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Author Topic: Meniscus degeneration  (Read 498 times)

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Offline Tisme

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Meniscus degeneration
« on: August 04, 2021, 10:32:54 PM »
I've had x ray and scans privately as had a bad knee and severe pain for over a year with no help via NHS due to covid. The diagnosis is my meniscus is degenerating but I I don't need an op. I've been recommended physio. Will this help as its wear and tear on the meniscus and as far as I'm aware it can't build itself back up.  I'm wondering has anyone else had the issue. My exercise has depleted to nothing due to the pain.

Offline vickster

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2021, 10:47:56 PM »
Unfortunately there’s not a lot to be done for a degenerate fraying meniscus if it’s not actual tear causing the knee to lock or give way. Do you have full range of motion?

Is there also arthritis in the knee as the two often come together? Is there severe pain at rest or more when doing stuff, being active? Anything in particular set it off. How old are you? The meniscus starts to degenerate from age 30!

Physio should help, in terms of flexibility, optimising the muscle balance, firing and strength. Which will help support the knee joint better. You can try ice to reduce inflammation and pain, or an anti inflammatory gel or pills. Heat can also help if the knee is stiff.

You might find doing exercises in a hydrotherapy or swimming pool good too while you build up strength again, as well as swimming for all around fitness.

My meniscii are pretty much toast due to injury and arthritis, I have had to have surgery due to mechanical issues but what’s left will just keep tearing now the tissue is degenerate. If the knee function is ok, it’s best to avoid surgery as removing meniscus can mess with the bio mechanics and accelerate the development of arthritis.

Find a good private physio if the NHS waits are long or you can’t see someone face to face and would prefer to

Good luck
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 11:04:52 PM by vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09 (lat meniscus, lat condyle defect)
LK scopes 8/2/10 & 16/12/10
RK scope 5/2/15 (menisectomy, Hoffa’s fat pad trim)
LK scope 10.1.19 medial meniscectomy, trochlea MFX
LK scope 19.4.21 MFX to both condyles & trochlea, patella cartilage shaved, viscoseal, depo-medrone

Offline Tisme

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2021, 06:45:20 AM »
Hi , the pain is bad when it starts and it cam trigger for no reason. I'm 50 i have no arthritis.  I saw a private Dr as after a year of not knowing and getting no help from NHS  I  paid private. I cant excercise as it will start usually day after i get pains . The Dr said I don't need an op however I did pay for physio months ago and it didn't help pre the diagnosis of meniscus wear. I just can't put up with pain when it starts. It started in bed this morning at 5am so I dont know what triggered that. I have good movement it just randomly plays up. The DR has recommended physio not an op.or knee replacement.  I use to love walking and hiking and now I just potter around the house. At my age to go.to that lifestyle is depressing.

Offline vickster

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 07:35:25 AM »
You could try some non weight bearing exercise while you get fitness back, cycling and swimming are good plus yoga/Pilates for fitness. Also rowing in a gym, could try cross trainer plus weights, stretching. Plenty of ways to be active with a sore knee :). If you’ve lost a lot of strength and condition due to much lower activity, the muscles won’t be supporting the knee, you’ll need to work hard on physio after a thorough assessment and tailored program from ah experienced therapist

Does the knee swell? How long does the pain last or is it just an acute short lived ouch if you catch it wrong?  Do you use ice when it hurts? Or pain medication, could try Voltaren gel (assuming no allergy or stomach issues), good for knees. It’s good that the pain isn’t constant :)

If the last private physio didn’t suit you, try another. See if you can get a recommendation
You will need to persevere with the exercises, starting slow.

No arthritis is great news, so certainly no need for any sort of replacement!

Good luck :)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 12:03:17 PM by vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09 (lat meniscus, lat condyle defect)
LK scopes 8/2/10 & 16/12/10
RK scope 5/2/15 (menisectomy, Hoffa’s fat pad trim)
LK scope 10.1.19 medial meniscectomy, trochlea MFX
LK scope 19.4.21 MFX to both condyles & trochlea, patella cartilage shaved, viscoseal, depo-medrone

Offline Tisme

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 11:16:51 AM »
Hi ,
I've had physio. I've had 3 different sets of physio.  My knee does not swell. It's seriously limiting me. I'm sat in pain again now. I cant drive as once it starts it's severe. I use ice. I don't know what's triggered it this time I might have twisted it while walking without realising it. I'm now thinking what's the next step. I've tried osteo and physio and it's really affecting me. Has anyone else had this issue on gone for a replacement knee ?

Offline vickster

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 12:08:04 PM »
Have you had an MRI? Have things changed since if so?

If you don’t have extensive osteoarthritis, you wouldn’t be a candidate for a replacement.

Have you tried any injections such as steroid or hyaluronic acid (although in England at least you’re unlikely to get the latter on NHS).

When you say 3 sets of physio do you mean 3 appointments or 3 full rounds, usually half a dozen appointments with a period between each to do the exercises fully before progressing?
Does the pain occur on one side of the knee only when you walk? If so, an unloader brace might help
Are you using pain medication, ice? Do they help?
Do you exercise in the water? I find I can do more with less discomfort than land. There are hydrotherapy pools with specialist physios or if you can access a fairly shallow normal pool, which is what I now do at the gym.

