You are here

Knee Arthroscopy Rehab Protocol

meniscal tear classifcation



General Guidelines

  • Individualized to the patient depending on procedures performed and patients pre-operative activity/sport.
  • Indicated for partial meniscectomy, loose body removal, plica excision, diagnostic arthroscopy, synovectomy, debridement.

Phase I

  • Patient is Weight Bearing As Tolerated (WBAT)
  • Stretching (e.g. hamstrings, gastroc/soleus, hip flexors)
  • Active range of motion (AROM)
  • 4-way SLR
  • Quad sets, gluteal sets
  • Ankle pumps
  • Ice, Compression, Elevation (I.C.E.)
  • Muscle stimulation, biofeedback if needed
  • Bicycle within available ROM
  • D/C electrical stimulation when no quad lag

Phase II


  • Independent ambulation with assistive device as needed, full weight bearing (FWB)
  • AROM (o°-110°)
  • Independent straight leg raise
  • Mild/No swelling

Suggested progression           

  • Continue strengthening and stretching exercises from Phase I
  • Basic closed chain exercises, limited to 110 degree (e.g. mini squats, mini lunges, total Gym)
  • Advanced closed-chain exercises (e.g. Fitter, Shuttle)
  • Aerobic exercises (e.g. bike, treadmill, NordicTrac, stairclimber, swimming)
  • Proprioceptive exercise (e.g. BAPS board, ground stars)

Phase III


  • Straight leg raise without quad lag
  • Strength 4/5
  • No apprehension with single leg hop on involved leg
  • Able to balance on involved leg and reach with uninvolved leg 80% of distance reached with opposite leg

Suggested progression

  • Continue strengthening and stretching exercises from Phase II
  • Slow form jogging/running
  • Weight strengthening program
  • Sport specific training – lateral stepping, cariocas

Phase IV: Return to sport/discharge


  • Full/functional AROM
  • Independent ambulation without deviation
  • No swelling
  • > 80% quadriceps and 85% hamstring strength (BIODEX test)

Suggested progression

  • Plyometrics
  • Advanced sport/activity specific training


The information on this website is intended for orthopaedic surgeons.  It is not intended for the general public. The information on this website may not be complete or accurate.  The eORIF website is not an authoritative reference for orthopaedic surgery or medicine and does not represent the "standard of care".  While the information on this site is about health care issues and sports medicine, it is not medical advice. People seeking specific medical advice or assistance should contact a board certified physician.  See Site Terms / Full Disclaimer