learn me some knee surgery

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learn me some knee surgery

Post by TedV » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:53 am

After almost 6 years of a recurring knee issue, insurance finally said OK for MRI and found a torn meniscus. So, who here in autocross / racing land has had treatment for meniscus issues?

Option 1) do nothing, and every now and then keep having the flap flop in the wrong place which results in recurring pain, reduced knee mobility, difficulty walking, forget running, have knee swelling, pressure and pain in the tendons/ligaments around the knee up and down the leg, just rotating foot from gas to brake pedal can hurt like a mother. It's happening at least 2-3 times a year now. Lasts however long until it pops back into place. could be 6 months, could take one day to feel better if say I slip on a hill, land on knee and pop it back where it goes. With it torn, it could continue to tear in an uncontrolled direction. Flip a coin if it would stay the same or get worse.

Option 2) Get it operated on, trimmed up like a torn fingernail. It's in an area with zero blood flow and therefor will never heal. It would reduce the cushioning of what the meniscus is supposed to do, but then it's not really doing it correctly now being torn. Also, since flap isn't flopping it would reduce the irritation and inflammation so in theory, less annoyed knee days per year, and in theory less overall knee and leg damage on down the road. What I'm not sure of is the possible complications from a lil routine surgery. Several folks I know have had routine surgeries F their life up when things went bad.

What's y'alls input?
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by MARKP » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:04 pm

Sounds like my knees.

Paging Lin to the purple courtesy phone.

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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by michael.plaster » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:09 pm

My dad just had a meniscus operation completed. He was in a little different situation as he had the operation just a month or so after the injury. If you have any specific questions I can pass them along.

I'd suggest finding a doctor you REALLY trust and take their opinion over any anecdotal input.
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by TedV » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:14 pm

Already talked to Lin :mrgreen: She actually pegged it as torn meniscus at the last autocross before the doctors. :rockon: By the way, not knowing what my leg would do going from the gas to brake was one of the big reasons I wasn't feeling it to drive the nekid Cobra.

I know which way I'm leaning but I'm a reseach-a-holic. :lol: I do trust the doc I'm dealing with on this. Just looking for different angles and views to consider.
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by thrdeye » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:48 pm

The first thing I would try is a really good brace - a compression sleeve with a skeleton. I did a fair amount of knee research when I injured my MCL a few months ago (thought it was meniscus, but turned out to be MCL). For me, surgery for the meniscus would be a last resort in the case you're talking about where they just have to clip it away. I'd rather deal with the pain as long as it's only here and there.
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by Challenger » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:17 pm

I've got a partially torn ACL that I've been living with for about 12 years now. It gives me trouble about 3 times a year but nowhere near to the level your having. Dr told me when I got my MRI I could get it fixed or I could deal with it but wouldn't do any more damage by doing nothing. I opted for the do nothing and deal with it a few weeks a year. Usually when it acts up I slap a brace on and that helps some. But I look at it this way for me no surgery=no chance for complications or to wind up worse.

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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by Scoob » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:55 am

I had a flap of torn meniscus for several years that got worse with more taekwondo so I got it fixed. I'd get the flip a few times each year and HATED it. The MRI showed the flap and the doc I had described exactly what he'd be doing, with two options depending on how it looked when he got in. He ended up cutting the flap out and drilling the bone to get some "new" cushion/scar tissue. That was October 2013 and it was the best decision I've made in a while. The rehab was the hardest part, but I'm now a second-degree black belt and minimal problems since rehab was completed.

My doc went on, during my rehab, to be one of the orthopedic docs for the Pittsburgh sports teams.
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by steverife » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:38 am

Diagnosed torn meniscus about 14 years ago. Never did anything about it, but it doesn't give much trouble and I'm generally playing basketball/ultimate/flag football/etc several times a month. There are just some times where I don't get the support that I anticipate and I have to catch myself.
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Re: learn me some knee surgery

Post by TedV » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:32 pm

Thanks for the inputs y’all. In all the research I’ve done it comes down to, it depends. There’s a whole lot of variables.

Mark: yup, found out almost everyone will get a torn meniscus in their life. Crazy part is I was limping on it Friday. It popped with the feeling of something strumming inside every step. Sunday I could jog across the parking lot. I told the doc “if I was a car I would say I have a bad suspension bushing. It feels loose and unpredictable.”

Michael: I’ve found unless it the same injury then there might not be a specific question since I don’t know enough about it all to know what I need to ask. I’ve been putting more credibility to medical publications from doctors and medical universities. Online blogs and reports from NPR say it is now proven that its useless to do any operation on meniscus. Found out in the medical publications that sited their references the NPR and blogs are reporting on one study that peer review have issues with, and no other study has been able to back it up.

Chris: I’ve tried a few different braces over the years. In all honesty I thought it was more a slightly torn MCL than meniscus since I feel it more there on the side and where the ligaments attach to bone and muscle above/below knee. It appears the edema from the medial meniscus tear is putting pressure on MCL. Full brace didn’t work as well as single band that pin pointed compression more on the swelling.

Steve V: That’s the point I’m at. Is it bad and annoying enough to risk the complications, and just what all might the complications be? As I mentioned above, “it depends”. If I could figure out how to put it back in place beside the one-time fluke falling on it the other weekend, I would just do that for a while. That was the fastest getting back to normal. Usually I can’t straighten or bend knee the whole way for a couple weeks then 3-4 months of tenderness and hope I don’t tweak it back out in that time, which I usually do.

Scott: Thank you, your situation sounds more like mine. Everything in my knee looks perfect besides the tear and edema/swelling attributed to be caused by it. So, the theory is all should be better if the loose part isn’t there to go out of position.

Steve R: I’ve found most everyone will get a tear in meniscus in their life from sudden injury like Michaels dad to regular wearing it out. Just depends on how bad it gets. I look back and wonder how I never broke my legs from all the crap I’ve put them through. Research seems to show keeping leg muscles strong helps alleviate issues and pain from tears. So, keep up what is working for you.

Decision here probably would be easier if I wasn’t feeling perfectly fine today. Last bout lasted from October to April before I felt like I do today.

Hey Lin, what kind of beer do you want? We need to chat some more.
Ted V.
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