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Author Topic: Chronic knee pain after partial meniscectomy - my story and eventual outcome  (Read 1120 times)

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Offline seandr

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I spent a lot of time on these forums while going through knee problems 3 years ago and lamented that posters rarely return and tell us how their problems turned out in the long run. So, I thought I'd return and share my story.

I'm a 46 year old male, father of two. Four years ago, I tore my right medial meniscus by simply taking a funny step. I had a partial meniscectomy, recovered pretty quickly, and was active again after a few months. Almost exactly one year later, I further tore the same meniscus, same spot, kicking around a soccer ball. I went in for surgery and had some more of the same meniscus removed. It seemed to recover ok, but then 3 months later I went out dancing and the next day my knee was in bad pain, and it remained in pain for several months.

During this time, I spent hours on the internet trying to figure out what I might have done to my knee, and how it could possibly be fixed. I read lots of sad stories from people who didn't seem to recover from pain post surgery. I read up on scary procedures like cartilage transplants and knee replacements. I was convinced I'd be hobbled for the rest of my life. It was a very dark time for me.

Eventually I made an appointment with my surgeon to talk about surgical options. He insisted I did not need surgery, and referred me to a physical therapist. The PT was a middle-aged guy like me. After doing an initial exam, he told me that without question I'd be able to do all of the activities I used to do. He told me about his knee injuries (meniscus and ACL tear) and then hopped up and down on his repaired knee for me. I said I'd never be able to do that on my knee, but he insisted I would. I was skeptical. I didn't see the point of PT. But I went along with it.

He focused on strengthening exercises for my leg - calves, gluts, quads, stabilizers - starting out light and gradually getting more intense. One week later, the pain had subsided considerably. By two weeks it was pretty much gone. The problem with my knee was that after two surgeries 12 months apart, my leg muscles had atrophied, and the lack of muscle support had affected the mechanics of my knee, causing me pain. Just a little bit of focused exercise to strengthen those muscles was enough to get the knee functioning smoothly again.

This was three years ago, and my knee hasn't bothered me since. I cycle, play soccer, snowboard, go out dancing with no problems at all. I'll never doubt PT again!

Whatever you're going through, I wish you good luck.