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Author Topic: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?  (Read 4372 times)

Offline Genovapernoi

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partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« on: August 28, 2007, 08:04:29 PM »
Hello to all -- I am new to this forum and could use a bit of advice, though I honestly don't know whether my question is in all fairness answerable or not. I have seen such a range of experiences in what people have reported about healing from knee surgery. Now I'm quite concerned about my upcoming partial (medial) meniscectomy...

I'm one week away from having the surgery. 5 1/2 weeks after surgery I will be on vacation -- traveling down the U.S. west coast by car. I'm concerned that at the 5 1/2 week point in recovery, I will be worse off from the surgery than I would be without it.

This is what I hope to be able to do on that trip:
-crawl in an out of a tent without much difficulty
-do a considerable amount of walking -- 4-5 miles at once without trouble -- with occasional steep sections
-be in a state of little or no pain
-(trivial matter, but...) have slight swelling at most so that I can wear a short skirt without feeling self-conscious

Are these realistic expectations, if you accept as a given that I will be super diligent about doing all the post-op things they tell me to do?  Should I consider putting off the surgery?  I decided to break down and commit to the surgery because right now even just a bit of uphill/downhill walking can cause my knee to swell up, and stairs are difficult.  The knee is in bad enough shape that it has had a negative impact on my ability to exercise/get in better shape.....

Thanks so much.....

Offline Nettan

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 08:16:43 PM »
This is a tough and almost impossible question to answer.
All depends on which shape you are in now, do you have muscles or lost some since your injury ? Do you have any other knee problems since before ? What kind of tear do you have ? Will the surgeon maybe do more while he/she goes in ?
Are you a fast healer ? Complications can be there.
If you think you are in shape to do this trip like you are now I would postpone surgery until after.
Maybe try get some knee sleeve or brace for support to use now.
Surgery is always surgery and after a scope you should be in pretty good shape after 5 weeks..but noone can know for sure.
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Genovapernoi

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 08:31:51 PM »
Thanks for your response, Nettan.  While you were writing I read the thread entitled "recovery after partial meniscectomy", and it really does seem as if the norm is for recovery to take considerably longer than what the typical OS indicates.

In answer to your questions: I'm 40, in good health, have been exercising regularly (moderate non-athlete stuff), pretty strong legs.  No other knee problems before, the tear was caught easily on MRI but does not appear to be accompanied by any other problems.  Medial meniscus tear is the only information I have on type of tear.  No problems I know of that would impede healing.

Offline Nettan

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2007, 08:40:54 PM »
You would probably do fine with having surgery. Though me with years with kneeproblems would wait until after the trip, to be sure get the best out of the trip. Often the docs think they have an idea how long your recovery time will be. But you can never be sure. Good luck wether you choose and have a wonderful trip.
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Ronxski

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2007, 10:58:41 PM »
Sounds like you are having something similar to what I had done.
I put mine off for about 2 months So I could afford to be out of commission for awhile.
I got around with an ACE bandage wrap so the knee wouldn't give out on me.
I was able to hike 6 miles along Lake Superior's North shore hiking trail that way.

Will you have a long wait to reschedule your surgery? If not, I think it would be okay for you to do your trip first.
Most likely you won't be that comfortable to do what you want that soon after the procedure.

I was on crutches at 5 weeks and gradually down to a cane and walking slowly by 7.5 weeks. I still have some minor issues with the knee. But I can bike and hike and cross country ski some good distances.  And am thankful for that! Just can't do impact sports anymore.

Enjoy your trip, Be careful so you minimize the risk of tearing it further. Avoid squats and deep knee bends as much as possible. Please let us know how it goes for you . Ron
partial meniscus removal, posterior horn of medial meniscus tear,horizontal cleavage type. Dec. O4
Age 56
back to cross country skiing and biking.

Offline jathib

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 01:50:19 AM »
I would put off the surgery. Although you could be fine there are no guarantees. In general, you won't want to be crawling or hiking that soon after surgery even if they don't do much. You will be in a world of hurt. If you do have surgery plan on parking your butt in front of the campfire and reading a good book. Forget about hiking either way.

Offline Genovapernoi

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 04:02:52 PM »
Thanks to Nettan, Ron, Jathib.  After (probably way too much) thinking about this, I plan to go through with the surgery on the 4th of Sept. after all.  Will post again with updates post-surgery.

