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Author Topic: 8 Months post meniscus repair  (Read 10573 times)

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Offline camper

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2004, 04:54:05 PM »
This has been really helpful. I am approaching month 8 following a medial meniscal repair, and it sounds like we're all at about the same place.

I have most of my ROM back. My OS made it sound like I'd be running a marathon by now and running around the block is still uncomfortable. I know what you mean about not being able to put your foot down forcefully. I have found that doing alot of walking and biking has been helpful-but it is still a problem. It has been really difficult to know how far to push, my OS is pretty agressive but my PT is emphatic about not doing anything that hurts (she's not referring to muscle pain). Although I haven't seen either of them in months. I read on another post that someone's OS had told them to push through the discomfort, I tried that and wasn't very successful.

Knee cap pain has been bothersome, anybody know what exactly is causing that, I initially thought it was quad weakness, as my quad has gotten stronger it has improved, but is still an issue (maybe I just have to strengthen it some more).

I recently started practicing with my soccer team and it has surprisingly felt pretty good. I am feeling very cautious though. I have an appointment for a knee brace this week (I also have a partially torn acl, which my OS insists is very stable, but I'm concerned that my knee will buckle and I'll retear the meniscus). I think the brace is as much for my head as for my knee....

Medial meniscal repair, partially torn acl

Offline sienna

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2004, 05:36:31 PM »
Hi there,
I, too, am approaching the 10 mth mark and cannot run.  I can jog about 6 steps on the front of my foot but that is it.  I still cannot forcefully plant my foot.  I have been strengthening my quad and it is getting back to a more normal size but that hasn't helped with the pain.  I also have the kneecap pain and grinding.  My knee also locks in a straight position if I push too hard.  My os is at a loss for all of this and keeps telling me it takes time.  
I was also lead to believe that I would be bak to sport by now but I am nowhere near even dreaming about it.  I've been told that it will probably be another 12mths or so.  
Well if I had've known this pre op I may have reconsidered, particularly given the chronic pain my nerve damage has me in (thankfully I have strong meds to help that).

So what is it that makes a repair recovery take so long?  That is the million dollar question.  And why do we have the same probs in common despite all being so different and having been diligent about pt etc?

At least now I can walk my dogs but if they pull too much it is still painful.  I have found swimming very helpful but it is too cold to go now that we are heading into winter.  

Anyway, if anyone has any more insight into my million dollar questions, feel free to post.

Ps  A brace has been suggested to me as well.  Mostly for peace of mind, I think.  So I think it would be good for you to get your confidence back.

As for the mri, the tear/repair would show up the same as it did preop.  I asked my os the same thing 2 wks ago.  
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline gillian

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2004, 10:48:27 PM »
sienna, i am exactly where you are expect that my knee has been locking up on me for the past few months on random occasions.  All I can say is Ouch!  That is not fun.  Prior to that I was starting to be able to run and to put weight on my heel, now no way!  Back to walking on my toe again and of course the rest of the joint now hurts.  Very irritating.

My quad has gone away, this time pretty much completely, my leg is so undermuscled it's gross-looking.  I walk a lot and swim but that's really all I can do.

At this point I don't know what to do  ???   I'm moving in 2 months and want to wait till I move so I can have a surgeon long-term... I think that's a better plan but I don't want to injure my knee by walking around on it in the meantime...

Are there any studies on the safety and side-effects of these darts?  How long have they been in use anyway?  I'm starting to feel like a guinea pig here.

Offline DKAL

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2004, 04:50:15 AM »
Hey all,

Yes, there's a lot of studies online about the meniscus arrow. Here's one I've bookmarked. Also, I've found postings online about patients with arrows taking more than a year to fully dissolve.

Good luck!

Oh, and for those of you worrying about muscle loss, have you tried bicycling? I either ride outside or at the gym all the time. It has done wonders for my strength maintenance. I often ice up after and take ibuprofen, but it's worth it.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0918/is_1_29/ai_70634383


Offline gillian

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2004, 10:05:36 PM »
thanks but I can't bicycle more than a few times a week at no resistance for about 10 minutes.   My knee is REALLY messed up, the whole meniscal line (is that a term?  the middle bit around the joint) screams at me if I do more than that.   It is a million times worse than it was before surgery, when I could ride a bike, hike and even snowboard a bit on it.  Riding a real bike over unlevel ground is a dream at this point.   It hurts bad enough to just walk short distances or just to bend and unbend the leg.

