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Author Topic: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op  (Read 8124 times)

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Offline sienna

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horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« on: September 29, 2003, 07:03:25 AM »
Please help.
Iwas experiencing pain when bending my right knee and could no longer squat.  It was weak and difficult to get up from the lower positions.  I saw my GP after my physio said he could do nothing further for me.  She sent me for xrays which turned up normal.  She then referred me to a knee specialist.  He sent me for an MRI. It showed that I had a horizontal tear in the posterior meniscus which didn't break through to the outside.  I spoke with my Speciialist who informed me of the choices of surgery and no surgery.  It was deemed that an arthroscopy was the best chance for repair followed by four weeks in a splint and four more weeks on crutches.  I had the op in Sep (3 wks ago).  The hospital did not give me any pain killers upon discharge.  This left me in excruciating pain once the morphine(given post op) had worn off.  Panadol did nothing.  After a sleepless night and another one rapidly approaching, I called for an after hours doctor to come and visit.  He gave me some painkillers and a prescription to get some more.  One week later, I still could not walk, and was still experiencing a lot of pain.  My foot feels tingly as well. I visited the spec. who could not believe that I was still unable to walk and was in so much pain.  He couldn't offer any reason for this but told me to 'take it easy' and renewed my painkiller prescription.  I started doing the quad exercises.  At two weeks I could manage to use the crutches to walk.  My knee is still swollen.  I am unable to touch a large area around my knee because it is almost numb.  This area has slowly decreased.
At three weeks, my agility on crutches is improving.  I am still on nightly and some daily painkillers.  I still can't touch the front area around and below my knee.  The scars are healing nicely.  My foot goes dark purple when I am up for a period of time.  I'm told this is due to the blood pooling and not being circulated well enough by my muscles.  Apparently this will go.  
I want to know if there is anyone out there who can help me.  How long is this going to take?  Why can't I touch my knee?  It is swollen and hot.   >:(  Fed up
« Last Edit: September 29, 2003, 07:04:07 AM by sienna »
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2003, 07:30:16 AM »
Hi Sienna:
I am so sorry to hear of your latest difficulties, but if it is hot, swollen and tender to touch I would get it checked out asap to rule out blood clot or a dvt.  I would call your doctor first thing in the morning.  Do you have a fever with this???  Last August I had ankle surgery, and when I got out of my cast my leg turned red, hot and swollen and I couldn't touch it, my doc told me to get to the ER to rule out a blood clot, and sure enough that is what I had.  Was put on a blood thinner for three months and seemed to clear it up.
Don't mean to scare you, but please call your doc and get it looked at.  Keep us posted.
-Kolleen

Offline neil

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2003, 07:53:50 AM »
 I would also check into the blood clot issue, as after each of my surgeries, i am prescribed asprin for blood thinning. also the numbness of your kneee, i have the same and it is ok to touch the area, your nerves have possibly been cut during surgery but sensation should return, my did first time around except for an area they told me i would not get sensation back in.  communicate with your surgeon, if you hurt, call him, if foot turns purple call him.  are you supposed to weight bear with the knee?  i am a week post surgery and can not weight bear, butt i have mastered crutches except in tight areas, tho i only move around my house.
good luck
neil
9-13-02 - present, 4 surgeries to right knee. quad severed, piece of femoral condyle cut off, shaving of patella. had cartilage implant 9-22-03, fluid drain, cultures & manipulation10-21-03

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2003, 07:55:30 AM »
Thanks for your reply, Kolleen.  I'm only new at this.
I don't have a fever and my knee is not red.  It's just swollen and hot.  Someone did ask me about  DVT before.  Thanks for asking.  I am scheduled to see my spec. tomorrow.  Boy has he got some questions to answer!
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2003, 08:02:58 AM »
Hi Neil,
No I am not supposed to weight bear as far as I know.  I had wondered if there was some nerve damage.  I don have a two inch long scar on the inside of my knee.  I think the spec had trouble reaching the tear.  Also I read that for fixing posterior tears they have to hyper extend you knee.  That may also be responsible for the extra pain.  Keep going with the crutches.  You'll get there.  I have mastered most tight areas including the toilet but only because there is a hand rail on the wall that was there when we bought the house.   Thank goodness I didn't bother to take it off!  However when I'm tired my coordination is not that good.  It's better than the office chair and plank of pine that I was using for two weeks post op.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2003, 12:04:14 PM »
hi everyone,
I saw my spec for the second post op visit.  I had some questions for him this time.  I asked him about the hypersensitivity around my knee.  he said  it was probably due to some nerve stretching.  I didn't think nerves would stretch that much but would break.  but that was what he said.  I also asked him why there was still so much pain and swelling.  He said it would go down in time and everyone reacts differently.  Then I asked him if he thought my injury would heal.  He hoped so.  Didn't sound all too convincing but said it was better that he'd repaired it and not had to remove it.  I asked how much was actually torn.  His answer blew me away. :o He said it was the whole length of the posterior part of the meniscus and that I would have lost a lot of the meniscus if he removed it.  :'( Not happy.  This injury all started when I was kicked by a student at work.  Now I could be stuck with it long term.  I don't want to be too negative but at the moment I can't help it.  Anyway I start pt next week.  More pain.....
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline dm

