There isn’t an exercise program that can beat aquatic exercise (deep and shallow) for rehab of the legs. Aquatic exercise is an extremely under-utilized program. Maybe this is because so few fitness instructors understand the medium and application of water properties in an exercise program?
I have taken pro and college athletes into the water for challenging workouts. It isn’t just for the injured and elderly. If any of you make it to the Big Island of Hawaii, you should check out my website and get in touch with me. I will gladly take you into the ocean or the Kona pool and open your eyes about aquatic exercise.
I have had a torn meniscus myself, as well as several clients. We do very light spring tension for footwork on the reformer, as well as the chair. I focus on the pulling in motion using the hamstrings instead of a heavy push out with the quads. Keeping the feet and ankles strong and flexible is helpful as well. I do trotting and use the foot corrector and a half foam roller to rock forward and back on to improve flexibility and balance. Some of them seem more comfortable doing the standing work. I avoid the long springs and feet in straps and just stick with closed chain exercises.
Best to you!
If you are going to train her here are some things to take into consideration:
Make sure she has
1. Full knee flexion and extension
2. She is able to fully carry her weight
3. She has minimal swelling
4. She has medical clearance
5. She is at least four weeks post-operative
6. She has no anterior knee pain
Having said the above, if you are going to approach training her using Pilates, you’ll likely have to utilize the reformer, stability chair and cadillac.
Best to you.
Thank you for the great responses! My client is in the care of a doctor who tells her to walk, do Pilates, and that eventually she will need a replacement. His approach is to drain, give her a cort. shot occasionally, and just wait. She is one of those bullish people who wants to push through, which I believe is why she is in this shape-she pushed too hard too soon after surgery. She comes twice a week, and has benefited SO much, but it is getting harder.
I agree that TWO YEARS post meniscus surgery and still having pain and fluid build-up in the surgically repaired knee needs medical evaluation. I would refer my client to her physician with this problem before continuing her lower body exercise program, because one of our primary goals as a trainer should be to “do no harm.” By referring your client to her physician to try to determine the source of this continued pain and swelling, AND to ask whether what she is currently doing with you is ok to continue, you will have taken responsible steps to ensure that what you are doing with your client is helping, not hurting.
I hope that this helps.