Should I or shouldn't I? Medial meniscus tear arthroscopy

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Hi, I have OA (minor) in both knees, however a meniscus tear  (medial/inside of the knee) is allegedly stopping me from being able to bend my knee back, and giving me some pain, swelling, esp. after playing tennis on hard court or have been on my feet alot (or wearing high heels) - if I wear high heels and walk too much I find the whole knee joint goes stiff.  When not in pain due to any of the preceeding, a lack of mobility is most noticeable during yoga, when I can not sit in "child's resting pose" due to 1 knee not being able to bend fully, and not due to lack of flexibility. My other leg bends no problem.  Something is impeding the bend in that one knee.  I had a pre-surgery consult today and was told the surgery was very easy, and I'd be tickety boo in 6 weeks.  But after reading all this, wondering if its worth the bother.  Seems like alot can go wrong.  I am mid-50's, moderately active, recreational level tennis player.   What do you think? 

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    Hi, I’d say is your doc saying “all will be fine in just 6 weeks” is no guarantee, & it’s what is so frustrating - that so often they make out that it’ll all be smooth sailing and you’ll be back to ‘normal’ in no time. It makes recovery even harder mentally if it doesn’t go to plan like that! I found it very tough when 6 weeks on I was still barely walking with crutches. You’ve obviously read the comments etc on here so you know it isn’t always the case that 6 weeks and you’re back. I guess us lot of us on here are worst case scenarios as that’s why we came here, searching for answers and support, the “smooth-sailing” patients aren’t on here though there will be tonnes of them! I’d say, at least you’re going in with more information having read people’s info on here (so you know that it could take longer than 6 weeks) so you’re more prepared for that & that’s a good thing. Hopefully you’ll be one of the plain-sailing ones though and not need this forum again! Good luck whatever you decide smile 

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  • Posted

    If you have a tear and are as active as you describe.....tennis, yoga, etc......I'd say you need to go for it.   I'm in my 80s with 1 total left knee replacement and just had an arthroscopy 6 wks ago on the right for torn meniscus, cartilage, debridement, etc. I won't lie to you, some of us are having post arthroscopy issues....I had a cortisone shot yesterday to deal with mine... but I think your age and activity level are in your favor.  Factor in OA and it's not going to get better on it's own. In the mean time,I learned many years ago that switching heel heights during the day is a great benefit....and ditch the high heels for extended walking/standing! Please stay in touch. We can learn a lot from each other's experiences. I wish you well!

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  • Posted

    Yes, definitely get it done. It will never fix itself. I just had my second one in a year done. Dr. missed a second tear on the first surgery. I'm your age and did yoga, ran, step aerobics too. Couldnt do any of that for over a year. Going for walks was tough. This second surgery had been a piece of cake. I was kneeling yesterday!! 6 weeks exactly. Best of luck.

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  • Posted

    Ok I guess I jumped the gun! Yes I was kneeling, went walking in the snow, went shopping, trimmed the tree and climbed up and down the ladder 100 times while chasing the puppy who kept stealing things. Well darnit if I could barely walk after all that. The knee swelled up horribly and the pain was unbearable. Back to crutches, ice, and pain meds. I took it easy all weekend and felt better yesterday, so I spent a couple hours on my feet. And then I paid the price! The pain is where the tear was. I had to use my crutches and wrap the knee with an Ace bandage, and ice it. I'm 6 weeks today. Best of luck with your surgery. Just don't push it. Baby the knee. Don't go to PT until the swelling is gone. I can totally bend my knee on a good day with no PT. I think they caused the 2nd tear in my knee last year. I went at 2 weeks and couldn't walk afterwards and was back to crutches. Then spent a year in pain until I demanded another MRI and sure enough, there was a tear in the exact spot as the first. So either the surgeon missed it the first time or it tore again very early on. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      When I saw you post that you were kneeling I thought, "well, good luck!". The cortisone shot I had on Wed lasted 24 hrs. before the pain returned so I returned to icing 4 times a day for 20 min at a time and made sure I took my Tylenol/Ibuprophen liqi gels (1 of each together) on a regular schedule up to 4x a day. Also forced myself to walk standing straight which seemed to take pressure of the sore spot.  The pain subsided and by Sunday I felt really good so I said, "You're well! Go shopping!". Not a smart move! The knee was sore and some swelling again. I took that to be a sign so.... back to icing and using my treking pole when I'm walking. I understand that you are much younger than me....I'm turning 82 next month...... but since we are both at 6 wks post op from similar surgeries I'll be interested in your progress. For now you really need to take it easy. Kneeling is definitely a no-no. and , personally, I think that ladder should be off limits, too. In the meantime have a happy holiday season and keep your chin.....and leg....up! smile   

