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Author Topic: Medial meniscus trim report  (Read 52947 times)

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Offline grapplingdude

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Medial meniscus trim report
« on: March 05, 2011, 05:31:24 PM »
All

A short background on myself. I am 29 years old and have been training in various grappling sports for a while including BJJ Judo and Wrestling. I have actually had no previous serious injuries and no surgery ever. I tore my left medial meniscus (flap tear on the posterior horn) about 11 months ago. I had MRI scan almost instantly and the result was that there was a small tear. The surgeon said that I needed surgery but the radiologist disagreed. I therefore tried conservative therapy and went to several physios, chiropractors and alternative practitioners in a bid to avoid surgery.

The symptoms at the time were that if I fully hyperflexed my left leg i.e. pulling the heel to my bottom the knee would "slip" and the meniscus would "pop". On extension everything would go back into place but the knee would feel unstable and a bit painful for a number of days. One interesting observation I made was that the pain was not around the posterior horn i.e. the back part of the meniscus but "referred" to the front part and also the patella area (which really woried me). Another observation i mad over the 11 months of therapy was that there seemed to be a slight maltracking / stickyness of the left kneecap which I THINK (but dont know for sure) I had never had before.

I did no grappling for about 5 months doing a combination of strength, unstable surfaces etc. The result was that perhaps my legs were stronger than ever but the popping / slipping issue would persist. I also got massively into stretching both dynamic and static after this which massively helped my flexibility and even my grappling but not the popping.

After 5 months I went back into grappling slowly at first once per week then after a month or so twice and so on. As such this has worked fine but the popping remained. Therefore a month ago I had another MRI which showed that the tear has progressed and the surgeon promissed that with surgery I would go back to normal and that long-term issues were minimal with menisectomy (partial).  The fact that the thing had progressed and the slight maltracking of the patella I seemed to be developing convinced me to have surgery.

I then had a partial menisectomy (25-30%) of the posterior horn of the left  medial meniscus on 2 March 2011 (3.5 days ago). Here are my observations so far:

Day 1: Operation early in the morning, wake up midday, mild thudding pain mainly around patella. Early afternoon I am given 6 basic physio exercises and I can hobble around short distances. The compression bandage is meant to stay on for 48 hours. Back home in the vening doing my physio exercises. Can barely bend the leg - feels sticky / wobbly and hurts when hyperextending. I take one painkiller not sure if I really need it.

Day 2: I can hobble around the house a bit and do my physio. Still little progress on range but no real pain. I decide to take no pain killers. The kne cap feels sticky/wobbly rather than painful.

Day 3: Can bend the knee a wee bit more but nothing to write home about. Not much pain. Still wobbly. I take off the compression bandage midday as instructed - massive swelling around the patella. Go for a walk to my local pub at night but half way I feel slightly overexerted I  nonetheless go to the pub. Go to bed slightly worried I overdid it:

Day 4 (today): Wake up and swelling is down feels slightly less wobbly and I can almost 90 degrees bend the knee. Biggest day on day progress so far.

I will keep you posted.

Offline nwc07

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2011, 07:28:33 PM »
Thanks for the info! I am getting the surgery next week.   I had a small tear that progressed to a larger tear after 5 months...It sounds as if you are healing very well!
09/10- left knee subluxation..

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 04:37:36 PM »
Day 5: So whats new today. I walk up and their is still noticeable swelling on the knee particularly around the patella but the knee feels a tad better than yesterday. I do my physio and everything is less strenuous. The knee can be relatively comfortably bent to just 90 degrees. However overall the knee is still sticky and wobbly. I went for another short walk and coul hobble a bit faster and further than yesterday before overexertion sets in. I tried walking up steps like a "normal" person and I can kind of do a couple but it is still awkward and unstable and overexertion sets in after a couple. Going down is expectedly more strnuous.

Went for another short walk in the afternoon and it went fine but the strain is building up. Still ok though can hobble no probs and still have same flexion as in morining / midday.

Overall there is noticeable progress but the knee is still so weak that I am far from overenthusiastic.  :-\

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 06:46:07 PM »
Day 6: Swelling is still there but noticeably going down. The knee is still stiff and unstable but less so. Flexion is up to 90-100 degrees. Get random mild pain around medial side and patella. Straight line walking is much better but still limited. I can force myself to walk stairs kind of normally but my gf tells me I look goofy and like I will fall over - definitely feels a lot easier than previously. Can now comfortably sit on a chair for longer periods with my knee bent near 90 degrees but still have to get up putting 90% of body weight onto the other leg.

Just went to the pub as well (oh the bliss of working from home) and again straight line walking is still hobbly but better than say yesterday. Overall slow but steady progress.

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 08:22:12 PM »
Day 7: I ll call this a relative success. Knee is still pretty bad but i can walk noticeably better faster and further. Knee is still quite sticky and unstable as i do it but fatigue takes about another 5 minutes to set in.
Flexion is a decent 100 degrees and i only seem to be able to naturally flex my healthy knee by another 25 - 30 degrees tops without pulling it in that is. I can easily pull my healthy knee all the way to 180 degrees whereas the other feels like it would dislocate but all is better than yesterday. I can take steps now without dragging my foot but still look like a drunk duck.

