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Author Topic: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn  (Read 2109 times)

Offline Trequartista

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Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« on: July 06, 2011, 11:18:56 PM »
I just registered today, but have been reading these forums for about 6-7 months. I hoped I never would have to.

I injured my knee about some 10 months ago and have stayed off of it waiting for it to heal until I finally saw a dr and an orthopedist (I didn't have health insurance then). I finally spoke with my orthopedist on the 5th for a follow-up after the MRI, and he confirmed my fears: I have a meniscus tear. According to the MRI: "there is a horizontal tear of the anterior horn and the body , with several small associate meniscal cysts. There is also a small parrot-beak type radial tear involving the apex of the body of the meniscus." The report also mentions that there is "tricompartmental cartilage irregularity" with no further details (I forgot to ask my orthopedist what this meant, can anyone help?), not really looking good and from the longitudinal (long-term) studies I've read about partial menisectomies leading to arthritis down the line.

In short, I'm going to speak to a surgeon who my orthopedist recommended as being very conservative and having alot of experience with sports injuries on the 14th of this month. I just turned 24 two months ago, am not overweight, have never had any knee problems, and was very active before I injured it - football/soccer is everything to me. I mentioned the studies I had been reading about partial menisectomies leading to arthritis, and the orthopedist told me that he had a similar tear that he suffered in a skiing accident in the 70's and that he was still able to play sport until the 90's (at which point, several surgeries later he had a replacement), he told me that I "should get a good 20 years out of it" (definitely not what I wanted to hear). I cried for hours, and have been depressed since, I don't know what do, to be honest. I can't bear the thought of being sentenced to a life time of knee problems and arthritis, or having to give up playing, and having these problems even if I do.

I'm pretty hopeless already  :'( .Am I certain to get arthritis as a result of the menisectomy even if I only have small pieces taken out? Should I stop playing? Does everyone that have this procedure eventually develop arthritis down the line (I read a longitudinal study where 27% showed signs of arthritis on MRIs after 15-22 years follow up - makes me think of the other 73%). Any feedback would be greatly appreciated from anyone, but especially those who had the surgery a long time ago/recently...
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 12:35:18 AM by Trequartista »

Offline Trequartista

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Re: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 07:54:29 AM »
Had the surgery last Thursday. The surgeon told my girlfriend (since I was out of it because of the anesthesia) that they took out less than 10%, but I was kind of shaking when the nurse told me that they took out a "good chunk" when I asked her how much they had taken out when I woke up (I guess 10% is a good chunk, anyway).

I'm going to see the surgeon again for a follow-up on Monday. I've been taking the pain medication, keeping my knee elevated with a pillow under my leg, and using ice regularly to decrease the swelling, and using crutches mostly to get around the apartment, not bearing much weight on the operated knee. I'm scared and worried as to what the future will hold for me, even though it's out of my control now that I've already had the surgery. Any suggestions as to what I should be doing post-op at this point?

I'll keep you posted.

Offline Run262

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Re: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2011, 04:57:32 PM »
I also had a small portion of my meniscus removed last Thursday... I have a report I've been maintaining on this site under the meniscus section, it might help to see what I've been doing and experiencing.

Are you doing any type of post-op rehab? Where you given any instructions about what to do after surgery and before your first follow up appt. with your Dr.?

I've been doing a list of rehab exercises every day since the day after the surgery, at least 3x a time.

2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Trequartista

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Re: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 05:50:21 PM »
I also had a small portion of my meniscus removed last Thursday... I have a report I've been maintaining on this site under the meniscus section, it might help to see what I've been doing and experiencing.

Are you doing any type of post-op rehab? Where you given any instructions about what to do after surgery and before your first follow up appt. with your Dr.?

I've been doing a list of rehab exercises every day since the day after the surgery, at least 3x a time.

Thanks for your reply, Run, I've been reading your thread. I wasn't given any PT exercises do after surgery after the surgery.

I went to my follow-up today to remove stitches and see the dr. who performed the surgery. He showed me a few pictures of the surgery showing the tear and what he removed. I had two tears, right next to each other. I'm wondering now if the second tear happened because I kept playing football/soccer (what I think). Can two tears happen right next to each other like that otherwise? I'm really curious about that. He assured me that he removed less than 10%, that there was no arthritis and said that I should not have any problems going forward. God willing, I'm hoping he's right. Overall, I'm still a bit worried.

As far as activities, he told me that I have no restrictions other than feeling pain, and that with the exception for high-impact sports for about another 6 weeks I can bike and swim. I'm thinking about trying to bike a little on 0 resistance as soon as I can get around without crutches.

The swelling has gone down and I'm regaining flexion little by little, although it's still a bit swollen and I feel pain when I put weight on the leg, so I'm still relying on crutches mostly to get around.

I'll update this weekly with how the physical therapy and exercising is going, and hopefully it can help others in a similar position.

Offline JuhaH

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Re: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 02:05:46 PM »
Hi,

10% meniscectomy is allmost nothing. You will be fine in forthcomin years :)
Good luck.
B.r. Juha,
Skiing accident in january 2010. Left knee, medial joint space narrowing and constant pain following partial meniscectomy (30% medial meniscus left). Trying to prolong the knee replacement as long as I can.

Offline Trequartista

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Re: Meniscus tear in the anterior horn
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 09:37:16 PM »
Thanks for the reply, JuhaH.

I've been doing PT in the last two weeks and slowly strengthening my right leg. The muscles had atrophied and they're focusing on strengthening the muscles my muscles overall but with a focus on my vmo, as well as flexibility and extension. They have me doing squats and some resistance exercises at this point.

I'm starting to be able to walk normally now, but I feel a burning on the side of my knee and weakness when I do the squats. After I'm done I feel pain in the back of my knee. There's still swelling and water I'm told. I've been a bit slacking with the icing to be honest, but that's something I think I'm going to have to start doing again.