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Thread: Meniscus surgery

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Meniscus surgery

    I've been battling knee issues and just found out why. I have a torn Meniscus. I will be meeting with an Orthopedic doctor soon. I'm just looking for general comments on what I'm up against, from those that have dealt with it. Thanks for any wisdom.

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    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I've been battling knee issues and just found out why. I have a torn Meniscus. I will be meeting with an Orthopedic doctor soon. I'm just looking for general comments on what I'm up against, from those that have dealt with it. Thanks for any wisdom.
    I have the same thing. I wear a knee brace and try not to put too much pressure on it. It hurts more during the first hour or so, then itís not so bad after that. Hopefully it doesnít get worse.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Get multiple opinions and look at data before deciding what to do. I have a torn meniscus; problems with it come and go, but it's tolerable.

    Some studies indicate that outcomes are not improved by Arthroscopic "clean up" surgery.

    We are too old for an actual repair to be successful. (I don't know about you, but I'm 62, and the data suggests that repairs are not successful long term after about age 25.)

    There are a bunch of newer therapeutic approaches to consider, including stem cells and plastic replacement parts. Lots to think about...

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    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Get multiple opinions and look at data before deciding what to do. I have a torn meniscus; problems with it come and go, but it's tolerable.

    Some studies indicate that outcomes are not improved by Arthroscopic "clean up" surgery.
    Wholeheartedly agree with these points. My wife had a torn miniscus for over 2 years (was a workers comp thing so they screwed around with her for awhile). I would also strongly suggest getting multiple opinions. My wife's was misdiagnosed initially and ultimately led to major problems and significant surgery after initially doing a "repair", which was a waste of time. Definitely speak to several doctors if you can unless you are extremely confident with who you have now.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    I've been battling knee issues and just found out why. I have a torn Meniscus. I will be meeting with an Orthopedic doctor soon. I'm just looking for general comments on what I'm up against, from those that have dealt with it. Thanks for any wisdom.
    I've had left-knee issues on and off for years after a fall ice climbing. In fact my screen name here for a while was "Gimpy." My symptoms took a turn for the worse after a one day Presi traverse that included the summits. I was 53 at the time.

    I had "buff and flush" artho procedure to clean the joint up that helped, but did not resolve all problems. The knee was still sore post hiking and lacked full range of motion 24/7.

    In a follow up a few years later with a Lahey Clinic ortho who worked with Boston sports teams (Mark Lemos) I was told to go the physical therapy route rather than have another surgery. In retrospect the outcome of PT was about as effective as the surgery.

    Things have come a long way since then. So yes, do get multiple opinions... preferably from sports-savy ortho who wants to get you back in the game and not just make $$.

    Also, nothing like a scan to really see what's going on in that crazy-complex knee joint.

    cb

    PS I have read that Knee replacement is the one of the most lucrative and frequent preformed surgeries done today. Beware!!
    Last edited by ChrisB; 09-18-2018 at 11:53 AM.
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    I had arthroscopic meniscus surgery on my left knee a year and a half ago. Prior to meeting with the surgeon, I went to an orthopedic doctor who didn't do any surgery, only non-surgical treatments. Based on X-ray and MRI he said that there wasn't any good non-surgical option for long-term success. My meniscus had a small tear, and it was the flap that was causing pain. The surgery went well, and I've had full recovery.

    I now have the same pain in my right knee, and again went to the non-surgical orthopedic doctor to get it diagnosed, since I wasn't 100% sure that it was the same issue. Again, after the images, he said surgery is the only option so I've seen the surgeon, and will do the surgery. The surgeon said that it's not uncommon at all for both the meniscus's to be a problem if one of them is. In fact, he said that it's pretty predictable for that situation to occur.

    The non-surgical orthopedic doctor did say that if there's arthritis in the knee that some surgeons won't operate, since some recent studies seem to indicate that arthritis may be accelerated after meniscus surgery. Fortunately, neither of my knees show signs of arthritis (although I had both arthritic hips replaced five years ago). I'm 63.
    It's a lot like fun, but different.

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    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    Various degrees of tears. But, as a reference, my mother tore hers (I do not believe it was a high-grade tear) and was in recovery for maybe a month. Was hiking within 3.

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    Senior Member richard's Avatar
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    I tore mine coming down from Eisenhower 3 yrs. ago. I used crutches for about a month. I started going for road walks, gradually going on short then longer hikes in the woods on local trails. It took about 8 or 9 mos. before I hiked Waumbek in the winter (no rocks or roots). It was tough because I lost a lot of conditioning. My knee was sore,but not that bad. It’s still not as good as it was,but it’s good enough. I wear knee wraps on both knees and sometimes an over the counter knee brace when I hike. It also takes about an hour to warm up while hiking. I’m 69. I started 5 yrs. ago.

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    Senior Member Bob Kittredge's Avatar
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    I've had a torn medial meniscus in each of my knees. An MRI of the second one revealed a "complex tear", but the orthopedist suggested I try watchful waiting. It took a while, but both have healed and I hike in comfort once again. Your mileage may very.

    I would suggest cutting back some for a few months. Keep moving but take easier hikes carrying less weight. Increase gradually when (and if) it starts to feel better.
    Bob Kittredge - still truckin'

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the input, this is the only site I belong too where I would even ask. I've done a lot of research and tomorrow, Ill hear from the Ortho Doc and see what he says. My preference would be to let it heal on its own, even if it meant not quite as good. Surgery scares the heck out of me. I'm actually up to 3 miles a day with my dog and did Tecumseh twice. The thing that concerns me, is that it still hurts even at night if I move wrong. Not really into living with pain if I don't have too. We shall see, TY again.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I tore mine about 10 years ago (pivoting while building a stone wall on a slope) and after a period of rest, physical therapy and cautious reactivation, it returned to near normal. I filled some hiking activity with kayaking instead and that gave it more rest ... until the time a paddle through the Roache Ponds in Maine and I had to portage over beaver dams and walk through a bony, shallow stream. It lasted a few years before the pain gradually increased so that the slightest twist from a root or a rock would make hiking very uncomfortable and slow. You'll know, even welcome, surgery when the time comes.

    The procedure itself is simple but I was deeply sedated so that there's no possibility of the leg moving while they were in there with the scope.

    Happy healing no matter what strategy you and your doctor pursue.

  12. #12
    Member TwinMom+1's Avatar
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    Curious how this worked out for you, Sierra. I had arthroscopic surgery in Dec 2016 for a partial meniscus tear which the ortho said was worse upon inspection than the MRI suggested. Took me about 7-8 mo to get back to hiking the usual 3000’ gain trails in the Whites; just gradually added miles and gain. I’m really glad I did the surgery. Although the knee still doesn’t like sudden twists or a lot of deep flexion, and it took me a few months after a nasty little sideways pull while snowshoeing this Feb for it to stop hurting, it bounces back faster as time passes. I also find that a weekly non-hike exercise regimen is important so the surrounding muscles stay strong.

    Best wishes for healing so you’re back to the trails we all love.

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