Persistent pain after arthroscopy

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About 6 1/2 months ago I had left knee arthroscopy to fix an acute meniscus tear and discoid meniscus.  The tear had actually folded over and was causing me a lot of discomfort.  In addition I've also been told I have a lot of wearing down of my cartilage in that knee due to the fact that I have some abnormal anatomy and have chosen running as my sport of choice.  However, I had no persistant pain before this injury/procedure.

I have cotinued to have pain all of this time.  I had gotten back in to short distances (my peak after surgery was 2 very slow miles) but couldn't push through and farther or faster without pain and also couldn't be on my feet doing anything (walking, standing, running) for more than 30 mins.  After an hour even sitting was a relief - I had to get my knee elevated.  I was given a cortisone shot about 2 weeks ago and although that has help extend the length of time on my feet, I'm still in a lot more pain than I was before the surgery.  

The doctors are telling me it is the wearing of the cartilage that is the problem.  But considering I had no pain (I even was running 10 miles a year ago), I'm having trouble accepting this diagnosis.  Has anyone else had the same experience?  Were there any complications that may have happened during surgery that is causing this increase in pain?

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you been to another orthopedic specialist for a second opinion?
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  • Posted

    They have to remove the torn cartilage. That decreases the amount of cushion in your knee. Running is a high impact excersize. When I had mine done I was told no running or uneven surfaces for a year. Sometimes they put Staples in there to reattach cartilage to. They did in mine. Never told me. I found out when they did a MRI after and was in pain after it. The lack of cartilage can cause cracks in your bones as well. Mines cracked up from the friction. Had it operated on 3 times. Have pictures of the cracks. Cortisone is a anti inflammatory. Temporary relief at best. Synvisc would probably benifit you. Lubes up the knee. Lasts 6 months to a year. As any operation on a joint, once the capsule is opened up, it's never the same. Weather will make it ache.

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    • Posted

      I've had an MRI and they didn't mention anything about staples.  From what I understand a torn meniscus is different than the wearing cartilage (the cartilage is attached to the top bone, the meniscus is attached to the bottom).  The cortisone didn't even provide temporary relief so my doctor has prescribed the Synvisc.

      Question: How did you learn about the cracked bone?  From an MRI? or did you have to get an xray?

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    • Posted

      Mine was a torn medial meniscus. On the side of the knee. He found the cracks during the scope. Won't show on MRI or x-rays. It's in the joint. Where the 2 bones meet in the knee. He stuck a tool in the cracks and took pictures to document how deep they are. He had to pump fluid in the joint to jack it apart to get to the tears and get the pieces out. When he found the cracks. Have a feeling it's getting worse. This summer it's hurt everyday so far. Now I have a new doc as old one retired. His assistant does the injections. I have never even met him yet. Lol. If it keeps up I will be tho.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info.  If the next injections don't work, I'm probably going to have to get another scope done.  I saw the thing about cracks when I was googling my issue so I was worried about them.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

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    • Posted

      I had some removed in 1985. Then more surgery in 2002. Thats when he removed some and used staples. Then he had to go back in a second time in 2002 cause it was still locking. Pieces floating around.
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  • Posted

    Many years ago, I had a meniscus tear and a femoral condyle ripped off...separately...and in both knees...four scopes.  With all that cartilage missing, the knee started to get painful over time.  I did not want a TKR too early so I got SynVisc injections.  Worked GREAT for many years.  Then moved from the cold of Jersey to Texas...the warmth helped a lot.  First knee op was 2001...TKR 2016...that's 15 years of pain-free life before the TKR.  SynVisc may work for you.

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