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Meniscus Tear
Old 10-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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Meniscus Tear

Just wondering has anyone had any experience with medial menicus tears ? Did you go the conservative or operative route. What was the post-op like ? How soon back to work ? Any complications ? Did PT help ? Would you make the same chioce again ?
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:08 AM   #2
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Funny you brought this up, I'm leaving in about an hour to go get mine done today. This time it's my right knee and about 12 years ago I had my left knee done. Last time I had the procedure it was on a Friday and I was back at work Monday. I don't know what the result will be this time. The Dr. make 3 holes in your knee and uses them to insert a camera and other tools to do his/her work

Only problem the last time was I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. This time I'll let the Dr. know as they do have some stuff they can give to relieve the symptons.

I'll try to let you know later tonight how it went and what to expect.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
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Just wondering has anyone had any experience with medial menicus tears ? Did you go the conservative or operative route. What was the post-op like ? How soon back to work ? Any complications ? Did PT help ? Would you make the same chioce again ?
I went the "conservative" route-- no surgery.

I'd say the PT is more important than the surgery, but then I may never bother with the operation so I'll never know for sure.

You could take a look at these two studies and talk about it with your surgeon (who may see solutions in terms of surgery):
Knee Surgery - Arthroscopy Results No Better than Pretend Surgery
Surgery for Knee Arthritis, Meniscus, Not Needed To Stop Pain, Restore Function
The Fitness Fixer™ INDEX

You could also read the posts & discussions at Knee1.com - Forums , although these are not for the queasy or faint of heart.

Admittedly the studies were on small groups and it's difficult to carry out additional studies, but you would expect even a small sample of surgery to have a more positive benefit. Cynics have claimed that if we put every American knee through an MRI then orthopedic surgeons would have lifetime employment.

Unless your cartilage is audibly grinding around and disturbing conversation with friends & family, or unless you no longer have full range of motion, then it might be better to just do the physical therapy. It should be done as followup to the surgery in any case, and your quads/hamstrings atrophy quickly so some patients start the PT before the surgery. The first six weeks are the most difficult but mobility returns quickly. The best part of the PT is showing you how to hold & move your knee (alignment & tracking) to avoid the stresses that could have caused the problem in the first place. Full strength & recovery (deep squats, full lunges, jogging) may take most of a year.

I've spoken with a dozen or so people, active and not-so-much, who say the surgery was no big deal. Crutches for a week or two, usually less. Back to work in a couple days (depending on the physical nature of the job). Physical therapy was essential and went well. Most of them feel that their knees are "different", whether that's tighter or weaker, and one of them will no longer jog because it doesn't "feel" right, but she's still mobile enough for taekwondo. I think Deserat and Cb, who've both had extensive knee surgery, are fully mobile.

In my case, the prospect of surgery (both knees) felt like "surrendering myself to the medical authorities". I wasn't really happy with either orthopedic surgeon I spoke with, they belittled the contrary info, and they generally wanted to get on with it or get away from me. By contrast the physical therapist was agnostic on the surgery but full-tilt on the mechanics and conditioning. I'll never go one-on-one with Magic Johnson or compete in the giant slalom but I'm able to surf, spar taekwondo, jog, and do everything else I want to do.

If you're feeling the same sort of surgery duress, and if there's no bone chips floating around in there to cause additional damage, then I'd hold off until you've done a few weeks of physical therapy.

There are also many many medications to cope with swelling & stiffness. If one doesn't work, or has side effects or stops working, try another. One surgeon said he has a list of two dozen that he just works through (on his patients, not himself) until everyone's happy.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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I initially went the conservative route but after 18 months I opted for the surgery - this was 14 years ago when I was 41.

I had the surgery on the Thursday, crutches over the weekend, and back to work on Monday using a cane to assist walking. Fully recovered after 6 weeks. I did the physio at their clinic for 3 sessions before being discharged, but kept up with the exercises at home.

With all these types of surgery the key to speed of recovery is usually how much pain you can stand. (I've had 4 joint surgeries - the engine runs great but the bodywork is rusting )
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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OK, so that went well. I just got home and the Dr. found a torn Meniscus and repaired it according to the Nurse. The Dr. is supposed to call me tonight and DW is out getting some pain meds as I write this. PT is tomorrow AM and hopefully this will work out well. All in all no big deal.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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...DW is out getting some pain meds as I write this.
The question on everyone's mind is which of you will be taking them?

Glad to hear you came through OK.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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The Dr. gave me some medication for the possible bad reaction to the Anesthesia and no problem at all this time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:44 PM   #8
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The Dr. gave me some medication for the possible bad reaction to the Anesthesia and no problem at all this time.
Pleased to hear that the surgery went well. Hopefully you won't need the anti-nausea meds
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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Thanks, I'm waiting for the punch line. Too good to be true, at least so far.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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My orthopedist, who I saw yesterday about this very issue, recommended a month of 3x a week PT prior to making any decisions. Kind of surprised me as he is a surgeon. I'd much rather avoid the surgery, if possible, so I will follow his advice and see the therapist first. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:11 PM   #11
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I did the PT thing before the surgery and it didn't work for me. The MRI showed that nothing was wrong so I was concerned about having the surgery and not finding anything wrong. I was in enough pain to go forward with the surgery anyway. Funny thing is I didn't see the Dr. before, during or after the surgery. I called this morning and the nurse said he would call me in a few minutes as he was on a call. Now it's after 3 and I still haven't heard anyting. I went to PT today and the he looked at the pictures from the surgery. He said that I had a lot of arthritis and my Maniscus was all tore up.

Just need to hear from the Dr. and see what he has to say.

The surgery is cake, no biggie.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:39 PM   #12
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Just heard back from the Dr., torn lateral meniscus and a bunch of arthritis that he scraped away from behind the knee cap. We shall see how it goes but he said I should get a good result.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:59 PM   #13
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Just heard back from the Dr., torn lateral meniscus and a bunch of arthritis that he scraped away from behind the knee cap. We shall see how it goes but he said I should get a good result.
Good luck with your knee, hopefully you'll be just fine in a few weeks.
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #14
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Just heard back from the Dr., torn lateral meniscus and a bunch of arthritis that he scraped away from behind the knee cap. We shall see how it goes but he said I should get a good result.

Hope you have a speedy recovery !
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:21 PM   #15
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Thanks guys, I wish the OP would come back and read the thread he/she started.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #16
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Thanks guys, I wish the OP would come back and read the thread he/she started.
May be he'll limp along sometime soon, he may not be in a tearing hurry just yet.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:01 AM   #17
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May be he'll limp along sometime soon, he may not be in a tearing hurry just yet.
This sort of response is entirely kneedless...
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:08 AM   #18
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This sort of response is entirely kneedless...
At this rate he'll find the surgery less painful than the jokes.
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