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Author Topic: Meniscus tear options  (Read 718 times)

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Offline happyB

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Meniscus tear options
« on: July 22, 2014, 03:05:49 AM »
An old meniscus tear I have had for over 10 years is now getting worse. A recent MRI shows a large tear in the lateral meniscus with a few cysts around it (I can post the exact MRI finding if that helps). The reason I didn't want to go for surgery was the lack of a 100% guarantee of the pain going away. Or at least no other mess ups with the knee. The pain persists for much longer than before and I think its time I go under the knife.

Now, even after 10 years, I see people having issues after they have undergone menisctomy. I am yet to see a doctor as the waiting list is about 4 months. I see that the three options that I may have are removal of the torn bit, complete meniscus removal or stitching up the torn meniscus. Which of these is the safest way to fix the meniscus ? With a large tear, I am thinking the doc will just remove it.. but does that not increase chances of arthritis ? I am guessing a knee replacement could also be an option.I live in remote Australia. Male. 31 years old.

Offline Snowy

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Re: Meniscus tear options
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 03:20:52 AM »
There's no one-size-fits-all fix here - the option that the surgeon chooses will be tailored to the specifics of what they find inside your knee, including the exact size and shape of the tear and the condition of the rest of the meniscus. Generally they will always try and preserve as much of the meniscus as possible, so if it's possible to repair it they will. However this option won't work for all tears, depending on the shape of the tear and which part of the meniscus is damaged. If repair isn't possible the doctor will trim away the torn part.

It's very unlikely that they would entirely remove the meniscus to fix a tear - this is quite a drastic option. It's even more unlikely that a knee replacement would be considered unless you have a tremendous amount of additional damage to the articular cartilage.
Mar 11: R Biceps femoris tear (skiing)
Jul 10: ACLr (hamstring autograft)
Mar 10: L ACL rupture (skiing)
Feb 06: L partial ACL tear (kickboxing)
Dec 03: R bone edema (motorbike)
Jan 01: R patellar chip (motorbike)
May 93: R ACL sprain (hockey)
Ongoing: bilateral PFS and OA

Offline LAS

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Re: Meniscus tear options
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 01:00:20 AM »
Hi happyB:  Your way too young for a knee replacement.  Yes Arthritis can set in.  But you probably already have some of that because the tear is 10 years old. Unfortunately that goes along with the problem.  There is a longer recovery if they repair it rather than remove some of it.  About six weeks or so on crutches with a repair, maybe more.  I don't know how active you are, but it is something to think about.  At your age I would do what I could to save the meniscus.   It does seem like most patients who have a menisectomy never say "I'm all better now".  The surgeons fix the mechanical problems as best they can and hope that arthritis doesn't set in.  My OS here in the US says if you fix it when it a small problem than you will have better results in the long term.  There is less of a chance of it affecting the surrounding  structures.   There are never guarantees.   Hope this helps LAS