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Author Topic: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?  (Read 36401 times)

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Offline Bradds

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Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« on: November 13, 2008, 09:44:36 AM »
I have a medial meniscus tear and it does click often, but rarely causes any discomfort.

Does anybody know if this is likely to get worse, or if I should go through the surgery of a repair like the surgeon feels I should?
My worry is that it would rip more, start locking and the whole meniscus would have to be removed.

But if it wouldn't get worse I could possibly live with it.
I just worry about complications from surgery, the timescale of recovery and the percentage of successes.
I also wonder that if it isn't causing me too many problems, if that means it has a higher success rate of being repairable.

I have to decide really quick and let the surgeon know to pencil me in, but can't decide if it's best to have the surgery.

Any success stories or guidlines to when people could climb stairs comfortably after the op would be greatly appreciated in helping me make the right decision.

Offline pepsicola

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Re: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2008, 07:42:55 PM »
I had a miniscus operation inApril 2008.  I lived with the small tear in two places.  My pain was more uncomfortable and really could have continued with pain killlers as and when needed.  My injury was caused some 12 years earlier whilst attempting to play tennis. I regret having the operation as my pain is much worse than before.  I am 64 years old and enjoyed an active life walking.  Today 7 months later I can walk about 200 metres and have to sit to rest the knee.  I received 5 ingections of SYNVISC two months after the operation one every week.  This did not help me but I have come to the conclusion that the doctor should have put the whole shot into the painfull area. The doctor chose to ingect one ampule in six different areas and feel there was not enough to accomplish any god result.  I am asking tomorrow if I can have another five in the painfull area only.
I regret having had the tear so called trimmied.
Reading about the NHS in the UK it is not recomended for young or older people perhaps 50+.
Peter.

Offline jathib

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Re: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2008, 10:49:51 PM »
A meniscus tear cannot heal on its own because there is no blood supply. The only thing it can do is get worse. Most of the time they do. I walked on a tear for 17 years and by the time it locked up my knee I had arthritis.  Eventually I needed a partial knee replacement. They didn't do arthroscopic surgery, partial menisectomies or repairs in those days which is why I left it torn. Knowing what I know now I'd have had a partial menisectomy early on.

Is your doctor talking about doing an actual repair or just removing the torn bits of meniscus? There is a huge difference in both the procedure and post-op recovery period and protocol. Actual repairs are a long recovery and a high failure rate. A partial menisectomy is a quick recovery and will often relieve pain. However, if you're not having a lot of pain you might try to just keep your knee strong and mobile. Keep in mind that it will probably get worse over time.

Offline Plumb

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Re: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 04:52:32 AM »
Just a suggestion.  We can not tell you how bad your knee really is.  Peace of mind is going to see a specialist who will send you for an MRI or suggest a scope procedure.  Just keep in mind that the more your knee is messed about with.. you might get into a crappier situation.  If you have pain you can deal with now.. Get it looked at by a professional.  Try conservative measures such as PT to see if getting your leg stronger will benefit you.

For me.. I had intense pain before I went to even a GP.  The months prior I had pain issues upon weight bearing from a sitting position. I just thought I was stiff from the cold weather. My breaking point was when the cartildge was jamming into the joint.  Had surgery.. Knee was a war zone.  Had a knee replacement 2 years ago in that knee.

Nobody can tell you surgery is the key to fixing your situation for the better but a doctor.   It sounds as if you are putting up feelers to find out when it is surgery time.  Get the  MRI first.  Than go by pain levels.  Ask about the bigger impact down the road if you start taking cartlidge out and  what happens if your articular cartlidge is damaged.   

Also if you go for the surgery root. Be prepared for a good six months before you feel your best again.

Good Luck.


Offline Bradds

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Re: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 08:49:14 AM »
Thank for the info folks.
I have had a weekend of moderate continuous aching pain through my knee.
It does seem to be getting worse, I havent had that sort of pain since my ACL reconstruction.
I also spoke to a sports physio and he thinks having the surgery is the right option, even if they do start to operate and decide a repair is the best method to sort out my knee.

I have rang the hospital and got a surgery date of 18th December.
I will start a diary on here to give other people an idea of what the result of this operation is.

Thanks again for your help.

Dave Bradford

Offline bavage

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Re: Do untreated medial meniscus tears generally get worse?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 10:17:59 PM »
The meniscus cannot heal itself as there is no blood supply. Personally, I do know it will continue to deteriorate until you have to attended to it. The clicking noise is not a good sign.
Be good to yourself and get it checked out. Good luck.
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