Hi Ian, sorry for the late reply.
I’ll try to give you an overview of my rehab: I had my surgey on 13th january 2021 and I waited 10 days for the first walk and another week for some easy indoor cycling. Meanwhile I did all the rehab exercises suggested by the PT. After exactly one month from the surgery I started with alternate walk/run “workouts”, adding minutes of running each session, to gradually take confidence with the gesture of running. After one month, so in the middle of march 2021, I restarted with “real” running, initially for 30 minutes and increasing to 1h in the following weeks. After that it was all a matter of increase mileage and introduce some pickups to get the legs used to a semblance of speed. After 3 months from the surgery I was able to run 2 hours with no stops and I finally restart with mountains and trail running.
My recovery has been going well, all in all, no major issues and no real pain in the process: I tried to be careful, even more than suggested by the doctors, because I was really scared to mess up with the recovery, and I guess that this caution paid off.
In the last year I get back to my usual training habits (40/50kms per week with a quality session and a long run of 2-3 hours) and to racing. I did some mountain races from 20 to 50K and I did not have any issues with the knee. My last race was Cortina Trail two weeks ago: it was my first 50K in 3 years and it went pretty well considering that I was not used to running for 7 hours from a long time.
Still, sometimes I feel like something is “not totally ok” with the knee, like if it is more fatigued than the other after the running efforts, or after the familiy walks with my son on the shoulders. But it’s not a real pain, not at all, just a feeling of discomfort. Maybe it’s normal and I just need to get used to it for the rest of my life because of the meniscus and the cartilages not completely ok.
Oh, about streght training: I restart the last winter with some TFTUA suggested exercises (split jump squats, step-ups, etc) and I found them useful for my legs and knees. Unfortunately I’m very bad at consistency when it comes to strength training, so I did it for some months, then stopped and then start again. My opinion is that it is very useful if done properly and at least one-two times per week, in particular for people with weak joints, because it gives you the strength necessary to “trust” your knees and the confidence to run on trails (even more for people like me that live in flat cities).
I hope it was helpful, good luck with your recovery and don’t be afraid to get in touch if you need more feedbacks.