First post/concerned spouse:
Husband injured knee in a training exercise which initially was treated with rest, ice, motrin. Pain didn't resolve so treatment progressed to physical therapy where he was diagnosed with iliotibial band issues. No improvement after months of physical therapy. Multiple X-rays and MRIs were all normal.
4 years after initial injury, the primary doc referred him for a knee scope. Ortho surgeon said he discovered mild cartilege degeneration but that there wasn't enough damage at that point to repair anything. Said my husband's knee was otherwise fine. All he had was a simple scope...no correction during the surgery. Husband was told he would need crutches for no more than 1 week post op and would, more than likely, return to full activities within a month. After the scope, he was in tremendous pain, requiring narcotic meds, rest and the use of crutches for about 5-6 weeks. Once he was able to walk without crutches, he had a significant limp, knee giving out on him every 4th or 5th step. Ortho surgeon kept telling him that this was normal recovery for him and was told physical therapy was not necessary. About 8 months after the first scope, he got a second opinion on his knee. The second ortho surgeon informed us that he discovered my husband's medial knee ligament had been cleanly cut away from the knee....basically, his meniscus was completely detached. I asked the surgeon what could have caused it and his face was almost dumbfounded, "Well, it is such a clean cut, it almost looks like a knife did it...Did you fall or anything?" No.
Several months later, my husband underwent a complete meniscus cadaver transplant. He is currently 5 months post op with a "slower than expected healing" prognosis. We were told he will, more than likely, require meniscus transplants every 10 years or so for the rest of his life. He can barely walk without his knee giving out every few steps.
He is 38 and in the military.
How can I find out if his meniscus could have been severed naturally during the healing process after the first scope or if we should look toward malpractice? Feeling a bit lost and don't know where to look for help. The second ortho surgeon's comment caught us off guard about "it almost looks like a knife did it".. and we have been questioning if the first ortho doc could have severed the ligament accidentally durign the first scope. What do I do to help my husband?