I have waited a year for this thing to dissolve as of 4 weeks ago.  I am strongly considering getting it taken out and to hell with the repair.  I'm pretty sure the locking up indicates that that's failed anyway.

I've seen 3 surgeons about it and they've all dismissed the problems, saying that it's because my quad is so weak.  My quad is weak b/c I cannot bear weight on the knee, not the other way around.  My original surgeon pretty much refused to discuss it once I said that surgery had made me worse.  My PT sent me to her preferred surgeon and he was the only one who seemed to have some experience with problems and arrows but I don't have insurance that covers him so I'm kind of stuck.  I'm really not sure what to do right now.

Thanks for the reference, I'll track down those other articles too.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2004, 02:09:14 AM by gillian »

Offline DKAL

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2004, 10:19:37 PM »
Good luck Gillian. As for the insurance, wouldn't your old insurance still work since the issue stems from the original incident?

Offline gillian

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2004, 10:40:49 PM »
I went to graduate school after the surgery and have a different  (and much inferior) insurance since then.  That runs out in two months at which point I have to get a job or buy private, but no matter what I do their insurance most likely won't cover pre-existing conditions for a year.  I'ts kind of a pita.

I carried COBRA for a while but it was very expensive (around $400/month) and it wasn't offered for long enough to bridge the gap anyway so I dropped it.

If I'd known more about the typical recovery from this surgery I would not have had it done at that time of my life.  I didn't know I'd be in a brace and was told I'd probably be back to full activity in 6 weeks.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2004, 02:14:58 AM by gillian »

Offline sienna

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2004, 06:08:41 AM »
Hi guys,
Sorry to hear teh your knee is so messed up, Gillian. I, too, sometimes regret the surgery, given now that I have nerve damage that requires expensive drugs just to get me up and around each day.  Spewing.

I did some reading about the crunching under my knee cap.  The info said that muscle strength imbalance can cause your patella to sit incorrectly and then cause grinding.  At first, this is painless but if left alone can worsen and cause permanent damage.  Mine grinds like an old rusty joint everytime I bend or straighten or carefully twist my knee (non weight bearing).  So I am pretty sure this is my prob because I can feel that my quads are uneven in strength and my hammies are not fully back yet either.
And my os is at a loss for my probs!  Well for someone who has such a good rep, he doesn't seem to know too much or want to find out.  
I am looking at cycling, still have to pump up the tyre.  Will probably do that this arvo.  

As for the dissolvable darts, I have no idea if my os used them or not.  

Well, I'm so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open so I am off to do stuff then to nap.

Hope you are all having a good knee day.
Take care.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline qman

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2004, 01:14:57 PM »
I'm really glad I found this site and your messages. They have helped me a lot. I wish you all well. I just had the arthoscopic surgery for a torn right knee med. meniscus on 7/28/04. I was told so many different things by different people. I feel a little better but I really feel stiff and joint pain with clicking around the knee. I had to have the operation because I couldn't take the pain and the knee was constantly swelling. My surgeon also gave me a Doppler scan for a blood clot that was negative, Thank God!

I'm overweight and we put the surgery off for months so I could lose weight.
The reason I'm writing is because I have seen so many sites that say you are promised to be up and running in two weeks. Meanwhile, when I talked to a co-worker he was out of work for three months. The hospital volunteer told me it took her a year to fully recover. My surgeon basically told me to start physical threpy when I feel up to it in a few weeks. But, she didn't say anything else. That's what worries me. I told her I was having new pain around the joint and she said my knee looked clean. I'm a litle worried that since she was paid and gave me a prescription for therapy that this is it. There was no instructions on what to do or if I should come back for a follow up. I have a civil service job so I know they are going to put me back to work as soon as possible.

Offline DKAL

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2004, 01:45:19 AM »
Sounds rough. I would first, find out if you had your meniscus shaved - or cut so that the damaged portion was removed (in which case, you should be getting better after a few weeks), or if you had your meniscus repaired with stitches or arrows (in which case, it would take anywhere from 4 to 9 months for you to start feeling healed).

