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Author Topic: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy  (Read 3891 times)

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Offline mwilson

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Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« on: June 18, 2012, 02:56:19 PM »
I am booked for an arthroscopy on my right knee in two days, for what the Orthopedic Surgeon feels is a lateral meniscus tear.

I have had two previous lateral meniscectomies of the right knee (1987, 1988) and in 1990 I had an open surgery of the right knee to fix a problem with the fat pad. The symptoms I have this time are completely unlike what happened the last time I had my lateral meniscus tears.   A month ago while doing some very light exercise, I felt some pain to the lateral aspect of my right knee and then when I squatted down to give my daughter a kiss I again felt the same pain in the same place.  That night while in bed, every movement of my leg caused me pain to the lateral aspect of my knee, to the point it was waking me up. When I finally got out of bed I realized I couldn't straighten my leg and the pain was horrible. I went in the ER and they took X-Rays, which were normal, gave me pain meds and anti inflammatories and put me on crutches and said I would have to follow up with an OS. The next day when I woke up I could straighten my leg and most of the pain had gone away.
I went to see the Orthopedic Surgeon two weeks later and he stated what I had was classic locking of the knee which is caused by a flap of the meniscus getting caught in the knee joint and that I would need surgery to repair it. He did offer to do an MRI, but he felt that my symptoms were typical enough to do the Arthroscopy without one. At the time I agreed, as I never wanted to feel that pain again. I continue to have good and bad days with my knee, it has never locked up again, but at time feels like something is catching inside. I will get a very sudden sharp pain that lasts for a minute or two, then it goes away. Another thing I have noticed is when I am walking for long periods my knee will start popping on the lateral side every ten steps or so, it really isn't painful, but feels uncomfortable. I have lateral knee aching at times and intermittent pain/aching behind my knee at the lateral side.
These symptoms are very different from the other lateral meniscus tears I have had - which mainly consisted of lateral knee aching.
I am curious if others have had a similar experience of knee locking  and pain? I guess I am second guessing myself and wondering if I should have had the MRI first...

Thanks to all :)

Offline LAS

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 03:38:07 PM »
Most definitely have the MRI first.    This way the surgeon will have a better idea of what to look for.   I had locking in my R. knee and awoke in the middle of the night pounding pillow.   It's pain from hell.   The surgeon was a little hesitant to do the MRI but I figured something was wrong so we went ahead with it.  It showed a good size  posterior horn tear in the medial meniscus and a few other problems he didn't pickup on.   Sometimes tears are hard to see and a little harder to get at in some areas  even with arthroscopy.   My point is the more information the surgeon has the better for you and it can't hurt.    Good luck.   LAS

Offline SILENTMOUNTAIN

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012, 03:23:47 AM »
I had a lateral repair 19 days ago, oddly i could bend me knee fully before the op with no pain, junp , run at 80% with no pain , i was sort of used to  it since i originally injured it 6 months ago.

i cant bend it fully since having the op or get the leg straight again, i am in a much worse state than i was before the op.
i dont know if his is just part of the healing procress, its my first op so i dont know if this is good or bad pain. and if it should be so stiff limiting my range of motion

Offline mwilson

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 02:29:24 PM »
Hey LAS,
How long was your knee locked...and when you say locked, would it move at all? I could bend my knee, but could not straighten out my leg no matter how hard I tried.  Mine was locked for about 24 hours, and definitely pain from hell, every movement hurt. The only position I could be in comfortably was on my right side with my knee bent. Since my knee has unlocked, I have occasional lateral pain and lateral/posterior pain, but nothing compared to pain of when my knee was locked.

I have had two previous menisectomies of the lateral meniscus on this knee, not sure of how much meniscus I even have. The OS assured my that he will repair the meniscus if he can.

My Arthroscopy is in 4 hours from now, I didn't have the MRI done, hope I don't regret it it in the long run....


Offline LAS

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 03:07:12 AM »
Hi Mwilson:  I had a locked knee for most of the night about 8 hours. Didn't open at all and I didn't want to jam it unlocked.  Every time I tried I got severe pain.   Then driving home from work I had to stop the car and pull over.   I crawled into a  variety store and bought some ice and it seemed to release it slowly.  I wanted to scream "what the ---------." Hopefully having the arthroscopy will clean up whatever is floating around in there so it won't  lock.   Sounds like you can't afford to have anymore meniscus removed.   Usually surgeons want to have the MRI availalbe at the time of surgery but maybe he or she is confident enough without it.   Feel better and let us know the results of the surgery.    LAS

It's probably done by now.   

Offline mwilson

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 04:02:43 PM »
My arthroscopy went well. I had the spinal anaesthetic and watched the procedure on the TV monitor. My lateral meniscus was shredded along the inner edge, with lots of pieces floating around. The OS also found crystals on the meniscus. He smoothed out the meniscus and removed the crystals. I feel pretty good today, just taking tylenol and advil for pain, resting and icing my knee. The OS asked me if I had ever had gout in my knee, which I haven't. I am not sure what caused the crystals? Any ideas??

Offline LAS

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 12:20:00 AM »
Hi:  glad everything went well and hopefully you will be out of pain locking etc.  I think crystals form when you have some sort of inflammation.   Maybe you had gout and didn't know it.   Interesting you had the spinal anesthesia I had general on one of my knees and I got really sick for a day or two  afterwards,  and for some reason I don't know why but there were 2 time outs called in the OR.  So I really don't want general anesthesia if I can avoid it. 
Do you highly recommend the spinal.   It's not so much that  I want to watch the procedure, it's the going under that scares me.  How alert are you under spinal anesthesia?   






Offline mwilson

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 12:40:30 AM »
I would highly recommend the spinal, getting the spinal hurt less than getting the IV inserted. The anaesthesist gave me some sedation during the arthroscopy, but I certainly was alert enough to know what wad going on. I could have had more sedation, but I refused as I was very comfortable.
If I had to do it again I would get the spinal again.

Offline LAS

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 01:29:29 AM »
You have convinced me.  I will opt for the spinal when I book the surgery for the other Knee.   
Thanks   LAS

Offline mwilson

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Re: Possible lateral meniscus tear - upcoming arthroscopy
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 11:02:13 PM »
Good luck!!















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