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Author Topic: Meniscus tear - SURGERY REPORT - Successful menisectomy story here  (Read 7794 times)

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Offline Run262

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Gosh, it's been years since I've visited this site. I'm back again, older and this time with a tear in my lateral meniscus in my right knee. I'm not quiet sure how I did it, but about a month ago I started coaching my daughter's softball team (8 yr olds) and spent one Saturday doing all sorts of squatting and twisting. I can't recall a specific pop or catch, but the next morning I woke up with a stiff and swollen knee. I knew something was wrong. I managed to pin point the problem and soon realized any type of twisting motion would pin point the pain to the lateral area.

Long story short: I visited my ortho., the guy who has done all 3 of my shoulder surgeries, who diagnosed a torn meniscus, sent me off to an MRI and said it would probably need to be scoped and trimmed. I don't think it's repairable since I'm 42, don't know yet. I just received the MRI report this morning and I'm not so sure exactly what kind of tear it's describing. Can anyone chime in?

Here's what it says: "There is a tear in the mid body of the lateral meniscus which extends from the nonarticular surface to the central substance of the mid body before exiting the surperior articular surface near the meniscal apex." All other ligaments are fine, no cartilage damage seen, everything else appears nice looking.

I told my Dr.'s office to go ahead and put me down for a scope on May 19th - I've got to wait until softball season is over for my daughter as it's "coach pitch" and I'm the one doing the pitching - apparently no other parent wants to nor can pitch. I've go an appt. with my surgeon to review the MRI next Wednesday as well.

Yes, I have a great relationship with my surgeon and his office. I've had so many surgeries for my shoulder and one for my other knee which was several years ago, that I can actually pick the day I woulld like the scope.

I know I need to get this trimmed or repaired. Last weekend, I went biking with my husband for about an hour and the next morning my knee started clicking. Now, every step I make I click on both extension and flexion. The tear has obviously grown. At first it was just pain when I moved a certain way, but now it's progressed to noise - funny thing is, the swelling has been minimal and the pain as well - well, I've learned how NOT to move it anyway.

So, I'll be checking back in, keeping everyone abreast of my journey for those who may find these entries helpful.

Pam.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 02:55:46 PM by Run262 »
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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Re: Meniscus tear/MRI - QUESTIONS!!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 04:30:12 PM »
Saw my Dr. this morning. He recommends addressing the lateral tear sooner rather than later. Of course, he won't know exactly what he'll do until he goes in but he would want to repair it if he could rather than trim it. The tear appears to be rather small on the MRI and it appears to be closer to the "red zone" than the "white zone"...but we all know how MRI's may not be that accurate.

My only hesitation is the timing of all this. Since the tear is knew, tore it about a month ago, I would love to wait until the end of July to address this. I'm not in any pain, only when I pivot on the knee which I've gotten real good at avoiding. The tear has progressed some from the original injury in that I hear it click with every step - but again, NO PAIN when walking on it, swelling is minimal if at all. The MRI didn't show any other damage or cartilage wear.

Will waiting two months make that big of a difference? (million dollar question I know). I have a week's vacation planned at the beach at the end of June with my daughter and her friends/mother's and a wedding to go to at the end of July. I would love to wait until after those two events pass.

Thoughts??

Thanks, Pam.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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Re: Meniscus tear/MRI - about to start the journey to surgery...
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 09:01:22 PM »
I'll just keep writing here I guess - might move it to the post-op journal section - who knows. Anyway, I'm going in this Thursday the 28th for a lateral meniscus trim but possibly a repair IF he can do so.
I'm an extremely active 42 year old female, so I'm hoping for a repair even though the rehab for that is much more involved, in the long run, if it's a success will be worth it. Chances are, it'll be a trim and hopefully not a large one.
This isn't my first time around the block for ortho srugery, so I know what to expect and all. Just wish me luck.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline gosforth

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Re: Meniscus tear/MRI - about to start the journey to surgery...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 05:04:28 AM »
Please keep writing!  I look forward to hearing your results.

I just got an MRI on my right knee and it diagnosed the appearance of a lateral meniscus oblique tear with a flipped meniscal fragment posteriorly.