Offline MISS DIVA

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 09:12:09 PM »
Thanks for the updates, keep them coming :)

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 06:03:46 PM »
Day 8: It was last Wednesday morning at 9am I had my surgery so that makes it 7.5 days since. The swelling is down to such an extent that I can see localised swellings now particularly around the left side incision where I believe the camera went in. I hope that doesnt mean oinfection!!! That would  be very bad news indeed but fingers crossed there is no particular pain associated with it.

Movement f the knee is still like its running on glue and can be associated with occasional mild pain which is either local around patella or meniscus particularly the left upper outside of the knee and the lower left hamstring feel weird. Flexion is up again but hard to measur may be 110 degrees - ish not that much off natural standing flexion without force on the right knee.

Got  my follow up booked for Tuesday next week and cant wait for a precise update of a) what happened during surgery b) how does the surgeon think my knee has progressed and c) more ambitious exercises. I actually did push-ups three times today but that doesnt really exercise the knee so much.

I also then tried some unloaded c. 45 degree flexion squats but had to give up after 5. they generally felt unstable and he knee felt like it was about to swell up though it didnt cause I stopped.

In all another notch better than yesterday it seems.  :-\

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 10:32:11 PM »
Day 9: Dirst day back at work. I checked this on google and it's actually 0.9miles to the station and 1 mile from the station so a walk of about 2 miles each way. This is much more than i have braved in the past couple of days. It's kind of ok but i get massive fatigue after just over 1 mile in total. worse in the afternoon going back. starting to hobble again. i hope it's just fatigue not a genuine backlash.

My physio exercises seem a tiny bit easier with a fraction more flexion.My fatigue observatyions are. General swelling slightly up at night. nodular swelling around incisiuons def. up particularly around the left incision. not so much pain but tightness sand [ressure generally in the knee but particularly around lower outer hamstring and outer side of the left patella. This area has been feeling quite weird sometimes the past couple of days as in swelling tight....

Strange day in all.

Offline hardhead

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 12:01:06 PM »
Sounds like your doing well. I had the same surgery on the same day and I'm still on cruthches feels like somebodey is stabbing my knee in the lateral side when i put pressure on it. ???

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 02:01:22 PM »
Day 10: Walk up and the knee felt I guess different is the word. It felt stiffer than before but the leg/knee as a whole also felt somewhat stronger/firmer. Is this the dual effect of all the walking I did yesterday -probably a good 5 miles combined? If so, am I slightly overstretching myself by going to work again?  ???

At any rate walked back to work this morning (2 miles combined - just under) and the fist half or so the leg was not painful but stiffer than yesterday. Interestingly it seemed to be getting better / easier to walk towards the end (or did I just get used to the strain?). This is the opposite effect I have been observing previously where walking was easier at first and then getting progressively harder...

To describe the discomfort it is mainly located on the left part of the knee running up the side of the patella and knne and to the lower left hamstring. It is tight and stiff rather than painful. Feels similar to my right knee after my marathon around the lake on a slippery slope about a year and a half ago...

My physio exercises are going fine (they are the most basic things) although the stiffness in the morning slightly restricted any flexion exercises but not by too much. Flexion is probably around 115-120 degrees similar to yesterday definitely not better but not that much short of healthy knee.

In all i am pretty sure that I slightly overexerted myself by walking around so much and I now look forward to a weekend of rest and hopefully speedy improvement.

I also have been trying to get in touch with occupational health at work to see if they have any input...

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 10:28:35 AM »
Day 11: A fantastic 12 hours of sleep and rest following the last day's stiffness.Knee unfortuntely feels ver stiff still and the lower part of the outer hamstring feels like a bowstring, tightness of muscles around the knee is also very noticeable.

I do my physio exercises and flexion is unchangd around 115 degrees standing and without force. Compares to may be 150 degrees in the healthy knee which I can also fully pull in.

Walkingis fine obviously still afected by the stiffness / tightness. In all I feel that the past couple of days have been quite stagnant in all with little change either way...

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 08:52:33 AM »
Day 12: Had another 12 hours rest Saturday on Sunday and the knee was definitely less tight and stiff. Flexion is definitely back up to my post-op maximum of just shy of 120 degrees and I seem to be able to walk increasingly comfortably.

Downsides are the knee is still stiff and the muscles around it tight particularly outer lower part of the hamstring. Genaral swelling is quite low but persits and the nodular swelling around the incisions persists as well specially on the left side.

I am slightly worried that there may be inflammation / infection but it is not unduly painful (I think). Interestingly the less swollen inside is more painful when touched.

Well, I will be interested to hear the surgeon's opinion on Tuesday about my progress...

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 05:25:42 PM »
Day 13: Knee feels another tiny bit better but swelling specially around the incisions still prevalent. Flexion is unchanged. The knee still feels like there is a lot of gore in there and thus still unstable. Tightness of muscles and hamstring is slightly down. I definitely felt quite comfortable walking to work this morning.

A mildly successful day but i cant wait to speak to the surgeon tomorrow about my progress and what to expect...  ;)

Offline hardhead

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 09:57:43 PM »
Your doing great! I tried walking today without the crutch in the grocery store and was in severe pain.  I'm also at day 13 :(

Offline grapplingdude

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Re: Medial meniscus trim report
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 12:46:57 PM »
@hardhead: Sorry to hear that but my surgeon today has just confirmed how volatile recovery times can be so thumbs up buddy!