Postoperative Management for Articular Cartilage Surgery in the Knee

J Knee Surg. 2021 Jan;34(1):20-29. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1718605. Epub 2020 Oct 27.


The postoperative rehabilitation team plays a crucial role in optimizing outcomes after articular cartilage surgery. A comprehensive approach to postoperative physical therapy that considers the type of surgery, location in the knee, concurrent procedures, and patient-specific factors is imperative. While postoperative rehabilitation protocols should be specific to the patient and type of surgery performed and include phased rehabilitation goals and activities, the key principles for postoperative rehabilitation apply across the spectrum of articular cartilage surgeries and patients. These key principles consist of preoperative assessments that include physical, mental, and behavioral components critical to recovery; education and counseling with respect to expectations and compliance; and careful monitoring and adjustments throughout the rehabilitation period based on consistent communication among rehabilitation, surgical, and imaging teams to ensure strict patient compliance with restrictions, activities, and timelines to optimize functional outcomes after surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Subchondral / rehabilitation
  • Bone Transplantation / rehabilitation
  • Cartilage, Articular / injuries
  • Cartilage, Articular / surgery*
  • Cell Transplantation / rehabilitation
  • Chondrocytes / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Postoperative Care
  • Postoperative Period
  • Preoperative Care
  • Recovery of Function
  • Transplantation, Autologous / rehabilitation
  • Transplantation, Homologous / rehabilitation