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2003, 02:57:10 AM »
Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time of it.  Hopefully it will heal. Meniscal tears heal very slowly due to the lack of blood supply to the meniscus itself. It could be several months before you're back to normal. Take it easy, and don't be afraid to complain or call the doc if you think something's wrong. Better to ask, then suffer through something that they could fix! No question is dumb. The worst case scenario I could imagine is that you don't have much success with it mending itself, and you end up having to have the knee scoped and have a partial menisectomy (remove the torn part).  The recovery time for that is much shorter, just so you know. I have had 2 partials and with the last one in Jan, I was off crutches entirely in 3 weeks.

I hope things improve for you. I found that using icepacks a lot helps dull the pain. You might try it. Elevating your knee above the heart and icing it can help bring down the swelling. Flex your foot back and forth while the knee's  elevated to get the circulation going. That can help the swelling as well.

with regards to being kicked by a student at work, if you are in the US, have you looked into if this all falls into worker's comp?? There's a time limit to notify one's superiors at work, if worker's comp may apply to you.

Anyway, take it easy, hope it gets better for you soon.
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 sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2003, 06:54:37 AM »
Thanks dm.
I am in Australia and fortunately this has come under workers
comp.  I can't ice the injury because of some nerve damage below and around my knee.  It is hypersensitive and unable to stand touch.  I have used wet cloths with success.  I even tried freezing the cloth but it was just too cold and burned the area.  Thankfully this area has slowly decreased but still remains untouchable below the knee where I am experiencing the most pain.  My spec doesn't want to remove any meniscus because he says I am too young.  I guess it's good that he wants to try other things first.  
:-/
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2003, 07:23:05 AM »
Update.
I saw my spec last Tuesday.  He was not very forthcoming with info unless I asked hime something specific.  He said that the hypersensitive area below my knee  is probably due to some 'nerve stretching' and would 'go away in time'.   Not very helpful.  He also said that the entire posterior horn was torn and that I would have lost  a lot of meniscus if he had taken it out.  That distressed me a lot.  anyway he wants me to start pt on Thursday.  I'm a bit worried because of the hypersensitive area and the swelling still around the knee.  I'm tired of being told that I should be walking and I should not be in so much pain and that it should not be so swollen.  this is of course followed by everyone is different and reacts differently.    but then they still expect me to reach the same goals in the same time.  Man, does anyone else get that?  My injury is taking a long time so why can't they pace my recovery accordingly to suit my needs?!      >:(
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline ozzybug

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2003, 08:17:50 PM »
Sienna-
I know that you are very frustrated right now about the "generalized" answers you are getting.  I agree with you totally.

I hit a roadblock/setback post op because of my fall.  I too had meniscus repair/anchoring and my OS told me that removal would have been worse because of the location of the tear and the amount of meniscus that would have had to come out.

And yes, I get the "everyone heals differently..." answer quite regularly myself.  I had been meeting all of my "post-op goals" until I fell on my crutches, and since then have been having more & more problems with my knee :-[.  So far, I am getting no answers and it does wear on the patience quite a bit.

I am truly sorry that you are having a bad time with this, but please know that you are not alone.  I know that doesn't help much, but we are here for you- and many of us are feeling quite a bit like you are.

Do things at your own pace and if the OS & PT say otherwise, just explain to them exactly what you are feeling and remind them that they themselves have told you that everyone reacts/heals/recovers differently and that they need to remember that when they start generalizing your needs.

Please keep the faith & be strong- this is your body and your recovery.  I hope things get better for you & please feel free to vent with us.

Lezlee
Rt knee:Meniscal repair 8/03: Repair prev. meniscus repair 10/03;Chondro shave, scar tissue removal 12/03;LR,debridement chondro & scar tissue 04/02/04;TTT done 09/14/04;VMO advancement 04/2005- Does it ever end?

