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Author Topic: Bucket Handle Tear  (Read 7293 times)

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Offline kneesurgery

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Bucket Handle Tear
« on: October 15, 2004, 10:38:09 PM »
Hi, New to the board.

I just got word from my OS that I have a bucket handle tear of the lateral meniscus and will need an arthroscopy soon or complications could further.  The injury happened 9/27.  My question is what kinda of damgage am I doing by delaying the surgery, and if you have any other information about this type of tear or something else i would want to hear then please share.

I am unable to straighten my leg as well.  I would love to get this done as soon as possible because not walking is a pain but I have a conflict with the day he wants to schedule me.  

Great site by the way.

Offline dm

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2004, 01:01:20 AM »
As I understand it, having the torn piece flopping around in there is causing excess wear. In the short term, its annoying and uncomfortable, but as time goes on, it hurts more and can even cause wear on the parts the torn bit is rubbing against, which contributes to arthritis setting in.
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 AndrewC

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2004, 04:04:35 PM »
Hi there

knee surgery........I had a big displaced bucket handle tear to my lateral meniscus....and I could not walk at all on it until I had the op after 5 weeks. My leg was also locked and I could not physically straighten it  :o

It depends on how bad your injury is and if you can walk on it at all? also, you say you cant straighten it?

I had to wait 5 weeks for my op and altho I was careful not to cause more damage in the wait (crutches etc) the fact that I had waited so long made my recovery a nightmare.......

It took me over three weeks of painful exercises and sleeping with my leg in awkward positions until I could even get my leg properly straight.....

If I were in your shoes I would not let anything get in the way of the surgery...not after the 4 months "recovery" I have had since my meniscal repair! (tough)
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline kneesurgery

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2004, 01:44:59 AM »
Hey thanks for the replys...Im a college student and i happen to have 4 tests the same day that the surgeon schedules arthros.  I've decided this is too important to chance for another week so I am going to except the nightmare of taking make up tests for all 4 classes.  

I cannot walk on it...but I can limp around on my toe with my leg bent.  I can support a suprising amount of pressure on it when the leg is bent. Enough to support my entire body taking a step out of the shower.

It will be 3 and a half weeks from the date of the injury to the time i get surgery so I agree ive been waiting long enough.  The nurse told me its ok to continue limping around on the leg.  I find this very strange after reading about bucket handle tears.  Even though she says to keep walking on it, I am taking the safer road and staying immobile as much as possible.

I am excited to hear you got the tear repaired.  I think that would be for the best.  But I have also read horror stories on this board about a repair job that took 4 months of recovery only to tear again from a menial movement.  I surely hope you have better luck.

I do like that this gives me a serious excuse to get back in the gym and finally give my leg muscles the respect they deserve.  (I always hated working out legs, why are they never as fun as chest).


Offline Heather M.

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2004, 01:59:04 AM »
Here's a great resource on meniscal injuries and surgical considerations.  Since your knee is locked, it does make it kind of an urgent case, but surely the doctor can wait one day for your tests?  Or would it be too difficult to study with the severe pain--I could totally see that happening.  Sounds like a difficult situation all the way around.  If you have meniscal repair, you will have a much longer recovery, though your knee may be healthier in the long run.  However, a repair may not be possible once the surgeon gets in there, so be prepare--the good news about removal of the damaged bits is that you should heal rapidly and feel MUCH better after it's removed.

Here's the link:
http://www.steadman-hawkins.com/meniscus/overview.asp

If you go down to the bottom of the first page of the link, you will see different types of meniscal tears; click on these, and a picture will pop up.  It's a great resource--read through all the pages of the link.

Heather
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 01:59:18 AM by hmaxwell »
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hmaxwell

Offline kneesurgery

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2004, 04:20:07 AM »
Thanks for the link and information Heather.  I would have no problem waiting a day, but the doctor only does arthroscopies on thursdays, so I would have to wait a week and he said thats a bad idea because I cannot straighten my leg.  

As I said I am pretty torn as to what i would prefer as to repair or removal.  Both situations present their own set of problems.  I am a serious basketball player, I play every day of the week (atleast I did before the injury, which happened playing basketball...Irony).  Because of this i am almost leaning toward removal because it will allow me to get back to playing shape quickly.  As I said the stories of repaired tears that take 4 months to recover from only to tear again doing a situp really frightens me.  I can picture this scenario happening to me as I intend to start playing again as soon as possible.  





Offline AndrewC

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2004, 07:51:31 PM »
Kneesurgery

Your symptoms sound very similiar to mine....
I could hop around on one leg but I could support my weight on my injured leg if the leg was bent!(stood still)
I ended up using it almost like a balance before the op and used crutches everywhere as I physically could not walk.....
You are wise to use crutches and protect the leg, you want to try and minimise any further damage to the knee.
Also, I am surprised a nurse told you that you could walk on it.....this sounds like dodgy advice if you are in anything like the state I was in!

