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meniscus surgery

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I fell a month ago on black ice, and probably have a torn meniscus according to the doc who I will see on tuesday. I have a torn meniscus in my other knee, but it is asymtomatic. This one hurts like heck! for those of you that have had this experience, does it take longer than a month to get better, or should I get the surgery? This really ticks me off that it has happened this time of the year when I am most active. My other knee is torn from wear and tear over many years of walking funny due to a broken leg. Maybe that is why it doesn't hurt unless I do something to aggravate it. This one hasn't stopped hurting no matter what position I am in.
post #2 of 13
There's a lot of variables with how well, and how fast a torn meniscus will heal. If it is a small tear, and near the blood supply, it heals the fastest, and will usually take about a month. If it is a large tear, or completely through and through, or in the center where it is avascular (no blood supply), it can take a long time to heal, or might not heal at all. The meniscus has very little blood supply regardless, so any damage to it takes a long time to heal. If it's already been a month and it still hurts as much as it originally did, you probably have a lot of damage, and it's healed as much as it's going to. My mom tore her meniscus by just turning while going down the basement stairs in July. She had an arthroscopic menisectomy in October (removal via an arthroscope surgery) and was back to normal activities within 3 or 4 weeks. It was a 'same day surgery' and came home as soon as her spinal had worn off.

Good luck!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I guess he will order an MRI so we can see what's doin. I don't want to get surgery. but three or 4 weeks might not be too bad to be laid up. Ohh who am I kiddin, it will kill me. I have birdwatching, gardening, vacation, concerts, las vegas all planned between now and september. The rest of the year I do nothing. damn. I am using a cane. The first two weeks, it was doing so well, that I stopped with the cane, and now it is worse after two weeks without the cane. Not sure if I just overdid it, or it will never be able to be walked on.
post #4 of 13
My DH was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and they scheduled him for surgery. When they went into the knee, they found that his meniscus wasn't torn, it no longer existed. He just has a bad case of arthritus in both knees.

An MRI is a good idea. They didn't do one for my DH in advance and cut him open for no reason. They told him to expect a 4 week recovery and after they cut him open with no repair, it was still a 1 week recovery.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
My DH was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and they scheduled him for surgery. When they went into the knee, they found that his meniscus wasn't torn, it no longer existed. He just has a bad case of arthritus in both knees.

An MRI is a good idea. They didn't do one for my DH in advance and cut him open for no reason. They told him to expect a 4 week recovery and after they cut him open with no repair, it was still a 1 week recovery.
Wow, I can't believe they didn't do an MRI. That is pretty irresponsible. Arthritis shows up on xrays, they could have seen it without an MRI. I'd be fuming if I were your DH.
post #6 of 13
I tore mine ice skating but I didnt get the surgery done. It healed for the most part, but I still have some problems with it.
post #7 of 13
I have a tear in the meniscus in one of my knees that was diagnosed about a year and a half ago. The first words out of the dr.'s mouth were, "Looks like you need surgery!" Sorry, but to me that's the last thing you do. I've been doing an exercise that is suppsed to strengthen my thigh muscle, which in turn is supposed to support the knee cap and relieve some of pain. For the most part it helps. I also see a chiropractor on a regular basis and she works on my knee. It only flares up now when I abuse it.
If you decide to go ahead with the surgery, please post your results here. I'm sure that I'll have to do it someday, too.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
Wow, I can't believe they didn't do an MRI. That is pretty irresponsible. Arthritis shows up on xrays, they could have seen it without an MRI. I'd be fuming if I were your DH.
That's a big thank you to the U.S. Health Care system. The HMO wouldn't pay for the MRI. This happened about 13 years ago and I don't think they did MRI's as routinely as they do today. So it was a special diagnostic test, and insurance companies fought to pay for them.
post #9 of 13
I have a torn and extruding meniscus in one knee that happened abruptly last June. After x-rays and then a pt evaluation where they recommended the mri I wanted, I got my mri . They then found more than the arthritis my doc thought was the total problem, and that the arthritis is worse than it appeared on x-ray.

Because of the arthritis, the recommendation is that I get a total knee replacement, which I don't want to do yet. PT did help me a great deal. I am on relafen (an nsaid) and I do now use a cane.

It took a long time before the stiffness, swelling and pain settled down. I have a number of days where it feels normal, but if I step wrong or do a lot of walking, forget it. I will have to get the knee replacement eventually.
post #10 of 13
I had two lateral meniscus tears in mine and had surgery three years ago in this coming april 6th, I walked around on it for a little over two years before i had the surgery done because i had no insurance. The pain before surgery was god awful, and within the last two months before it would lock up and pop making it hurt more. Mine never healed, but then one tear was all the way across the bottom of my knee and looked like a shredded ribbon, the other one was more towards the center of the cartilage which would tear even a little more every time it popped. It was a feeling i will never forget because i could actually tell every time it tore more. I had a good bit of arthritis too which they scraped off. I had the surgery on thursday morning, was walking on it by sunday (not with full weight tho but still walking) by the following friday, i went back to the surgeon he told me throw the crutches away adn released me full duty to work on monday. ( i work in a warehouse to get an idea of what kind of work i put my knee thru) and by the beginning of july when my therapy was over i was released to go back to firefighting. (im a volunteer firefighter) The therapy was horrible sometimes making me want to give up but the therapist convinced me that this was normal so i kept on. By the end of summer i had lost almost 50 pounds, was playing basketball three times a day, climbing, running up my three flights of stairs to my apt. instead of walking. It was amazing how good i felt. I only have one word of advice, well two , If the meniscus is torn and cannot be resolved with the injections (sometimes an option if the tear is not real bad) get the surgery done and dont put it off. Because it will tear more and more and if it does tear bad enough it will not be fixable. and second. if you get the surgery done whatever you do stay active and exercise it, during the winter when there is nothing to do i slacked off and didnt exercise much and it would get sore from the muscle weakness. But soon as it gets a little exercise on it the pain goes away. You will also get a little tenderness when it is going to rain. But for the most part it was the best thing i could have done and i am glad i did have the surgery. I had a lot of people tell me not to get it done because it will cause more problems, i am so glad i didnt listen to them.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I finally got an MRI and my meniscus is not torn, I have a torn MCL, not complete,ly torn, just stretched torn. Now before we knew for sure what was wrong, the doctor really didn't advize anything other than ice. He said he thought it was the meniscus, but it could be just the MCL stretched. I asked if I should wrap it, and he said I could but that would not promote healing. It hurt the most when I got up in the am. Well, I looked up how to treat the MCL and immobilizattion (even while sleeping)is the key, and I am a little miffed because I went 6 weeks without doing that, and probably aggravating it. If only he had said, if it is MCL you should keep it immobile, instead I delayed my healing by 6 weeks, and from what I have read, it could take 6 months. I am wearing a brace from the rx, but I am getting a hinged one, and I will be going to PT. Oh well, it could be worse, I am glad I don't have to have surgery.
post #12 of 13
im very happy that you dont have to have surgery because the therapy after if very painful and often makes you feel like it wasnt worth it but in the end it was.
post #13 of 13
Fwiw, I sprained my mcl in one knee years ago...the brace and I didn't get along at all, so I ended up just being gentle with it for a long, long time. Eventually, it did get back to normal
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