I was also diagnosed with a partial ACL tear, and a strained patellar tendon.

I'm a committed runner who runs 10-15 miles per week and regularly runs 5k-10k races and has done a half marathon.  Somewhere a couple of months ago my knee started to become sore.  I don't recall any specific event.  No swelling, no constant pain, not much of anything, but when I put my knee in the lock position I could feel discomfort/slight pain behind the knee cap. 

As is the case with my other running injuries I rested and got PT.  After 4 weeks of that I began running again and have been running 3x a week with no real problems.  However I knew the knee wasn't 100% and it wasn't getting better so I got an MRI.  It was quite a surprise to get this diagnosis as my symptons have been so mild.

Now I'm going to an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation.  I will post my report and see if anyone has any input.

Offline Run262

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Re: Meniscus tear/MRI - about to start the journey to surgery...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 09:18:47 PM »
Your MRI sounds a little more involved than mine - but still, you never really know what's going on in the knee until someone goes in and looks. I'll be interested to see what your ortho recommends.

You mentioned running...I too use to do a lot of running in my earlier years - I was in to marathons but since marriage, having kids and working full time - not to mention AGE, I've scalled way back on the running.

Anyway...yep, I'll keep posting. You do the same. Take care.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY 4:

Well, Iím just now getting around to posting. I had the surgery last Thursday. The OS trimmed my lateral meniscus and DID NOT repair it, which is what I pretty much expected. Recovery up to this point has been uneventful. I had forgotten all about the swelling, the stiffness and the muscle shut down that goes along with knee surgery Ė itís been about 8 years since my other knee was scoped.
I have been religiously icing and elevating along with making sure I do all the prescribed exercises: straight leg raises, heel slides, wall slides, and stretching while sitting on the floor to maintain extension. Iíve got no restrictions per se, in fact, my OS encouraged me to keep moving but keep it within my pain threshold. The first night I was able to go without any pain medication, but the 2nd day I found myself taking advil and then that evening hitting some of the vicodin Ė I think I over did the 2nd day. The 3rd day, yesterday, I would have to say I started to see some improvement in my limping as that it wasnít as pronounced but I did notice yesterday that one of the portal sites, the lateral, was a little warm and a tiny pink in one area below that portal.  I figure that itís part of the normal healing process? Anyone chime in about that?
Today is my first day back at work Ė desk job Ė in fact Iím sitting here in my office with my knee elevated and an ice bag on it. The heat is still there just a little but I really canít see any redness Ė I called my OS office to let them know and his nurse not to worry as long as I wasnít running a fever and it wasnít super red, itís part of the healing process. Iíll keep an eye on it. Again any thoughts?
I am walking quiet well, slow but much better than yesterday. Swelling is still an issue and I know will be for a while. I canít complain but for this little nagging worry about the slight heat and slight ever so slight redness on one area Ė I wonder if itís due to an ice pack burn. Huh.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY 4 (mid day report)....

I have got to stop reading the arthrofibrosis section and every other problematic post - it's FREAKING ME OUT!!! Not to lesson other's problems or to say it can't happen to me but I need to chill. My knee is fine and is healing fine. The redness or what I thought was redness is gone, the heat barely there if at all - the incisions look great. I've have 3 different people look at my knee at work and all of them said "it looks great!, I don't see any redness or anything unusual".

Anyway, I just felt the need to post this brief report. Carry on...
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY 5

Nothing exciting to report - which is good. Yesteday evening the knee was definitely a little more swollen and stiff from the days activities and being back at work, but I expected as much. Walking is much better and if I really focus and go slowly my gait is just about perfect. If I try to rush things, I definitely limp from the limited extension and flexion.

This morning getting out of bed the knee was a little stiff and tight but again, definitely better than the morning before. I'm seeing small improvements every day, again, as expected.

Current exercises 3-4x a day:
- pat mobs
- stretching on the floor with leg straight out in front of me, which works extension
- quad sets
- heel slides
- wall slides
- straight leg raises
- added "air bike" this morning - pretend to peddle a bike while lying on my back.

