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Author Topic: Complex tear of the medial meniscus  (Read 29297 times)

Offline Tyana

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Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« on: July 31, 2009, 06:54:40 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I recently was diagnosed with a "complex tear of the body and horn of the medial meniscus". I will be going in for surgery to remove the torn flap on 8/10 and am nervous......okay really nervous. I wanted to see if anyone else had a similar injury and had surgery. I injured it during a fencing tournament and am anxious to return to fencing but am not sure how long I will be spending rehabing the knee. Are knee braces something I need to consider when I do get back to fencing?

Any advice, suggestions, positive words, experiences are really welcome right now.

Thank you
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline CatiePaige0821

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 09:44:05 PM »
Hi Tyana!
I've had surgery twice on my knee. Once in 2004 for ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair and again in 2007 for mensicus repair and removal. Both times, my tears were complex, like yours. It's okay to be nervous about your surgery. I was very nervous for both of mine. I'm not going to lie, it only gets worse as the day grows nearer. It will be fine though, they take very good care of you and make you feel very comfortable. There's nothing to worry about. I think I spent a couple of months rehabing my knee for my meniscus repair/removal. I was back to playing basketball in no time. Rehab will go pretty quick. I know what it's like to want to get back to your sport, but it will go faster than you think. There are braces that you could consider wearing if you want. You could always ask your OS about that to be sure. Your OS will recommend the best option for you if they even think you need to wear one at all.

I hope this helped. If you have any questions please feel free to ask!!

Good luck and keep us updated! :)
Torn ACL, Medial/Lateral Meniscus
Surgery August 4th, 2004

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery August 10th, 2007

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery September 1st, 2009

ACL Laxity. ACL Revision
Surgery December 17th, 2009

Arthroscopy
Surgery October 11th, 2010

Offline dm

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 05:58:49 AM »
Its normal to be nervous. Do some planning. Set yourself up with some premade icepacks for after surgery, some drinks and some microwavable ready to eat stuff that you don't have to stand and fix to eat. Things like that are handy the first few days especially, partciularly if you will be on your own part of the day. Have some drinks with twist on tops, so you can fetch them from the fridge in a bag, being on crutches. A good idea for icepacks is doubled up gallon size freezer ziplocs, in case the inner one leaks, the outer one catches the leak and the freezer bags are heavier plastic. Get some crackers to have on hand for taking meds, if you take pain pills on an empty stomach, you can get nauseous, so eat a few crackers first, even if you're not hungry. Have your MP3 player, books, etc all set up in a bin where you'll be parked most of the time ,so you don't have to get up much, except for restroom, food etc, that first few days.

Makes you feel better to have planned for the surgery, and to feel like you don't have to get up unless you want to right after. Good luck, hope this helps a bit.
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 07:03:37 AM »
Thank you for all the wonderful support and advice. I was wondering, after speaking with a friend who had a similar injury, he recommended these types of braces for after surgery and during my fencing: http://www.donjoy.com/index.asp/fuseaction/products.list/cat/1

have you had any experiences with knee braces? Are they recommended? Should I even broach this with my OS? I would really like to do all I can to prevent any further damage to my knee, especially when I return to fencing.
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline CatiePaige0821

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 02:58:39 AM »
DonJoy is an excellent choice of a knee brace. I wore one after my ACL tear/mensicus repair and it was great. You could definitely look into getting one if you feel that you need one, but I would definitely consult your OS about it. I don't think that a knee brace is something that you absolutely have to have after a meniscus repair/removal, but if you want to play it safe you can definitely look into it. I would just ask what your OS thinks.

Hope that helps!!
Torn ACL, Medial/Lateral Meniscus
Surgery August 4th, 2004

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery August 10th, 2007

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery September 1st, 2009

ACL Laxity. ACL Revision
Surgery December 17th, 2009

Arthroscopy
Surgery October 11th, 2010

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2009, 02:43:34 AM »
Thank ye for the response I will talk with the OS and see what he thinks. I kinda broached the subject at my last appointment and he felt I didn't need a knee brace but from everything I'm reading on here it seems like the chances of reinjury are higher after a meniscus trim. Better safe than sorry, I will see if I can push him for more confirmation on the knee brace subject. The Donjoys seem like decent functional braces that would help prevent me from putting my knee in an "at risk" position during my fencing.

