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Knee surgery

Old 10-20-2009, 05:55 AM
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Default Knee surgery

OK This summer I had a torn meniscus. Went the PT route and got lots better but couldn't bend leg all the way under pressure and could walk good enough to do my work without crutches. Then something changed and my knee started catching or clicking after about 100 steps. Original surgeon said if this ever happened I was a surgery candidate, so did my P Therepist. So I schedule surgery and stopped the exercises - rained all last weekend so I did nothing - This week I have no catching or clicking or other problems walking except slight soreness at night. I am thinking I just needed rest?

So I am thinking I am cured. ;? The Therepist who I just called said - go with the surgery - it will eventually happen again. But I am having second thoughts as I am OK right now. Jusy cant do a deep knee bend.

Any thoughts, experiences? Would you get the surgery? I am 61 and retired and just teach, boat and do stuff around the house. No sports anymore. I do have lots of faith in the surgeopn and PT but have always left well enough alone.....But if I knew the clicking would recur - I would definitely get the surgery.

Thanks - THT the best source on the web for medical advice.....

Last edited by LI Sound Grunt; 10-20-2009 at 06:34 AM. Reason: horrible spelling
Old 10-20-2009, 06:20 AM
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It will probably reoccur sometime soon, and it will probably only get worse with age, the down side is the potential for arthritis after the surgery.......
Old 10-20-2009, 06:42 AM
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One thing is for certain, clicking, clunking and grinding isn't a good thing! For a knee to do any of the above sounds it has to have loose material floating around in there. Since there is floating material in there and the knee is not currently making sounds it only means that dislodged floating material is lodged up somewhere.....somewhere it shouldn't be! The longer the dislodged floating material remains lodged in the soft tissue the more damage your knee will sustain to the soft tissue!

If you do not have full function of your knee currently; the longer you put off the surgery the harder it will be for you to rehabilitate your knee's function to full function afterwards! The healthier you can get your knee/ leg into surgery the easier it will be to gain full function after the surgery!
Old 10-20-2009, 06:53 AM
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Thanks Guys!

Nauset - I really dont want to trade what I have now for arthritis - I have that in other joints it ain't fun.

Garett - yea that was my thinking - I am told since I did all this PT these last few months I should have a shorter recovery.

Darn - not an easy incision - oops I mean decision.

More and varied comment welcomed - especially personal experiences....
Old 10-20-2009, 07:24 AM
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Do it. To give some scope. When I was 21 they wanted to replace my left knee. At age 24 I finally gave in a did it. At the time they wanted to do both of them just to get them out of the way. I didnt and I wish now I did. If I had then all this would be over.

The moral of the story is the people that do this, ie doctors, know what they are talking about. IF you have a good one believe in him.

I will probably get my other one done in the next year. I was born without hardly no cartilage in my knees. They get fluid if I walk over a quarter a mile and they grab and catch when I bend down. Which led to me not being able to bend down at all.

Good Luck what ever route you go!
Old 10-20-2009, 07:34 AM
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How about a less invasive arthroscopic look to determine the severity of the injury. If you have some floaters in the joint, they can remove it durring the procedure. Four years of college lacrosse on the old astro turf fields - two scopes on the left knee and one on the right shoulder. Recovery time is almost zero. There isn't a day that goes by that my knees don't ache.
Old 10-20-2009, 08:27 AM
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Get a MRI, then make the decision...
Old 10-20-2009, 08:31 AM
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Definitely go with a scope if possible, but it should be done sooner rather than later ,it'll only get worse if you keep tearing it. I had an MRI w/ contrast dye yesterday to see what is popping and snapping (sounds like two stones hitting together under water when it snaps), walking along and its like someone tripped you when the knee just locks and then pops.......
Old 10-20-2009, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by salty_dog View Post
How about a less invasive arthroscopic look to determine the severity of the injury. If you have some floaters in the joint, they can remove it durring the procedure. Four years of college lacrosse on the old astro turf fields - two scopes on the left knee and one on the right shoulder. Recovery time is almost zero. There isn't a day that goes by that my knees don't ache.
Works great except for the constant pain, how successful can it be when it hurts like hell.
Old 10-20-2009, 11:17 AM
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"Works great except for the constant pain, how successful can it be when it hurts like hell"

One thing I have come to realize. It is always going to hurt. The degree to which it hurts is the critical factor.

A couple of criteria will determine the outcome of any knee surgery. Severity of the injury; rehab; overall condition of the patient. When I was 20 years old and in college, the procedure was a piece of cake. Granted it was just a "rough ligament' that they cleaned up twice. I played a game against Hopkins 4 days later.

I now play in a 40+ men’s lacrosse league one night a week. I can tell you that two days after a game, I need to hold the handrail going down stairs. Getting older is a pain in the ass.