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    • Posted

      Luanne, help! I'm in agony. I had the sharp stabbing pain in my knee last night. You know. The one that takes your breath away and brings tears to your eyes! Ok. Hadn't had that for about a week. I was baking cookies at 11:00 cause my son's are gonna stop by. Knee hurt but it was bearable. All of a suddenly it felt like my knee cap twisted. That's the best way to describe it. OMG. I can't bear weight on the knee. I'm using my crutches again. I'm in so much pain in my knee cap. I don't know what to do or what happened. It feels like it's tight, sore, and out of wack. I thought about calling my surgeon to get in, but what's he gonna do? Just like last year, he'll look at the pics from the arthroscopy and say, "that's a great looking knee"!! Because there's no arthritis he thinks it's great. Help! I need some love and advice. I'm sorry to hear that the shot didn't work. I had the same experience with it last year when I had my first surgery. You can private message me if you like. I'm crying and in pain. I really wanted to start riding my stationary bike too. Now this. Thank you and hugs for both of us going through this together! God bless.

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    • Posted

      Renee....so sorry that things seem to be going backwards for you! That sharp sudden pain you are having shouldn't be back. .....The cortisone shot I had has, in the long run, quieted things down enough that it took care of that sharp, sudden pain but it's still pretty sore and limits how much walking I can do. I'm going to call and make an appointment for a gel shot and see if that helps. My doctor seems to think it will. I would strongly suggest you call your doctor and get it checked out. There has to be a solution to the pain. Are you taking  anti inflammatory meds at regular intervals? That seems to help. ( I do Advil liqui gels and Rapid release tylenol (generics) ; 1 of each together, 3 x a day.. ...but that's me. I avoid the high powered pain killers because I think they just mask the pain and don't reduce swelling.) I've also been using an emu based cream rub. I truly wish you well and I'll be pulling for you......Please keep me informed!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice and support Luanne. So you haven't had the sharp pain anymore? I thought O was done with it, bit it came back. I take Aleve but it doesn't seem to do anything. I need strong pain killers but the doctor will never give me any due to the ",opiod crisis." They'll accuse me of faking and drug seeking behavior like they did last year when in fact something really was wrong! I was wondering about getting a follow up MRI just to make sure everything ok. If this is the new normal, I just can't handle it. I shouldn't be using crutches almost 3 months after surgery. Good luck to you with the gel. We talked about it, but only if they didn't find anything wrong in the surgery. They found the tear, so we dealt with that. I'm just discouraged again. I've been down this road before and I don't like it! Thank you for your response Luanne. I'll call the surgeon tomorrow and make an appointment, although I think I owe him a little bit of $$!

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    • Posted

      Alright. It's 1:30 in the morning. I had to take the puppy out to do her business and I'm crying because I'm in so much pain. Seriously thinking about going to the Emergency Room. I put the lidocaine patch on with an Ace bandage and have taken way too many over the counter pain pills. Nothing is working! I don't know if I'm just being a baby or if this is serious. I did give birth to two sons with no drugs though. Went through having a lung removed, had a hysterectomy to remove a baseball size tumor, put up with two chest tubes for 5 weeks in the hospital and a collapsed lung everyday, and I gotta say, I would go through any of that pain again rather than this horrible knee pain. There's no way I'm sleeping tonight. Wow. This is bad.

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    • Posted

      Bummer! Time to get some help! Any evidence there may be an infection going on? My knee is sore and I can't walk any distance w/o discomfort but nothing like you are describing. Praying you get some relief soon!

       

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