Oh another thing I'm finding with my injury is that I still cannot bend my knee all the way and the pain is not always on the meniscus part of my knee but on the center of my knee, anyone think this might be the ACL? Has anyone else had their OS check the ACL during surgery? I'm considering asking mine if he would.


T-minus 6 days until surgery, ugh nerves are baaaaaad.
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline CatiePaige0821

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2009, 04:04:46 PM »
I would definitely bring it up with him again. If he doesn't seem to think you need one, but you want one anyway, I would definitely look into DonJoy. I'm sure that there are people on the board who could help you figure out which brace is best for you.

You could ask your OS to check the ACL. I'm sure it wouldn't be a big deal for him to look. I think when they go in the check the rest of the knee out anyway, but you could always ask just to see if he would.

It's normal to be nervous, trust me. I was just as nervous. Just think about the positive outcomes and try and relax yourself. Make sure you prepare your house and things for when you come home on crutches. This will save you a lot of grief.
Torn ACL, Medial/Lateral Meniscus
Surgery August 4th, 2004

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery August 10th, 2007

Medial/Lateral Meniscus Tears
Surgery September 1st, 2009

ACL Laxity. ACL Revision
Surgery December 17th, 2009

Arthroscopy
Surgery October 11th, 2010

Offline Lizn8r

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 12:21:57 AM »
Tyana,

About whether or not your OS will check your ACL while he's in there ... I got a copy of my surgical report (interesting reading, by the way ... I recommend everybody should get a copy of theirs) and in it he states that he checked my PCL and lateral meniscus while he was in trimming my medial meniscus and before he started the reconstruction of my ACL.  Both were OK thankfully!  I could be wrong, but I think it's common practice for them to check everything they can while they're in. 

Good luck with your surgery!  And I totally understand about pre-op nerves!  I called my pre-op nurse and told her that I wanted to cancel my surgery the day before it was scheduled (she talked me out of it), and I begged my partner to turn around and take me home on my surgery day!  Just try to relax and concentrate on the things you should get done before you go in.

Hope this helps

Liz
Sep '99: Tore left ACL (football) - misdiagnosed
Sep '99-Apr '09: Lived with pain and buckling
Apr '09: New PCP (who listened), MRI and OS consult - proper dx
May '09: LK ACL Allograft and 25% medial meniscus removal
Sep '09: Released from PT and OS ... back to things I haven't done in 10 years!

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 01:48:13 AM »
Lizn8r Bballbaybee2110,

Thank you thank you thank you for the advice and support. I'm slowly getting the house ready a bit at a time (as much as my knee allows me) taking lots of breaks but everything is slowly coming together. Going to pick up my pain meds prescription on Friday so its ready and going to get some good eats from the grocery store too while I'm at it. I'm thinking of picking up hard boiled eggs, precut fruits and veggies (or cut my own), precooked chicken, bottled water and juice (not really a soda person unless its an occasional rootbeer or ginger ale, then watch out!) I also bought some very supportive and well cushioned shoes for post op PT and for general getting round. I kinda baffled the sales guy at first when he asked what type of shoes I was looking for  ;D
Still trying to figure out what to elevate my leg on while I'm on my laptop, dreading the idea of having to park it on the bed. So, am I missing anything you guys and ladies can think of?
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline Lizn8r

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 02:03:11 AM »
Sounds like you're all set to go ...

Only one more thing I can think of ... do you have someone going with you and who will drive you home after?  One of the patients who was in pre-op with me didn't realize that she wasn't going to be able to drive herself home after her minor hand surgery ... Dr told her that if she couldn't get a hold of someone to pick her up, she'd be admitted!!
Sep '99: Tore left ACL (football) - misdiagnosed
Sep '99-Apr '09: Lived with pain and buckling
Apr '09: New PCP (who listened), MRI and OS consult - proper dx
May '09: LK ACL Allograft and 25% medial meniscus removal
Sep '09: Released from PT and OS ... back to things I haven't done in 10 years!