Or perhaps it’s time to go back to a knee specialist for review?
If the pain is coming from a trapped meniscus (you’d probably have locking and buckling), then surgery might now be indicated
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 03:31:49 PM by vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09 (lat meniscus, lat condyle defect)
LK scopes 8/2/10 & 16/12/10
RK scope 5/2/15 (menisectomy, Hoffa’s fat pad trim)
LK scope 10.1.19 medial meniscectomy, trochlea MFX
LK scope 19.4.21 MFX to both condyles & trochlea, patella cartilage shaved, viscoseal, depo-medrone

Offline Tisme

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 12:58:02 PM »
Hi,
I've had full rounds of physio and went to an osteopath initially. I wear a brace when walking. I use ice and have taken anti inflamitaries. I've had a MRI which said meniscus degeneration. I have no arthritis at all according to MRI. I've also had x rays.  I have a review coming up. I've gone private as ironically I still have had no NHS appointment for this problem which is roughly 18 months now. I have it 9n left side of knee but it's now middle knee and just below kneecap.

Offline vickster

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 01:10:49 PM »

What did the MRI show other than meniscus degeneration, normally they report every tiny little thing which may or may not be relevant!
Did I read that you’re 50 or thereabouts? It’s unusual I think to have degenerative meniscus and no cartilage wear/arthritis as they tend to go hand in hand (also would be unusual to have no cartilage wear especially if you’ve led an active life).

Hopefully the review will give some answers.  Having the meniscus tidied and the joint washed out surgically might help if the surgeon is prepared to do it, and often they find wear when scoping that maybe wasn’t so evident on scan (certainly has been so with my knee)

Good luck :)

Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09 (lat meniscus, lat condyle defect)
LK scopes 8/2/10 & 16/12/10
RK scope 5/2/15 (menisectomy, Hoffa’s fat pad trim)
LK scope 10.1.19 medial meniscectomy, trochlea MFX
LK scope 19.4.21 MFX to both condyles & trochlea, patella cartilage shaved, viscoseal, depo-medrone

Offline Tisme

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2021, 04:41:35 PM »
The MRI showed a small amount of degeneration no arthritis whatsoever.  I've had a steroid injection incase of inflammation which has made no difference whatsoever I opted for that. As for MRI nothing else is showing up. I am so sick of it now. I never know when it's going to happen and the pain is severe.  I have a further follow up appointment in a few weeks.  The wear to meniscus is minimal and nothing else can be found that would cause this pain. I had MRI and x ray . I said where pain was coming from which is joint area ? I just want it to get better I've tried everything my life is limited.

Offline Petal

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2021, 11:21:54 AM »
get your hips checked plus lower back. sometimes knee pain is refered- ie its not so much the knee but the pain is coming from somewhere else

I have terrible hip pain but its been xrayed and its not the problem- the problem is my arthritic knee so I get pain in both

Offline SuspectDevice

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2021, 06:36:47 AM »
Meniscus degeneration is a form of arthritis?

Meniscus pain really sucks, but if your knee is not locking and the MRI is only showing very mild meniscus degeneration, then the pain may be due to something else.  But the MRI should have picked up anything drastic (e.g. a tumor).  At 50, your meniscus should be degenerating, so only mildly is good!

Yes, loss of your exercise is awful.  I've been through that & know how mentally damaging it is.

If I was in your position, I'd be trying to find other exercises to maintain my sanity - swimming, gym, trying to strengthen hipgs/glutes/core/back without overstressing the knees.

I know a bloke who was a big runner, tore his meniscus badly, but opted for no surgery, just very conservative exercise & after 12-18mths, is back to running.

I've also found the only 'natural' supplement that had any positive effect on my aging and aching joints is collagen powder.



L Medial menisectomy 2012
PFPS both knees 2012-2017
Pre-CRPS diagnosed 2014 (I think this was crap)
2017 - 90+% cured via Dr Dye's research
2018 - MTB crash, busted collarbone & ribs - easy compared to knees!
2021 - ride 3x/week, swim 2x/week, gym 2x/week, short runs 2x/week, back to short races

Offline vickster

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Re: Meniscus degeneration
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2021, 03:35:25 PM »
Meniscus degeneration is a form of arthritis?

Meniscus pain really sucks, but if your knee is not locking and the MRI is only showing very mild meniscus degeneration, then the pain may be due to something else.  But the MRI should have picked up anything drastic (e.g. a tumor).  At 50, your meniscus should be degenerating, so only mildly is good!

They can come together, one causing the other
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19631077/ (with links to other articles about meniscus and OA)
I doubt an arthritic knee has pristine meniscus and vice versa
« Last Edit: December 21, 2021, 03:38:26 PM by vickster »
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09 (lat meniscus, lat condyle defect)
LK scopes 8/2/10 & 16/12/10
RK scope 5/2/15 (menisectomy, Hoffa’s fat pad trim)
LK scope 10.1.19 medial meniscectomy, trochlea MFX
LK scope 19.4.21 MFX to both condyles & trochlea, patella cartilage shaved, viscoseal, depo-medrone