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Old 11-22-2009, 11:55 AM
 
4,502 posts, read 11,656,251 times
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My ortho is about 99% sure I have a torn meniscus and I'm going to get an MRI next week. He said if it is, in fact, a torn meniscus, I will have the arthroscopic surgery.

I've read online a bit about the surgery, but I would appreciate some input from people who've actually had the surgery.

What is the recovery time?
Did you have to do physical therapy (ugh!)
Were you able to get up/down stairs right after surgery?
Were you off your feet for any period of time because of the surgery?
How long until you could drive again?

Anything you can tell me would be great. I'm nervous since I live in a walk up and I also don't want to take any large amount of time off work.

Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
Reputation: 18533
I had it done back in 1995 or so. It was done on a friday a.m. as same-day surgery. I was given some exercises to do in bed, as I remember it was to bend my knee and put my heel as close to my rear-end as I could. I also iced it several times a day. I followed his instructions to the letter and on Monday when I went back to see him, he was pleased. I never had to go to PT. It's been so long that I don't remember what the restrictions were, if any; but I lived in a single-story house. OTOH, the exercise I did would be like walking up stairs.

I believe he used a long-acting anesthetic injectd near my knee as I never really had any pain beyond what an Ibuprofen could handle.

I am sooo glad I had it done, I had a lot of pain right before the surgery, although he said I had torn it years before, it was so frayed. good luck!
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:26 PM
 
4,502 posts, read 11,656,251 times
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Thanks for the info! Sounds like you had a good experience. I hope mine is just as good!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:45 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,185 posts, read 50,480,930 times
Reputation: 60062
Quote:
Originally Posted by omigawd View Post
My ortho is about 99% sure I have a torn meniscus and I'm going to get an MRI next week. He said if it is, in fact, a torn meniscus, I will have the arthroscopic surgery.

I've read online a bit about the surgery, but I would appreciate some input from people who've actually had the surgery.

What is the recovery time?
Did you have to do physical therapy (ugh!)
Were you able to get up/down stairs right after surgery?
Were you off your feet for any period of time because of the surgery?
How long until you could drive again?

Anything you can tell me would be great. I'm nervous since I live in a walk up and I also don't want to take any large amount of time off work.

Thanks!
I had the surgery about five years ago. The first day I was out of it, and I had to take painkillers for a few days. The pain is mostly due to all the swelling. That first day was the only day I was off my feet the whole time. Per the doc's recommendation, I stood the day after and put weight through the leg. Continued to do that at different intervals.

I had the surgery on Monday, and by Sunday I walked a mile with two stops to rest. I never had to have physical therapy.

I was out of work for two and a half weeks. (The worker's comp allowance for this surgery is three weeks.) I could have gone back to work by the middle of the second week except that I have a long commute that requires walking and stairs between connections in a crush of people, so I took the extra time off. I forget when I was able to drive, but it wasn't too long, within a week I think.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:39 AM
 
Location: somewhere
4,264 posts, read 7,929,045 times
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Alot of your recovery depends on if it was torn it an area that has bloodflow or not. If there is blood flow they will suture it to try and save it, if there is no bloodflow they will trim it. My dh had his trimmed last year, was home from the out patient center within about 2 hours, very limited pain, very limited swelling. His surgery was done on Monday and by Friday he was back in the gym doing partial squats, however most people aren't comfortable enough to do that so soon. Best of luck to you.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,089 posts, read 10,604,044 times
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I had my knee scoped for a torn meniscus about twenty years ago. I never had severe pain and I was up and about the next day.

I was never prescribed any formal PT (by the way, I don't understand your negative attitude toward PT, when I've needed it it's been very helpful), but the doc did prescribe straight leg raising at pretty high reps.

I occasionally get the feeling I may need to have it done again, but it's not so bad as to be urgent.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:02 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,185 posts, read 50,480,930 times
Reputation: 60062
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajzjmsmom View Post
Alot of your recovery depends on if it was torn it an area that has bloodflow or not. If there is blood flow they will suture it to try and save it, if there is no bloodflow they will trim it. My dh had his trimmed last year, was home from the out patient center within about 2 hours, very limited pain, very limited swelling. His surgery was done on Monday and by Friday he was back in the gym doing partial squats, however most people aren't comfortable enough to do that so soon. Best of luck to you.
That's a good point--it depends also upon whether it's recent or not. Mine had been torn years before but didn't start to hurt the knee until that time. It couldn't be repaired like a fresh tear. He had to trim it down so my knee fit back in right.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:34 PM
 
4,618 posts, read 10,494,859 times
Reputation: 10291
Meniscal repair depends much more on the location of the tear than the age of the tear or the age of the patient.

Only the peripheral 1/3 of the meniscus has adequate blood supply to allow for healing after attempt at repair. Tears on the inner 2/3 of the meniscus don't have much potential for healing and are treated by shaving back the cartilage to a stable rim.

Common wisdom had been to only attempt repairs on patients under 40 but more recent studies have shown that patients 40 and over can benefit from repair as well if the tear involves the vascular portion of the meniscus.

Recovery time from arthroscopic surgery is generally pretty quick, but every person is different and there are more restrictions after a repair vs shaving.

Even after a shaving/debridement most patients are on crutches anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Shelby Township, MI
14 posts, read 57,172 times
Reputation: 12
I didn't have torn miniscus, but had to have the knee cleaned out and femur drilled holes into for a cavity (just like in your tooth). Arthoscopic Surgery.

What is the recovery time? For me 2 weeks till walking on my own.
Did you have to do physical therapy (ugh!) Yes, push yourself as much as they will let you, it's worth it.
Were you able to get up/down stairs right after surgery? Yes, they trained me how to use the crutches properly.
Were you off your feet for any period of time because of the surgery? 2-3 days
How long until you could drive again? A few weeks.
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:59 AM
 
4,502 posts, read 11,656,251 times
Reputation: 4039
Thanks for all the great information, everyone!!

I'm having my MRI on Saturday so I'll find out what's going on after that.

To the poster who asked about my aversion to PT..... Nothing against PT itself; I just don't like the hassle of having to go to the PT office 3x/wk when I have so much else going on. I'm hoping to be back to work within 1-3 days of the surgery and I don't want to have to stress out about getting to a PT office. If the doc can give me exercises to do, I would gladly do them at home.
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