As for the surgery......to repair or remove??
Well, Heather is right that they may not be able to repair it even if you decided thats what you wanted.....but....bucket handle tears apparently often make good candidates for repairs (so my OS said) and another major factor is that.....by their very nature they involve a substantial portion of the meniscus (cartilage). You have a displaced bucket handle tear....it is the displaced bit that is physically preventing you from straightening your leg...these are often the biggest tears  :o as it is exactly what I had and I did a LOT of research on the injury while I was incapacitated.....

Meaning....if it is repairable, you should seriously think about having the repair done as opposed to removal as depending on how much meniscus is removed.....a lot of people on this site have come across problems further down the line that are much more serious than their original injury (joint space narrowing etc) if they have had a sizeable portion of the meniscus removed.......

Also, the failed repair your on about...I believe it was a guy called Curtiss your referring to??
If so his repair was heavily invloved with the white zone of the meniscus which has no blood supply so it was a gamble on his surgeons part to try it from what he said....
The meniscus only has a blood supply at the periphery and luckily my tear was right through the red zone and a little into the white (central portion) so Im hoping and praying that it has healed OK!!

Figures that I posted from a medical site regarding repairs to bucket handle tears show a 68% success rate....or 32% failure rate depending on how you look at it!!Just let me know if you want the link.

Either way.....think it over carefully because although my recovery has been much longer than a removal....the end result will be hopefully loads better!?

Also, I have been at the gym 5-6 nights per week working on building my legs up to help the recovery and protect them and I am starting to see excellent results....although my repaired leg is still somewhat behind my "ok" one muscle wise but I think that is to be expected for a while..

All the best

just let me know if you have any questions I might be able to help out with
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 07:52:20 PM by andrewc »
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline kneesurgery

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2004, 10:26:23 PM »
I certainly am going to have him repair it if possible.  I didnt mean to imply I didnt have that intention.  I was just expressing the negatives of both.  I think I was just trying to make myself feel better about meniscectomy.  

Its good to hear that most are repairable, but my OS gave me a completely different view.  He said most likely it wont be repairable and most are not.  He went on to try and make me feel better about removing the torn piece by telling my all the pro athletes take that road.

I wonder if I have to worry about trusting the doctor to make the best decision once hes in there, because I was looking for some reassurance about repairing it and all he wanted to talk about was removing it.

Is it just a cut and dry decision? For example: If the tear is in the red zone then suture it.  If its in the white remove it.  

How routine is this procedure.  Should I feel confident he will do a good job, or should I be looking for some serious expertise?

Offline kneesurgery

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2004, 06:25:39 AM »
Well Ive decided to seek better medical attention.  

I have flown into Miami and will be operated on by the Miami Heat team doctor.  I feel much more confident that he will do the best job for me.  I will have surgery on Wednesday and will keep an update as to my recovery.  

Thanks for the help,

Jesse

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2004, 01:21:56 PM »
Hey there Jesse

Wise move to see someone who is proven as a good OS.
Sorry I missed your last post but to answer your questions......


Repairing a meniscus well is a far more skilled job than removing and trimming the damaged meniscus....
Some surgeons are not experienced at this procedure and prefer to "remove" than "repair"

It doesnt seem relevant to berate your "old" OS now your seeing a new one so I wont!!!
but repair should really be at the forefront of a surgeons mind wherever possible....

Its not excatly a cut and dry decision but if the tear is "mainly" in the red zone and is not too complex then repair is certainly a possibility.....
A lot of it comes down to the location of the tear + the surgeons skill and experience with repairs.

Good luck on Wednesday and keep me posted on the outcome. If you have any specific Questions you want to ask just IM me by clicking on my name and selecting the Instant Message option!

All the best
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline kneesurgery

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2004, 10:22:25 PM »
Well I had the surgery yesterday.

Coming into Miami to see a well reputed doctor was best thing I could have done.  He repaired the tear and was able to save 98 percent of the meniscus.  He said it took him an hour and twenty minutes to complete the repair, when it normally takes twenty minutes.  Not sure if thats good or bad, but apparently I had some extensive damage.  He said I tore it in just the right place and it has good blood supply to heal.  

I am sure if I went to the doctor in Orlando he would have just removed it, as that is what another surgeon suggested while he was operating.

The doctor has a website Jocdoconline.com.  

Ok now the surgery was the easy part for me.  Its the recovery thats going to be tough.  After the pain medication wore off from the hosiptal, I realized I am in alot of pain.  I have to work on straightning my leg because its been stuck in a bent position for so long.  This is the most painful part.  I will be in a brace and crutches for 4 weeks and I start PT tomorrow.  I wish they had a better brace that forced my leg straight...but in this one i can still bend it, when putting a pillow under my knee.  

I will continue updating as my rehab progresses.  So far so good...Thanks for listening.    


Offline AndrewC

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Re: Bucket Handle Tear
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2004, 01:17:34 AM »
Hi there

Kneesurgery...I have posted you an IM

All the best
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,