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Author Topic: Acute lateral meniscus tear, but unique situation, advice would be great!  (Read 132 times)

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Offline willrecover

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19M, no history of knee injuries, very active, rowed competitively for a bit.

Around 3 months ago I tore my lateral meniscus in my right knee squatting. The first two doctors I saw thought I had bursitis, and the tear was only diagnosed correctly on week 7 post-injury after I went to an orthopedic specialist. A MRI confirmed the tear on week 8. The MRI revealed a tear near the anterior horn, extending from the free edge nearly to the lateral edge.


For around 8 weeks prior to my diagnosis, I was in fairly severe pain. Note that I was following the RICE method throughout all of this, but the only thing that decreased pain was time. Additionally I was in college, and throughout my recovery I never went to class because of the pain (thank goodness for recorded lectures).

(1-2 weeks): Walked with a limp, continous pain, could not bend my leg without pain. Squatting was out of the question. Going up and downstairs was very painful. Physical activity of any kind was out of the question.
(2-6 weeks): No limp, pain was brought on by walking more than ten minutes. Still pain when going up and downstairs.
(6-8 weeks): At this point I started physical therapy. My pain had decreased significantly, I was back to my daily routinue, and I felt a lot better mentally and physically. Had my MRI around Week 8. I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to get surgery on my knee. Then I went to a concert that caused lots of pain the next day, then was dropped on my knee after being lifted up.
(9 weeks): Went back home from college early after my ortho told me I'd need surgery, was devastated, but I had essentially no pain. Occasional flareups, but nothing major. Still can't squat without pain. Running, and jumping is out of the question. Occasional pinching in my knee.

Current Outlook and Questions [Advice Needed]

I got a second opinion the week I went home, and I was told because of my decrease in pain, it wouldn't hurt to do a followup MRI in a month to see if there had been any healing. Unfortunately, that MRI showed no healing, the tear remained the same, but I didn't have any OA development and everything else in my knee came up clean.
Fast forward to now, we're around 3 months post injury, with the occasional pain flareup, but mostly no pain 90% of the time. Noted, I've had to significantly modify my activity level to accomadate for my injury. I don't run, jump, or squat, and its an ever-present worry that I might injury my knee further. I also don't want to shred up the remaining structure.

Because of this, and because conservative rehab didn't work, I've opted to have meniscal repair surgery done. In five months I want to be back to my previous levels of activity, without worrying about my knee.

Here's what I was told: I'm young, and due to the nature of my tear, 2/3 of it is in the red blood zone. I was told that the success rate would be around 70%-80%, and I may only experience partial healing. All things to think about as I look for surgeons.

Has anyone been in a similar position? And if so, what did you do?

Offline Robert Lloyd

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This is a time where I would consider stem cells and PRP injections before doing anything else.
Even if you eventually need surgery, stem cells and PRP could make the surgery outcome better.