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Author Topic: possible meniscus injury - any advice welcome!  (Read 964 times)

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Offline Jo McKenzie

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possible meniscus injury - any advice welcome!
« on: April 16, 2006, 01:34:47 PM »
Hi, any advice very welcome on this one...I twisted my left knee skiing about six weeks ago. The right ski came off and my body twisted right round on the left ski. Felt a HUGE tearing through that knee, got home, went through A&E who diagnosed a torn medial collateral ligament and sent me to physio. The main symptom, apart from general pain and a bit of swelling, was that the knee could hardly bend - any attempt to bend it past a slight angle was extremely painful. Thee weeks of the physio trying to get the knee moving (telling me that it was most likely to be the leg muscles in spasm) made no differnece to movement and the knee started getting more painful. This culminated in a second physio taking a look at it, during which they tried to force the knee to bend... the pain from this was worse than the injury! Needless to say I was reduced to tears (!) at which they finally decided it might be a meniscus tear. The day after this session the knee was still so painful that (on the advice of the physio) I went back to A&E. This time a very helpful doc thankfully referred me to the osteopath and said that it probably was the meniscus and that I'd need a 'scan' (MRI I assume). That was two weeks ago and I've got my appointment with the osteopath for Weds. What I'd really appreciate is some advice on how to handle this appointment: basically I've now had an immobile knee for six weeks, and I'm getting increasingly worried about the effect of this on my eventual healing. The second A&E doc told me to ignore the ongoing physio advice to 'keep it moving as much as possible' and has told me to rest it until the osteopath sees it - I've been in so much pain I've been doing the latter, but I also know that having no movement for so long can't be doing it any good either. It's also (since the physio attack!) been getting increasingly painful, with shooting pains down the back of the knee and into the calf, and increasing pain at the side where the original ligament damage was diagnosed. I'm also finding that when I have the tubigrip bandage on it, after a while the knee starts to swell and my foot gets very cold, as if circulation is being affected. Very worrying!!!
From reading around I understand I might need surgery and might not - but what I'd really like advice on is what I might expect the specialist to say regarding treatment in general. Basically I'm worried that he/she is going to take a look, say the same as A&E and put me on a long list for an MRI scan - meaning that any treatment I might need is still delayed. The thought of more weeks of pain (and no sleep!) while my knee gets worse through immobility is worrying. But I've never had a knee injury before (or any serious injury) and to be honest I don't know if I'm making a fuss about something that's easily fixable, won't be getting worse through delay, and just requires patience! I also understand that the NHS is overstretched...what do others think? Does this sound bad enough for me to insist that something should be done sooner rather than later, and if so what? Was it bad practice for the physios to spend three weeks trying to bend this knee without realising something was more seriously wrong? (It seems so to me - but I'm no expert!) And does this straight and immobile knee sound like the symptoms of a meniscus tear? Any advice is most most gratefully received - Thanks! x

Offline Anya

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Re: possible meniscus injury - any advice welcome!
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2006, 07:06:58 PM »
Hi Jo!

Sorry to hear about your injury.  I am not qualified to give any advice on this - that's up to the OS who looks at your knee, but I can share my story.  Same thing, was skiing and fell, felt like smth or rather smths teared in my knee and I had a sharp pain for several minutes.  After that I slowly skied to the down and thought I'd ask for an ice pack and return to the slopes in half an hour.  I was seen by a doctor there who said I teard my ACL, and probably LCL, MCL and a miniscus and told me to schedule an appointment with an OS.  So I did and also stoped by later that day at the emergency, who took X-Rays and gave my an immobiliser and crutches.  I saw my OS 2 days later who diagnosed my with the ACL, LCL, and possible MCL and meniscus tear and referred me to do the MRI.  At the time of the appointment he told me to get rid of the immobiliser since it's not doing any good and was given a brace.  The brace lets your knee to bend which is important and would hopefullly save your leg from further injury if you fall.  So until the surgery I used the brace and crutches (I was allowed only 20% of weight bearing) and was encouraged to use a stationary bike to get back and preserve my ROM.  I described my surgery in the post-op diary section "ACL reconstruction and menisectomy".   

As for the symptoms I had - my leg was a bit swollen but not much, it did hurt a bit to do an awkward moove but while rested it did not hurt much. After the immobiliser it was quite stiff, I lost much of ROM even though I only used it for 2 days.  With the brace I had 90% before the surgery (I was told not to push it further because of the meniscus tear).   From strories posted here it looks like all of this can differ a lot.

I read it takes a long time to get the MRI under the NHS - how expensive is it if consider to do it privately?  Good luck!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 07:09:18 PM by Anya »