No Meniscus Left

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I recently had a knee injury from doing literally nothing. Essentially I was sitting crossed legged on the floor and I had leaned over to my left to stand up. when I felt a shift in my knee. Suddenly I was in excruciating pain, and couldn't bear any weight on my right knee. This comes twelve years after my last ACL reconstruction (2 ACL reconstructions in total) and a meniscectomy. 

?I ended up in the ER that day where they did nothing, and the doctor was too afraid to even examine my knee because I was in so much pain. Fast forward 2 months and nobody could figure out why I was in so much pain. At this point thankfully I can walk again, however only with a limp. I've already seen two doctors, the last doctor I saw was a surgeon (supposedly the best on the Island that I live on). His diagnosis was that because I no longer have a meniscus my bones have simply began to rest on each other and the motion of twisting my knee caused my bones to rub. He also said that I have developed arthritis still very little however. He said that the structure of my knee has changed drastically and I am looking at a knee replacement in the next 10 - 15 years. The doctors advice was to do PT build my strength back up (my muscles have atrophied in the last 2 months) and continue living my life until the pain has become chronic enough to do the replacement. 

?At 28 years old the prospect of having a knee replacement at 38 is terrifying! Before this most recent injury I was a an avid cyclist, loved strength training and running 5K's. My question is do I seek a second opinion? Or do I take the doctors advice and continue to do what I'm doing, until my quality of life has decreased? 

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  • Posted


    Sounds like you have to deal with it until you get a knee replacement.  I’ll probably need a new knee one day.   

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  • Posted

    If it's bone on bone and arthritis sets in, you're on the train to TKRville.  I was the same in my mid-50's with the meniscus and femoral condyle gone in both knees.  Remember: Arthritis, like rust, never sleeps...  Doc started using Synvisc on me...WORKED GREAT!!!  A set of three shots on days 1, 8 and 15 lasted almost a year.  Did that for 5-6 years.  Then I moved from the cold of New Jersey to the warmth of Texas.  Needed NOTHING for five years until the pain started up again.  Succumbed to the TKR at age 68...sooner or later the bill for playing 45 years of hockey comes due.  Ask the doc about the Synvisc shots.

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  • Posted

    I am now 60 and had a total knee replacement on my right knee in January.  I don't think anyone can really said when you will get to the point you need a knee replacement.   There is new medical discoveries all the time!  

    At 21 while in the Army I torn my meniscus in my right knee which at that time they just removed.   At 28 while training for marathon, I tore my ACL in my right knee. At that time the only option was to have them remove a part of your hip muscle which I was told was hard to recover from. Lucky for me my sister-in-law was part of the legal team for the doctors that worked on the Philly Eagles so she got me an appt to see one of the surgeons.   The surgeon said to me..."why are your running so far?  Are you making millions like these guys out here?  If so, sure I can replace the ACL..BUT if you cut your running to 5K, do lots of strength train and cycle you will be fine.  So that is what I did and and didn't need a knee replacement until now.   

    Not the same case as yours but if I were you I could find a really good physical therapy place (not one of these places where there is just one Doctor of Physical Therapy that hands you off to a someone that is not that trained).  I found small women owned business here that hires mostly folks with a Doctor of Physical Therapy and even if you go in there say with a bad knee, they understand a bad knee is going to affect your whole body and do not release you until they get you "better".   They can work with you on exercises that will help you build the muscles around your knees.  

    And if you want to talk to another doctor,  go to a teaching hospital in your area.   I found that this is where they have the lastest information and most of the time the best doctors.  This is your knee...your body...

    And talk to your doctor about Synvisc as Chico Marx recommended.  I used it for the last couple of years to extend my time before I needed the knee replacement..It didn't work as well for me but I was warned that it doesn't work for everyone.  

    Good Luck!

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  • Posted

    I would get a second opinion for sure. You don't want to wait that long if you are having pain now.

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  • Posted

    I would certainly seek a second opinion. I also have no medial meniscus remaining in my right knee after 4 separate arthroscopic surgeries to repair/trim the tears that I suffered. In recent months my knee has gradually deteriorated to the point where I have struggled to simply get up of the floor. I have seen a specialist in London and after MRI's and x rays, I am proceeding with a meniscal allograft transplantation. This is a good option if you are a you are a younger patient as it can add 10-15 years before the need for a knee replacement. It is a fairly significant surgery and the rehab is very important but the long term benefits made it a no brainer for me. I am 36.

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