I also work on my gait during the day, ice and elevate as much as I can, even at work. My extension is nice and my flexion is getting better every day. Today I can easily get to 90 degrees flexion and I'm sitting more comfortably in a chair. Still have swelling that is limiting my overall ROM but it is getting better. Portal sites are healing nicely as well.
My follow up appt. is next Friday at which time I'll start going to PT for further ROM work, and I imagine strengthening as well.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY 6

So a bit of a set back today. I started the day as usual and noticed the usual incrimental improvement as expected. Started the morning with the usual round of exercises with no problem. Still have a decent amount of swelling and tightness but my knee cap is starting to appear! Flexion is nicely around 90 maybe a little more when I push it, but pushing it feels tight and just weird. I'm not quite ready to push the flexion at this point as the portal incisions still have some healing to do - extenion is great, so slow and steady wins the race.

Anyway...I managed to leave the house today without my ice packs and well spent the entire day at the office on my feet (unusal) and with no breaks for icing and elevating and needless to say bynthe time I returned   home this evening, everything is swollen and very tight. I hats this feeling but I knoe its temporay- lesson learned.

In fact, I'm typing this with my ice pack on and my knee elevated above my heart and it feels so good!

That's about it for today.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY 7 - 1 WEEK POST-OP

I can't believe it's been one week already. So far I'm very happy with my progress. I know I've still got a long way to go as far as getting the swelling down and that tight/stiff feeling I get from the swelling but I understand it does take time, weeks and weeks, so I'm trying to be as patient as I can. I've got no pain to report but for when I over do it on my walking, which I try not too, but sometimes I get stuck at work and I've no choice but to "over walk" the knee. My office building is massively spread out so sometimes I've got to walk it. I've thought about using a crutch just to take it easy on the knee but haven't because it isn't so often that I need to do a lot of walking.

I'm getting to the point now where I miss not being able to work out. I WANT to go on my walks and I WANT to use the elliptical and the treadmill and such but I'm not. I think towards the middle of next week I should have enough ROM to get on the stationary bike. I'm tempted today to go to the gym here at work and try and see, but I know it would just be me uncomfortably pushing my knee a little too much. Couple more days an I'll attempt the stationary bike. It's so freakin' hot here in Texas anyway...no need for me to get out walking as it is.

The portal incisions have started to itch some and are still quiet tender at times but I figure it's the healing process. The only pain, as I mention, is due to the stiffness and swelling at times. I can't say I've felt any "inside the knee" pain, as that is always on the back of my mind. The pain has been either from the portal's getting too stretched or the muscles/ligaments surrounding the knee just getting strained and tired. I'm taking this recovery slow in that I recognize at the end of the day, I've lost some of my meniscus and the cushioning it's provided. I'm trying my best to rehab it slowly so that hopefully, I won't experience the arthritis I know is much easier to acquire now that a portion of the meniscus is long. The stronger I can get this knee the better.

So, as I sit here at the office with having just finished my round of PT and I have my knee elevated on my desk with my ice pack on, I do hope these entries are helpful to others considering this surgery. My walking looks almost normal and my ROM is right around 90-100, maybe more if I push it, but I loose it some if the day produces too much swelling from too much walking, extension is definitely -1 to -3 and holding steady. Patella is nice and mobile in all directions as well. Still have the portal sites poking out but they are still healing as well.

I know it's a tough decision and everyone is different in their circumstances. It's hard to know whether or not to have a menisucs trimmed or ride it out until it really becomes a problem. No knee surgery is minor. Every knee surgery will have swelling and stiffness for weeks if not months to resolve - it's just the nature of the joint - so be prepared. I'm not complaining and I'm glad I had this taken care of but I will admit I had forgotten what it was like to recover from ANY type of knee surgery. It's a SLOW process and you have to have patience. Heck, I'm only one week out and still have a ways to go. I'm extremely optimistic that I'll fall in the camp of "I had a menisectomy and 20 years later no problems" and hope to avoid the "I had a menisectomy and I've had nothing but pain and 3 years later need a TKR"....just gotta think positive - that's all you can do.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 08:53:03 PM by Run262 »
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline halfgward

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Hey buddy, we are on the same boat. I am on day 7 post op for a medial meniscus trimming. The doctor found a lot more damage than he thought and trimmed away 30% of my meniscus. Everything looks good so far. I am already walking normally. Yesterday, I went to the gym and did 20 mins on the stationary bicycle and some light body weight workouts. I can pretty much touch my heel to my butt with slight discomfort.

