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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I'm having surgery to repair a deeply damaged cartilage in my knee. The surgeon is going to take bone from my femur and transfer it to the place where the cartilage has pulled away from the bone. What can I expect for a recovery time?

Post-operative time lines and rehab programs may vary from surgeon to surgeon. In general, you'll probably be non-weightbearing at first. This reduces the risk that the graft will get dislodged or damaged in any way.

A physical therapist will help you learn how to use crutches and keep the joint moving while off that leg. You'll be discharged to home to continue your home program for a month.

At the end of the first month, you may begin to put partial weight on the leg. Again, when and how much weight can be placed on the leg is determined by the surgeon. You will gradually progress to full weightbearing.

A strengthening program is usually begun during the third month after the grafting. The goal is to recover full leg muscle strength. This is done gradually and carefully with monitoring from time to time by the surgeon and/or the therapist.

Athletes who want to return to sports may be allowed to participate in noncontact activities at the end of 12 weeks. Sports involving body contact and potential trauma are not permitted until six month after the procedure.


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