How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery, Post-Op Day 32: Partner Drills

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This is 32 days out of meniscus surgery for my training partner Chris.
We are nearing the end of a very successful knee rehab as Chris is able to participate in partner drills.
After completing solo drills, you can transition to partner drills. These drills are very important to get your body to adjust to moving with others on the mats, building muscle memory, strength, and endurance for eventual return to grappling.

How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery, Post-Op Day 32: Solo Drills

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Meniscus Surgery Vlog Post-Op Day 32 Part 1: Solo Drills.
My training partner Chris is 32 days out of surgery on his knee (meniscectomy).
Here are some simple and easy solo drills that you can start working on to get your body used to BJJ-specific movements as well start working on cardio.

 

 

How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery, Post-Op Day 25: Agility and Strengthening

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Part 2 of the rehab video series for 25 days out of surgery, we focus on agility and strengthening exercises. We use suspension straps to assist with dynamic strengthening. We also focus on foot work and mobility drills to get the muscles and tissues activated and firing. Getting closer and closer to returning to the mats.

How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery, Post-Op Day 25: BJJ-Specific Movement

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At Post-Op Day 25, we finally get Chris to get some work on the jiu-jitsu mats. We start to integrate BJJ-Specific movements into his rehab. The goal is to simply build strength, control, stability, and muscle-memory for an eventual return to drilling and then full jiu-jitsu training.

How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery Vlog Post-Op Day 18

18 days out of surgery, Chris continues to progress and advance with his rehab. The goal is to continue to improve strength, mobility, and balance while keeping pain well controlled and ensuring to prevent future re-injury. Here is the workout regimen that we are working on 18 days after his surgery.

How To Return To Grappling After Injury: Meniscus Surgery Vlog Post-Op Day 9

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9 days after my training partner Chris had a lateral mensicectomy surgery on his left knee, we continue with his recovery.
We focus on left hip, knee, and ankle balance. We work on the stability, range of motion, flexibility, and strength of the knee.
Check out the progress we have made so far and what Chris thinks about his recovery.
Important things to focus on is comfort, no pain, and safety. The goal of a successful rehab is return to full function and prevent re-injury in the future.

Meniscus Surgery Vlog: Day 5 Post-Op

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to recover from a knee surgery such as a meniscectomy, then follow Chris on his journey to return to BJJ.

This is day 5 after surgery. We look at where Chris currently is in his recovery and start with exercises to improve his function.

Meniscus Surgery Vlog: Day 1 and Day 2 Post-Op

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Meniscus Surgery Vlog: Day 1 and Day 2 Post-Op

My training partner, Chris, just underwent a lateral meniscectomy. He is a purple belt in BJJ, a lawyer by trade, and a serious competitor on the mats. His game has continued to elevate significantly since he has been training. As we all know, when you put your body through rigorous exercise, injuries can happen.

Knee injuries, specifically meniscus injuries, are prevalent and common in BJJ as well as other grappling sports, and sports in general. Chris initially injured the left knee a month or so back. He tried to treat the knee conservatively with stretching range of motion, and ice. He would regain function but would continue to have flare ups every 3-4 days. I wanted Chris to give me insight on what its like for him to go through a knee surgery such as a lateral meniscectomy.

Since this is his second surgery on the same knee, he has had experience with this and can absolutely give insight from a patient perspective on his progress, how he is feeling, and how the recovery process has gone.

I asked Chris if he would let me chronicle his recovery and keep a vlog on his progress. I will keep a running log on his recovery from post-op Day 1 all the way until he returns to the mats.

Some background on Chris is he is 44 years old, overall good health. Just normal wear and tear on the knees but nothing significant.

The first left knee injury occurred at an open mat when he applied a body triangle from the back and his opponent put pressure on his toe which caused the knee to give out. He trained for a year with recurring symptoms. Chris had a medial bucket handle tear on the left knee which required surgical intervention with a medial meniscectomy on August 14, 2016. He returned to BJJ and grappling at four weeks after surgery.

The current knee injury was again to the left knee, but this time to the lateral meniscus. The injury shown on an MRI was a lateral bucket handle tear (outer part of the knee). This injury occurred with a normal movement from the half-guard position during jiu-jitsu practice. He underwent a lateral meniscectomy where the torn tissue was removed.

I will start a running video blog of Chris’ recovery process from post-op to when we start rehab on the knee.

This is the progress that Chris has made. Everyone progresses, heals, and recovers and a different pace based on many different factors. This blog is meant to be an insight into Chris’ recovery and should be viewed as an educational tool.

As a Physical Therapist and a BJJ practitioner, I feel that I have a good idea and perspective on what it will take and require for Chris to return to grappling and competing again. I understand the movements, positions, and techniques that will stress the knee and Chris and I will work together to get him back to 100%.