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2003, 06:55:11 AM »
Thanks Lezlee.
I just read your latest response and wish you extra good luck
Yes I am starting to get frustrated with it all.  It takes so long to do anything simple.  I even have to plan when I go to the toilet  :P  And I know that lots of you have felt this before and I really appreciate the support  :)  Thanks.
My knee is feeling a little better today so far.  I can see a little more of my kneecap through the swelling.  And I can move it a little further as well.  
And as for the 'everyone is different' phrase, I think I will scream if someone says it to me again!  It will probably be my pt so I hope he's ready!   I have also had this dream about kicking him in the face after he touches some part of my knee.  It is a reflex action but it worries me.  I hope it doesn't come true. :-/  I will warn him of course, and then he will just have to suffer the consequences......
Oh well.  All will be revealed on Thursday.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline ozzybug

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2003, 05:29:35 PM »
Best of luck to you on Thursday.  You might want to put a couple extra pairs of socks on that foot, or maybe even a boxing glove to help soften the blow if you do actually end op kicking the PT. (sorry- bad joke, I know)

Seriously though- from one crutch walker to another- good luck to you!  Have a great day & take care of that knee!!  Please let us know how it goes for you!

Lezlee
Rt knee:Meniscal repair 8/03: Repair prev. meniscus repair 10/03;Chondro shave, scar tissue removal 12/03;LR,debridement chondro & scar tissue 04/02/04;TTT done 09/14/04;VMO advancement 04/2005- Does it ever end?

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2003, 05:47:01 AM »
Oh Ozzybug,
I couldn't help laughing at your sock suggestion.  Maybe it's not such a bad idea!  ;D  I will keep everyone up to date.
I'm 4wks post today and taking small baby steps at a time.
Thanks for your support Lezlee.  ;)
From one crutch walker to another.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline sienna

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2003, 11:12:53 AM »
Well I had my first pt today.  I didn't sleep well last night worry about it.  I went and saw my class of kids first. They were sooooo excited to see me that they didn't know what to do with themselves.  It was so cute.  Then they had to show all of the work they had been doing.  It's great to see kids loving to learn.  Anyway everyone had said that I had lost weight.  I knew I had because of surgery knocking me around but they said I'd lost more.  I'm a bit concerned because I can't afford to lose any more weight.   Sorry to those who are trying to lose weigth but the problem yo have with getting it off is just the same for me trying to keep it on.
Anyway back on track.  I was so stressed about pt that I was crying before he had even started.  The thought of the amount of pain I was in post op was just too much.  Luckily for me, he is a very understanding pt.  I have been to him before and he was good but we used to joke about him liking to cause pain because that's what pt's do.  But he was really wonderful.  He was very gentle and patient and once he started it wasn't as bad as I thought.  I was so worried about the nerve damage but he had experienced it, too.  He has just had some knee recon two months ago.  I am just so relieved.   He's given me some exercises to do.  I have to try to straighten and bend my knee.  Apparently I should have been bending it a lot sooner but my os never told me.  My pt said he was a good surgeon but agreed that post op he was not so good.  Anyway I am fully confident that I will go well with my pt and I trust him to do the right thing by me.  Trust is a big thing, isn't it?  
PS I told him about the sock thing and he laughed, a little.  I think he was a bit wary but I also think it helped him to realise the trouble I'd been having.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline ozzybug

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Re: horizontal medial meniscus tear..post op
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2003, 10:35:30 PM »
Sienna-

I am soo soo happy to hear that PT went well for you.  This is one of those post-op "triumphs" you know.  Kepp it up.  Keep on going because you can do this.

Sounds like you are a teacher?  Wasn't it nice to be able to see the kids again?  And the fact that they were so proud of their work and wanted to share it with you speaks highly of your abilities in that department.

Yeah, I can see how the PT might be wary, especially if you told him that you were afraid you might give him the ole kick-a-roo!

I went for my second opinion today, and the new OS has scheduled me for a 2nd arthroscopy at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow!  I won't go in to details- I posted those on the crisis board under my original post of "Growing more & more concerned".  If you want to take a look you can go there.

Again, I am sovery ahppy for you and hope that you will continue to do better each & every day.  You are on the right path, and soon I will be as well.

I think that light at the end of the tunnel may just be getting brighter!! ;)

This crutch walker must bid a fond farewell for now.  I'll let you know how it goes when I am back from surgery and able to get to the computer!!

Good thoughts are coming your way!!

Lezlee
Rt knee:Meniscal repair 8/03: Repair prev. meniscus repair 10/03;Chondro shave, scar tissue removal 12/03;LR,debridement chondro & scar tissue 04/02/04;TTT done 09/14/04;VMO advancement 04/2005- Does it ever end?















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