So far, the pain and soreness is mostly from the incision sites. I also get this weird cramp sensation behind my knee on the lateral side, mostly in the upper calve area. I guess it feels tight. I also have weird bruising around my knee and doc says this is my skin having some sort of allergic reaction. It is scabbing right now and my whole knee feels so itchy!

Its strange that there are so many different experiences with meniscus operations. I guess it is true that every tear is unique and is treated/ healed differently. I dont regret having the operation at all. I wish I had done it sooner, because no doubt I would be training by now!

Offline Run262

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DAY 11

Not much to report. I tried to get on the stationary bike this past weekend and while I was able to get a complete revolution, it was pretty tight with a lot of pulling sensation because of the swelling/stuff - not painful - just uncomfortable enought to know it was too soon.

The ONLY complaint I have as far as pain, and I feel somewhat embarrassed...is getting UP off the toilet. I've had a problem since day one, which I expected and managed keeping my leg out in front of me, but now, I'm trying to get up like normal and as soon as I try to use my quad's to get up from this rather lower position - I get a sharp pinching pain where I had the meniscus tear. I guess this just tells me I still need to assist myself up and things are quiet strong enough yet. It's just frustrating as there isn't much around my bathroom area to grab on to and assist myself up - it's a weird set-up.

Anyway...my first post-op appt. is this Friday - I'm sure it will go well.
2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline Run262

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DAY ??...about 1 MONTH POST-OP/LAST ENTRY

I think this will be my last entry. I haven't been much around lately because I've been too busy with work and with my daughter starting school and well, just life in general. The knee is doing great - flexion is just about normal, extension has never been a problem. No pain but still have some slight swelling still which I fully expect to continue up and down for a while depending on how much I push the knee during any given day. Strength is coming back nicely and I"m able to get on a bike now and as the flexion has come around enough to get a complete revolution.

I met with my OS last week and got a detailed report from him. He took about 20-30% of the mid section of my lateral meniscus, he said the rest of my looked like that of a 20 year old!! (awesome) and that I shouldn't have any problems going forward. Sure, it may start to wear down years from now but the problems I had before are all gone and I'm happy. In fact this evening I have a wedding to go to, will be wearing high heels and will be dancing!!

I hope these entries have helped others and continue to do so in the future. I'll check in from time to time but it's time for me to move on from the knee stuff. There are successful menisectomy stories out there and I'm one of them.

2/04 - Diagnostic scope suspected meniscus tear - normal healthy joint found. L knee
4/04 - cortisone shot L knee - two weeks later, the portal scar tissue during re-hab broke up! All is good!
8/11 - Lateral meniscus radial tear - scope - L knee

Offline UKnee

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DAY ??...about 1 MONTH POST-OP/LAST ENTRY

I think this will be my last entry. I haven't been much around lately because I've been too busy with work and with my daughter starting school and well, just life in general. The knee is doing great - flexion is just about normal, extension has never been a problem. No pain but still have some slight swelling still which I fully expect to continue up and down for a while depending on how much I push the knee during any given day. Strength is coming back nicely and I"m able to get on a bike now and as the flexion has come around enough to get a complete revolution.

I met with my OS last week and got a detailed report from him. He took about 20-30% of the mid section of my lateral meniscus, he said the rest of my looked like that of a 20 year old!! (awesome) and that I shouldn't have any problems going forward. Sure, it may start to wear down years from now but the problems I had before are all gone and I'm happy. In fact this evening I have a wedding to go to, will be wearing high heels and will be dancing!!

I hope these entries have helped others and continue to do so in the future. I'll check in from time to time but it's time for me to move on from the knee stuff. There are successful menisectomy stories out there and I'm one of them.
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