my knee heal as I wait the 6-8 weeks for the procedure? I am already doing the standard recommended treatment – daily PT exercises, rest, elevation, and icing to keep the swelling down.

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david-headshot I am an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.

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