Offline Nettan

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 08:34:13 PM »
We are having surgery same day...will be interesting to see if you manage to progress and heal enough. Good luck !!
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

Offline Ronxski

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 05:04:25 AM »
I bet that took some long hard thinking to go through with it now.
First , it's most important that the surgery is successful and you take the time to do the PT faithfully afterwards. Any helpful hints we can give you during your recovery we will try.

Ron
partial meniscus removal, posterior horn of medial meniscus tear,horizontal cleavage type. Dec. O4
Age 56
back to cross country skiing and biking.

Offline Genovapernoi

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2007, 02:03:12 PM »
Thanks, Ron -- yes, I'll be back online with questions for sure!
Nettan, best wishes to you on your surgery --

Offline esther-l

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 04:02:38 PM »
You may need to be creative with crawling in/out of a tent.

You will be able to put weight on the knee that hasn't had surgery.  My crawling technique involves weight on the left (non-surgery) knee, and weight on the right foot instead of knee.

During your PT before the trip, you will want to work on getting as much knee bend as possible. That will help with getting in and out of a tent.  You will probably need to ask the people you're with to carry some of the stuff that you would normally pack and carry to the campsite.

I am 5 weeks post surgery right now. I am not up for walking 1 mile yet. I have recently been able to use my right knee to go up some stairs. I am still using ice a great deal of the time - that would concern me with camping. My recovery seems to be a bit slower than average due to having less capability and strength on the left side.
Right knee partial meniscectomy, patella debridement, and chondroplasty 7/25/2007

right knee arthroscopy, posterior Holn (?) medial & lateral meniscectomy, chrondoplasty, arthrofibrosis debridement, synovectomy, open iliotibial band release. 12/11/2012

Offline Ronxski

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2007, 07:08:38 PM »
kneeling down was a problem for me years before my surgery. Just painful on the knee caps for some reason. Perhaps all the  pounding I put them through in sports.
I have contractors gel knee pads with velcro straps that work really well for kneeling when I have to. IT would be worth getting a pair . In fact when my knee was hurting for walking it helped for support on long walks as well. Just not too tight so your knee cap can track.
Ron
partial meniscus removal, posterior horn of medial meniscus tear,horizontal cleavage type. Dec. O4
Age 56
back to cross country skiing and biking.

Offline lennyk

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2007, 03:10:18 AM »
after 4 arthscopies for similar issues I can say that once you are in reasonably good  physical shape and the work done is basic trimming/shaving(not repair) for the menisectomy then the major issue is to get the swelling down.

Once the swelling is down you get back full mobility of the leg and can start normal motion.
Swelling could take 2 weeks to 4 weeks or more, depends on the person. This is where the ice and rest for the first week or so to let things inside heal up fast.

Offline thatmoody

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2007, 05:00:23 PM »
I'm happy to have found this forum as well - talk about funny coincidences - my surgery was the 4th as well!  I am doing quite well, although I have a bit more pain than I was expecting and they had to do more than they were expecting (my surgeon was able to do a smaller snippage and a bit of repair, but he discovered a cyst that hadn't shown up on the MRI).  I am happy to have had this done, but I'm settling in for the long haul with PT because of the repair.  I did this surfing, and hope to get back into surfing within 6 months, although the Dr. seems to think it will be sooner.  We'll see, I'm in my 40's and don't heal as well as I used to, although I have very strong legs from years of surfing and hiking, and I have been walking right up to the day of surgery.  I can easily bear weight on it now (don't know why the doctor told me to not bother with crutches though, and I'm using them anyway because my knee is pretty sore).

Best of luck on your trip, and I hope that you heal quickly!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2007, 05:03:02 PM by thatmoody »

Offline Nettan

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Re: partial meniscectomy -- timelines for pain and activity?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2007, 05:07:09 PM »
Hey threadowner !!
How are you after surgery ?
I had mine yesterday and managed to get home same day.
I had lateral meniscectomy (25 % left), microfracture, smoothing out of several areas, taking samples for ACI and also  LCL checked.
LCL had partially tear and is stretched. Hopefully phys will solve that or I might need surgery for that one.
Painlevels up in roof, also have some fever but though doing ok. Leg is hot and swollen. But all to be expected. Will be NWB for a month.
Hope you are on your feet running around. :P ;)

NETTAN 8)
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

 















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