If you had your meniscus cut or shaved, then I would consider the problem to be A) a bad surgery, or hopefully, B) struggling with the LACK of support muscle around the knee. If this is the case, I strongly suggest you do start Physical Therapy soon. I would work as hard as possible to keep the swelling down, and strengthen the muscle around the joint. A lot of ice, ibuprofen as needed, and rest until the swelling comes down, and then work with bungee and non-impact excercises to strengthen the muscles that have gotten so used to you favoring the other leg.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Offline AndrewC

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2004, 06:06:18 AM »
Can anyone tell me what they were like say two months after a meniscus repair (as I am)...
I'm walking ok but havent tried running yet! My ROM is maximum 115 degrees which has improved a lot from where I was at but at the minute my knee just doesnt seem to want to bend any further (without PAIN!)...I am quite worried about this as my leg was locked and wouldnt bend past 90 for 4 weeks b4 the op and in a locked brace at 90 for 6 weeks after the op.........Will I ever get my full ROM back????

I dont seem to have pain when walking but I am only just starting to get "some" muscles back in my leg (and its stilll weak).....
The leg is still a bit stiff in the mornings too?? Has anyone else experienced this after a repair??
My physio says I am improving wel but I seem to have hit a bit of a brick wall in my recovery with the ROM aspect :'(

Thanks in advance...
« Last Edit: August 15, 2004, 06:06:37 AM by andrewc »
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline sienna

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2004, 12:54:56 PM »
Hi all,
I wouldn't worry too much about your rom.  As long as you keep working on it, it will come back.  I didn't get full rom till about 6mths post op.  Once you get past 100 degrees it gets harder to get the huge improvements in your rom.  But it will come.
As for running, follow the advice given by the pt.  Remember that the meniscus takes 3 mths to fully heal the repair and you need to be careful during that time.  I would think that you should concentrate on building up your muscle strength before running.  After all, your muscles need to be able to support your knee from the impact of running first.

Good knee days to us all.
rk posterior meniscus tear. Successfully repaired 10 Sep,03. Now have nerve damage and cps which goes with it.  I want to slap the person who said 'It just takes time....'

Offline AndrewC

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2004, 12:28:49 AM »
Thanks for the reply on that Sienna

Since that post my ROM has come on a lot and I am now having to measure it against the ROM of my other leg (although it's not back to pre op yet!!)

As for the quad strength...thats what I have just started working on heavily....I hope to god that being able to do stationary bike, leg weights etc helps the way my knee/leg feels sometimes as it still feels weak and  is achy and stiff in the morning on most days......

How about you other meniscal repair patients!??...how was your knee in the mornings and in general for that matter after 10 weeks post op.....and for that matter how is it currently!! ???

All the best......

Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline DKAL

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2004, 02:01:59 AM »
Hey Andrew,

I'm glad things are coming around for you. At 10 weeks, I certainly had a lot more healing to do. I don't think I started seeing consistant improvement until about 3 months. At about four months, I truly felt improvement in all areas. But, I went skiing and pushed it too hard, and I think, as a result, have hurt my chances for a fixed repair. My doctor recently agreed that at 11 months post-op, I could very well have disrupted the repair. He suggested waiting at least 2 more months, and last I talked to him, smiled confidently and said that he thought it would come around.

Biggest lesson learned: take it VERY SLOW! This is too hard a procedure to confidently say when things are good. I'd add a few months to the first day you feel strong (post 4 months) before really pushing it too hard.

Good luck!

Offline AndrewC

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Re: 8 Months post meniscus repair
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2004, 04:29:04 AM »
Hey DKAL

Thanks a lot for the input. It's really good to be able to talk to other people who have had the same thing done because even my physio is not THAT familiar with meniscal repair (UK...NHS) and it is very hard to get any definate facts about what to expect for the future!!.....

The worst thing I have found about the recovery from the repair is that there does not seem to be any definative way of knowing if the repair has taken!!

I remember your posting about going off piste and possibly hurting your knee...but....what makes you think it has damaged the repair??

I am desperate to be able to get back to competition motocross and football but I think I am going to wait and be really patient and focus on the gym....and building up my quads as much as possible to protect my knee (hopefully!)

I think I wil definately follow your advice about adding two months on after I first feel strong to give my leg the best chance of repair.....Thanks for that tip..


How is your knee now?? Does it feel "normal"? and does it ever get stiff nowadays??
Also, what makes you think your repair may have been damaged by the skiing??....

Any answers to these q's would be most appreciated!!

All the best...
Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,















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