Knee Arthoscopy, Finding the Problem

Posted , 5 users are following.

Good morning, 

I've posted a couple of times in the past about a knee injury that hasn't received any clear diagnosis. My MRI showed no structural damage, but having followed all the physical therapy protocol and more for the past 11 months, but with no improvement, I have decided to pursue exploratory surgery which will occur March 22. 

?My question is, how difficult is it to locate meniscus or ligament damage during arthroscopy? I am deciding to trust my knee surgeon even though he says the MRI's are correct 98 % of the time when they show no structural damage. I am hoping that if a minor or significant tear exists within my knee, it would be impossible to miss. And... based on how it feels like there is inherently a missing hinge within my right knee, I am quite confident that SOMETHING is deeply wrong in there. 


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6 Replies

  • Posted

    They can see the whole knee to see what’s causing the pain. I had more damage than what was in the mri too can’t hurt.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I had a knee replacement on the 12th Jan. I had an arthroscopy in the middle of last year. My MRI showed very little danage, like you I knew there was something more going on. I actually had end stage arthritis and my surgeon couldn’t believe the difference between the arthroscopy view and the MRI. 

    Even though the op pain is severe I already feel the benefit of the new knee. 

    Good luck x 

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  • Posted

    Hi.  I am a MRI Tech., and somewhat surprised that the MR scan did not show anything, but the arthroscopy did.  Some factors here could be the MR procedure itself, perhaps the sequences were inferior as well as being scanned in a low magnetic unit, motion on the images, or poor quality reading from the Radiologist.  Surgeons make their money by doing surgery.  Surgery will cause scarring which may cause problems down the road. Also, who is to say what the surgeon sees after he does exploratory surgery, it is his/her opinion, and of course, they are never wrong!  Look into seeing another orthopaedic surgeon with good following, and find out what MR system you were imaged on and read your MR report and see if there is any reference to motion or poor quality images.  Also, look into NuSurface meniscal replacement, and stem cell therapy.  Robert


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    • Posted

      Arthroscopy hasn't happened yet, but I am hoping it shows something. 

      ?I was a little concerned about sticking with the same surgeon who originally diagnosed me as probably just needing to rest and do some physical therapy. But at Kaiser, I think the doctors would think it was weird if I got bounced around from surgeon to surgeon at my request. I decided to just stay with the stream and stick with the same doctor. 

      Besides, underdiagnosing me based on an MRI doesn't mean he won't be able to see or fix the problem when I go under the knife I hope.  

      ?NuSurface meniscal replacement and stem cell therapy sounds interesting. I'll research it a bit before the date. Thanks! 

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  • Posted

    For soft tissues damage (like a meniscus), MRIs are very frequently inconclusive.  I had 4 MRIs (two each knee) followed by four scopes...again, two each knee.  All of this was over a period of 5-6 years.  In every case, the doc found the cause and repaired the damage.  Very reliable.
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