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torn meniscus in knee; surgery and recovery questions
Old 09-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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torn meniscus in knee; surgery and recovery questions

Hello Forum Members, You may remember I had written about knee pain from osteoarthritis and seeking for advice. Well, I've had an MRI done on the knee and it revealed very mild arthritis but it shows a large tear of the meniscus. So the orthopedic surgeon recommends arthroscopic surgery to repair/remove the torn part(s) of the meniscus.

I am not concerned at all about the surgery since it is a very minor outpatient thing. I am just wondering about the recovery. Has anyone had this done? How long did it take you to recover completely, i.e., to the point where you can walk, bend your knee, squat, go up and downstairs, and drive, etc.?

Did you need crutches at first? For how long? Did you receive physical therapy? How many sessions? Did you find the physical therapy helpful? Any advice for me in general?

Thank you so much.

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #2
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I had my meniscus repaired but I had the much bigger ACL reconstruction done at the same time so I don't know what part the meniscus played in it. The MRI didn't show the meniscus tear but my doc knew it was possible. Without the tear I think I was going to be off crutches and driving in 1 or 2 weeks. Post-surgery, it was no driving for 4 weeks and crutches for nearly 6, and I think that was due to the meniscus repair.

I've had friends who have it trimmed and that's a much faster recovery. In a couple days I think they are doing a lot of normal things. I assume it is better long-term to have it repaired, if possible. My understanding is that they can repair it if it's torn where it gets enough blood flow to heal. Otherwise, they just trim.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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They said it's where there is hardly any blood supply at all. I am guessing, they will trim then. Thank you, Running Bum.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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DW just had this surgery a few months ago. Arthoscopic surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus, along with "a little bit of arthritis repair" as the surgeon put it.

Surgery was a 20 minute affair, no problems. She used a pair of crutches for a day or two, but that's all.

She was very religious about the physical therapy afterward (twice a week at the PT office, and two 30-minute sessions at home every day). As a result, after a month or so she was good as new. After several months, she is still exclaiming about how great it is not to have knee pain any more.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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I had the same problem in both knees and had the same operation on both. My knees are no better after the surgery so I'm not so sure I'll have any of my other knees done.

I had one done on a Friday and was back at work on Monday, no biggie!
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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I had the same problem in both knees and had the same operation on both. My knees are no better after the surgery so I'm not so sure I'll have any of my other knees done.

I had one done on a Friday and was back at work on Monday, no biggie!

When you went back to work, did you use crutches? did you drive? did you have both knees done on the same day? How long ago did you have this done? Did you do physical therapy?
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
DW just had this surgery a few months ago. Arthoscopic surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus, along with "a little bit of arthritis repair" as the surgeon put it.

Surgery was a 20 minute affair, no problems. She used a pair of crutches for a day or two, but that's all.

She was very religious about the physical therapy afterward (twice a week at the PT office, and two 30-minute sessions at home every day). As a result, after a month or so she was good as new. After several months, she is still exclaiming about how great it is not to have knee pain any more.
Is your DW taking any glucosamine/chondroitin or samE for joint health presently? I've been advised to take these for my arthritis. Thank you for sharing very positive news about how this process went for your DW.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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I had a torn meniscus repaired. Had it done on a Thursday morning, used crutches on the weekend and drove to work on the Monday. (it was the left knee, and automatic car).

I didn't need crutches at work, just used a walking stick for a couple of days.
I had 2 PT sessions and was told I need not come back unless I felt I needed to.


6 weeks after surgery it felt perfect, and I've had no problems since. This was 17 years ago (I was aged 40 at the time).
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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Is your DW taking any glucosamine/chondroitin or samE for joint health presently? I've been advised to take these for my arthritis. Thank you for sharing very positive news about how this process went for your DW.
Yes, we have both taken gluco/chon every day for a number of years. We both believe it helps a lot.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Can't help you with that surgery but I'll give you worse case situation. I've already had my right knee replaced and I'm going in to replace my left knee in a couple weeks. I'll be on crutches for about three weeks, a walker for another three weeks, then driving and playing golf 90 days after surgery. Good luck on your repair.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I had a torn meniscus repaired. Had it done on a Thursday morning, used crutches on the weekend and drove to work on the Monday. (it was the left knee, and automatic car).

