After a serious knee injury, your knee is probably swollen and painful. Regardless of the ultimate treatment for the injury, you probably want to get moving for work or school. Is it safe to put weight on the leg? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I answer that question for someone with an ACL, MCL and medial meniscus injury.

Kasie in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom asks:
I have a serious knee injury due to a bad slidetackle from opponent whilst playing football. I have acute complete tears of ACL and MCL. I also have peripheral red zone damage of the medial meniscus, and I also have large joint effusion. I was wondering if I should walk on it. The doctors are still unsure to what to do with me. I’m in a hinge brace and in a lot of pain.

For an athlete or active person with a combination of ACL, MCL and meniscus tears, very likely surgery will be needed to restore stability to the knee and allow return to sports. Often surgery takes place 3-4 weeks or more after the injury to allow the swelling to resolve and knee range of motion to improve. Plus, the orthopaedic surgeon often places the patient in a hinged knee brace to help the MCL to heal.

Many orthopaedic surgeons do allow weightbearing early, even before surgery. It can be painful, so often the patient uses crutches. There are some injuries where weightbearing can be detrimental, so a patient should discuss the possibility of early weightbearing with his or her orthopaedic surgeon. In this video, I discuss the pros and cons of allowing a patient to put weight on the leg soon after the injury occurs.

Man reluctant to put weight on the leg

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier – Should you wear a knee brace after meniscus surgery?
Ask Dr. Geier – Return to work after meniscus surgery

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