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 03:36:27 AM »
I just wanted to update everyone, I am 10 days post op and doing pretty good so far. Slowly weaning myself off the crutches, still using the ice machine and elevating at night. I'm still having moderate pain especially now that I am moving it more and slowly working on ROM but the pain pills help. I got my stitches out today and had steri-strips put on to keep the wound closed untill it heals. My OS showed me some pics he took while operating on my knee and said my meniscus was pretty thrashed but he is confident that I will make a full recovery. Now I am on to 6 weeks of PT 2x a week, I cant do any fencing or riding until 7 weeks. I cannot WAIT to get back to my normal activities.
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2009, 03:14:25 AM »
Another update, I'm a month out from surgery and doing pretty decently. I'm still kinda gimpy and have soreness/stiffness in the A.M. and P.M. but physical therapy is moving along good. I'm thrilled that I can bend to about 100 degrees now, not so thrilled when the PT stretches it straight though. I still sleep with memory foam pillows under my leg and find this helpful in preventing me from thrashing about when I'm sleeping. I'm trying to do everything possible to give my knee the best recovery.

I actually took a small step up a curb today, wasn't -too- bad. My knee still feels "loose" though, working on more PT to get it tightened back up. I will be getting fit for an athletic knee brace sometime in October as there is still a bit of swelling in my knee right now which wont help with getting the perfect fit. I guess I'm a slow healer  ::)
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline DennisF

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2009, 11:47:10 AM »
I hope you continue to let us know how you go over the next year. Good luck.
KNEES: Complex medial meniscus tear and deep lateral femoral condyle fissure on LHS, chondral ulceration to 50% depth on RHS. Also possible hip arthritis.

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2009, 10:39:50 PM »
Update

I went to the OS yesterday for a follow up, everything is looking good. I have about 139 degrees bend but not doing so great on the flexion. I spoke with the OS about this then asked him exactly -how- much was removed. He drew me a picture and said the entire back half of the meniscus has been completely removed, but he left a small moon shaped sliver around the outside. I was kinda surprised and asked how this would affect my fencing, he said as long as I kept my movements back/forth I will be fine, just no sideways twisting movements. You can imagine my distress when I heard this since there is a good portion of the style of fencing I do that involves sideways movements. I then asked about knee braces again to which he said that he doesn't think they would help with the meniscus as most of them are only for ACL injuries.


So, yeah. Pretty distressed here. Should I get a second opinion from an orthopaedic who specializes in athletics? Should I even continue to pursue my fencing if I have barely half a meniscus left?
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

Offline Tyana

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Re: Complex tear of the medial meniscus
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2009, 06:21:36 PM »
2 Month Post Op

So today marks 2 months since the operation, PT is progressing along for another 6 weeks (due to lots of muscle atrophy). My PT says there is "still alittle hitch in my giddy'up" when I walk, mostly due to having residual pain when I straighten my leg completely. My bend is pretty good but still working on straightening. I am doing the stationary bike for about 15 minutes every day which leaves me alittle sore afterwards. The weather has cooled off a lot here and I have noticed significant stiffness in that knee in the mornings but this is to be expected. Overall I am pleased to not have the pain from the initial injury but now I am just dealing with trying to not overdo it. I have slowly begun babysteps to recreating my fencing technique and style with help from my instructor, certain things are still offlimits like going full speed and doing lunges.

I went ahead and bought a mid grade knee brace at the PT's suggestion. My Dr. didn't think any of the knee braces available would help support/prevent damage to my meniscus during fencing, but admitted he didn't know a lot about my sport. So yeah, kinda frustrated there but focusing on getting more muscle tone and getting up to speed.
Complex tear through the body and posterior horn-Med meniscus 6/20/2009
Med meniscus partial menisectomy surgery 70% removed 8/10/2009

 















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