I didn't need crutches at work, just used a walking stick for a couple of days.
I had 2 PT sessions and was told I need not come back unless I felt I needed to.


6 weeks after surgery it felt perfect, and I've had no problems since. This was 17 years ago (I was aged 40 at the time).
Thank you so much, Alan. I am 52 right now. I hope I will have an equally positive experience.
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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Yes, we have both taken gluco/chon every day for a number of years. We both believe it helps a lot.
Thank you, Braumeister!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #13
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Can't help you with that surgery but I'll give you worse case situation. I've already had my right knee replaced and I'm going in to replace my left knee in a couple weeks. I'll be on crutches for about three weeks, a walker for another three weeks, then driving and playing golf 90 days after surgery. Good luck on your repair.
Good luck with your upcoming left knee replacement. I hope you will hit the golf course in 90 days as planned.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 73ss454
I had the same problem in both knees and had the same operation on both. My knees are no better after the surgery so I'm not so sure I'll have any of my other knees done.

I had one done on a Friday and was back at work on Monday, no biggie!
The only surgery I have had in my life was a meniscus tear ( no arthritis). He showed me the images and said he need to shave the frayed areas. I went originally complaining about my knee hurting when I was running ( that was the only time it ever hurt). What a rip off! I then actually researched this several months after and discovered it is normal for it to fray over time through use. BTW- after surgery he says I shouldn't run again. Well what did I accomplish from this surgery then? Oh wait, I know, to have insurance company help pay the alimony or something I guess.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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When you went back to work, did you use crutches? did you drive? did you have both knees done on the same day? How long ago did you have this done? Did you do physical therapy?

I had one done in 2000 and the other in 2010. No crutches, just a limp and I was careful walking. I did physical therapy for a few weeks but as I said I didn't get a good result on either knee. I think the sinvisk injections helped more.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #16
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The only surgery I have had in my life was a meniscus tear ( no arthritis). He showed me the images and said he need to shave the frayed areas. I went originally complaining about my knee hurting when I was running ( that was the only time it ever hurt). What a rip off! I then actually researched this several months after and discovered it is normal for it to fray over time through use. BTW- after surgery he says I shouldn't run again. Well what did I accomplish from this surgery then? Oh wait, I know, to have insurance company help pay the alimony or something I guess.
Yup, the standard Dr. line is "I'm going to go in and clean it up" Yeah sure!
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:18 PM   #17
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I had surgery on my right knee on 2/11 and it was great for a little over a year..this summer it started hurting again, so I had an MRI recently and was told I have more tears in a different area of that knee..they called it "Degenerative Meniscus Tears"

It has felt better lately due to being careful on stairs etc. In fact the pain is mostly gone, but will flare up if I'm not careful. Doctor told me to wait a month and decide for myself if I want it done again.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:18 PM   #18
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Forgot to add my recovery time. I had the surgery on a Friday afternoon, rested for the weekend, worked from home for 3 days and back to work Thursday without crutches..

I did go back in June for a cortisone shot that helped.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:52 PM   #19
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DW has a small tear with mild arthritis. She's having surgery 11/8. Dr told her no driving for 3 days, probably crutches for 3 days.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:57 AM   #20
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I also had this surgery, after years of running & like others have mentioned it was a piece of cake.
In on Friday (for my right knee)... Crutches throughout most of the weekend... driving & back to work on Monday - no crutches, but limping.

There was very little pain... but it takes a while for the swelling to go down (2 - 3 weeks from what I recall). Flexibility (or lack there of) is the biggest issue until the swelling goes down.

Late in my first week, feeling invincible, I slipped and fell backwards while carrying my elderly dalmatian down a flight of stairs. (yeah I know... a silly thing to do)

The dog was fine (of course) but I broke my tailbone. Anyway... the tailbone hurt more - and for much, much longer than the knee. So be careful afterwards... you might feel able to do more than you should.

Note: The surgery took place in the winter & I was able to begin (gentle) running again in the spring. Sitting comfortably took a lot longer...
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