I am not going to offer medical advice, but I would certainly consider a scope job. It won’t make it worse. I would have to carefully consider major knee (ACL/MCL/Patellar) surgery. I think I would stop playing physically demanding sports before I would do that surgery. Too many friends with ski accidents that are worse off after their surgery than before they had it.
Old 10-20-2009, 11:40 AM
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Grinding and popping sounds in a knee are not necessarily a bad thing. I had an ACL replacement 10-12 years ago by one of the top sports med docs, who just happened to be another dad in my son's Scout troop. It is pain free, and solid as a rock, but sounds and feels like rocks crushing when I stand from a squat. Pain, swelling, and heat are the things that are not good signs. And locking up, or giving out, of course. Sounds like you have a floater, which can cause you some serious pain if it gets in the wrong place. Ask your surgeon if he plans to do a scope, or open it up.
Old 10-20-2009, 12:25 PM
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Have you had an MRI to confirm the diagnosis? If not, we are running our mouths. If you truly have a tear that is fixable, this can be done through the scope and works very well. If you delay, the fixable window may close as the torn meniscus continues to degenerate.
With that said, the popping and locking are nearly diagnostic of a torn meniscus so a viable option is simply to go straight to scope and possible repair. Like I said, if it's fixable, it works really well.
Old 10-20-2009, 12:26 PM
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LI,
We are the same age. I had both of mine done in '93. The tear is usually right at the end of the "gasket". What happens is the torn piece folds and gets in the way. It doubles the thickness of it and makes the lower leg bend crooked and when it moves out of the way you get the pop or click because it shoots out of there like a watermelon seed. I had mine done on Thursday and went back to work on Monday, but for half a day. I did light duty for the rest of the week and then normal work after that. I have had no trouble or pain in either since. I say get it done. The only reason it is not causing trouble now is that it is in place, but it won't stay there.
BTW They use a nibbler type tool to remove the smallest torn section. I don't think you can repair it.
Mike
Old 10-20-2009, 01:08 PM
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At 76 my knees are perfect.......Every thing else hurts like heII at some time or other.

Funny how when I am on my boat fishing I feel no pain, and when I catch a fish I feel 40 years younger......... For just that moment.;?

Old 10-20-2009, 02:46 PM
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I have had knee problems for 40 years. First injury at 15 was a meniscus tear. Waited until it locked up for surgery. At that time it was full on surgery with a cast for two weeks and on crutches for about 6 weeks. Since then I have had 6 other surguries including ACL and Total Knee Replacement 14 years ago. Several of the surguries were toremove loose bodies.

I can tell you the technology has progressed light years. From the first surgery to the last scope it has gone from major operation to out patient and maybe a couple of days on crutches. For the TKR, I had surgury starting at 7 AM and at about 4 they came to the room and got me up to walk. Understand the TKR has really gotten much better over the 14 years since I had mine.

The bottom line is that in each instance the Doctor actually fixed something. It might not prevent something from happening in the future but it did fix what was wrong at the time. The TKR has been the best thing I have ever done. Not like all the internal medicine and other Docs that want to try this, take this, let's see how it is in a couple of weeks.

Good luck with your decision.
Old 10-20-2009, 05:22 PM
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Thanks to all.

Yes I have had the MRI to confirm the tear. The plan is to do the scope tomorrow at 9. They say its a 40 min job and I should be home by noon. Got the boat covered today, called work to tell them to get a sub for the sub for the next few days, got the leaves blown into the woods and ordered a few Tom Sellek flicks from Netflix - even found some left over Vicodin. All systems go.

Thanks for the good wishes! I feel lots better about this now...

Bob
Old 10-20-2009, 05:46 PM
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Good luck tomorrow, it'll be over before you know it. Back on your feet in a couple hours, if your job isn't physical you'll be back to work on Monday. You knee will be pain free when you wake up and hopefully it'll stay that way for a long time......
Old 10-20-2009, 07:52 PM
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Good Luck with the scope...

I tore my ACL and Meniscus 2 years ago playing competitive soccer at age 30. Rehab was a bitch after the surgery but I have recovered 100%. It took 18 moths to get back on the field in a competitive game but I feel perfect now. I had to wait almost 6 weeks for surgery after my injury due to a severely sprained MCL on top of everything else. The knee was too swollen and there was too much blood in there to do surgery. I didn’t do much to build the muscle before surgery and that cause major atrophy. I’m told by an expert that was the reason my recovery took much longer. I have buddies that had the same surgery and were back on the field in 6 months.

I was back boating / fishing 5 weeks after the surgery. Just needed a little help cleaning and had to take it easy. Go for it if it needs to be done. Better now than later. Rehab hard afterwards.

Oh, one more thing… About 14 months after the surgery, I was having lots of pain after working out. I was pushing the rehab hard to get back to 100%. The PT told me to take 2 weeks off and do nothing and the pain went away. I guess it did need a rest!

Good luck.
Old 10-21-2009, 01:57 PM
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I am having surgery two weeks from tomorrow to repair my torn menicus and to scrape out some arthritis while they are in there. I hurt it last year and I could hardly bend it. It hurt constantly. I was supposed to have it done last year, but then it felt better, so I didn't. This summer I was out on the boat in rough seas banging around and the pain came back. The doctor said that's what happens. It will feel feel better and then the pain will come right back unless it's repaired. Good luck LI and let us know how it went.
Old 10-21-2009, 02:52 PM
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Everything went well. He saw very little arthritis. Went in at 10, first time I noticed the clock in recovery it was 11. Home by 12:30. Feels good now and can walk on it with no pain but supposed to keep it immobile as much as possible and iced for 2 days. Then move as pain allows. It was a very simple painless and fast experience in the hospital. Very nice professional people. I have pics but have no idea what they show - wil find out in a week at follow-up visit with the surgeon.

Hope it goes as well for Gingersdad. AS I sI almost cancelled cause it felt better this week - time will tell if it was the right decision. Everyone told me if I didn't do it it wasn't a matter if if but when the catching and pain would returns.

Anyway it went much better than expected - we'll see what the next few days brings. Thanks again for the well wishes!

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