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  1. #1
    Registered User Matthew3000GTsL's Avatar
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    My lateral meniscus tear... what would you do?

    Almost two years ago I was doing squats and my knee popped. I was suffering with

    inflammation, stiffness, and knee locked up after short periods of walking. I laid off my knees for

    2-3 months. I had an MRI done and it showed I had a lateral meniscus tear. I visited two

    orthopedic surgeons and both had different ideas. One said my knee would heal on its own with

    leg extensions, and the other MD said surgery(shaving the tear) is the way to go. Fast forward

    to today and my knee is a lot better. My knee does not have inflammation, stiffness, and knee

    lock ups; however, my knee still has issues which I?m sick of, and would like some other

    opinions. My right foot/knee tends to point outwards. I correct myself every time I walk, but it

    feels and looks odd at times. Also, the same knee is extremely stronger than my left knee. I

    understand I probably used my same foot/knee to support myself in the past because it felt

    good and or normal, but I no longer/try to put all my pressure on my right knee. Everyday my

    right knee feels odd because its stronger than my left; and not only that but my foot feels

    bigger than my left. The orthopedic surgeon who wanted to perform surgery on my knee said

    he'd just shave the meniscus, and everything would be fine. The other orthopedic surgeon said it

    would heal on its own, which it did in a way. What?s your guys/ladies take on this, and what

    would you do? It's great I have insurance, $50 bucks co-pay and it gets done. What would you

    do?
    Last edited by Matthew3000GTsL; 09-08-2008 at 12:18 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Logical95's Avatar
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    I also currently have a partially torn lateral meniscus but its not bad.....the ortho said i must have had it for some time because the MRI showed a lot of scar tissue and fibrosis....which means it tried to heal itself over.....

    It's good its in the lateral part bc that is the part where the outer 1/3 receives a small blood supply.....however the inner medial meniscus has no blood supply and therefore cannot really heal....

    To make a long story short.....I am doing PT and electrophysiotherapy for it now and taking glucosamine and chondroitin as well as Cissus but I do feel fine....i can still run, play basketball and do all my normal activities....

    My ortho is a very conservative ortho so im probably not gonna get surgery right now.....he said shaving down or taking out the meniscus can have its own problems....such as early onset arthritis or bone on bone conditions later in life.....why have no cartilage when u can have some? even tho its a little damaged......if it doesnt bother u leave it alone.....
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  3. #3
    Registered User paul0616's Avatar
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    It likely won't heal on its own. But that doesn't mean you have to get a scope. Your knee will likely be fine in the short / mid term, but the unknown is what it happens two or three decades out.
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  4. #4
    Registered User MrThanksgiving's Avatar
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    I have had torn menicus in both knees. I had surgery on the right knee where they shaved the torn meniscus off. They did it on a Friday and I was in the gym the next Monday. My left knee is in need of surgerey but I have not yet got it done. I know very well the akward feeling you are talking about. The only time it is painful is when I twist my knee with weight on it. You could be fine without surgery, but if you do get it your recovery time wont be long at all.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Beachmaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Matthew3000GTsL View Post
    Almost two years ago I was doing squats and my knee popped. I was suffering with

    inflammation, stiffness, and knee locked up after short periods of walking. I laid off my knees for

    2-3 months. I had an MRI done and it showed I had a lateral meniscus tear. I visited two

    orthopedic surgeons and both had different ideas. One said my knee would heal on its own with

    leg extensions, and the other MD said surgery(shaving the tear) is the way to go. Fast forward

    to today and my knee is a lot better. My knee does not have inflammation, stiffness, and knee

    lock ups; however, my knee still has issues which I?m sick of, and would like some other

    opinions. My right foot/knee tends to point outwards. I correct myself every time I walk, but it

    feels and looks odd at times. Also, the same knee is extremely stronger than my left knee. I

    understand I probably used my same foot/knee to support myself in the past because it felt

    good and or normal, but I no longer/try to put all my pressure on my right knee. Everyday my

    right knee feels odd because its stronger than my left; and not only that but my foot feels

    bigger than my left. The orthopedic surgeon who wanted to perform surgery on my knee said

    he'd just shave the meniscus, and everything would be fine. The other orthopedic surgeon said it

    would heal on its own, which it did in a way. What?s your guys/ladies take on this, and what

    would you do? It's great I have insurance, $50 bucks co-pay and it gets done. What would you

    do?
    When younger there is more likelihood that a small meniscal tear will heal on its own. So in that respect one of your surgeons was correct. Unfortunately in some cases the meniscal tear can fold over and cause erosion of the bone thereby hastening arthritic change of the joint. So in that regard your other surgeon was correct in terms of having surgery to "shave" off the torn meniscus. However there is another issue and that is lateral meniscal tears can potentially cause longer range problems than medial tears with a significantly higher incidence of knee arthritis in years to come. Only time will tell.

    In the meanwhile IMHO I would suggest minimizing high level impact exercise in an attempt to prevent another tear of the lateral meniscus. In addition, contrary to the fictions that exist regarding the benefits of leg extensions, in fact this exercise can exacerbate meniscal tears and are not very good for rehabing this area. I would monitor your pain level for any signs indicating a worsening of symptoms and if present obtain another MRI to determine the extent of the damage in the knee as well as another clinical exam by an Orthopedic Surgeon to make a decision as to the appropriate treatment interventions.
    Last edited by Beachmaster; 09-08-2008 at 09:40 AM.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Beachmaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paul0616 View Post
    It likely won't heal on its own. But that doesn't mean you have to get a scope. Your knee will likely be fine in the short / mid term, but the unknown is what it happens two or three decades out.
    Yes, that is a primary issue; "the unknown is what happens two or three decades out".
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  7. #7
    Grow Time Frankdaddy's Avatar
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    Third times a charm..Find one more doctor to tell ya what you need in this present time.
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  8. #8
    Registered User paul0616's Avatar
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    I got a meniscus injury at age 20, and it didn't heal on its own.

    I finally got an MRI at age 25, and went to three docs. Two wanted to cut, and one said leave it alone, with the recommendation to give up running.

    I left it alone. Its been nearly twenty years since the original injury, and the knee is more of a problem now than back then. But it wasn't clear to me that cutting out 30% of it or whatever would have a better prognosis.

    In those cases, where a flap folds, or causes locking, then it may be better to get it fixed. But otherwise, its likely a wash.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Matthew3000GTsL's Avatar
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    thanks all for your input. more opinions are appreciated.

    thank you.
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  10. #10
    User Registered honez's Avatar
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    If you have good insurance, I would recommend going ahead and doing it. The surgery is fairly simple, you'll be walking in no time, and healed in a few weeks.
    I originally tore my ACL in 2002 and a partially torn medial meniscus than finally had the tear "windshield crack" into a complete tear in 2005. I had an MRI done and no tear was visible, but obviously something internal was wrong since my knee would complete lock up in excruciating pain when I tried to make a cut playing sports. I went ahead and had the surgery...went so smooth.
    The bad news is leaving it damaged is that depending on the severity, it could POSSIBLY lead to compensation issue and a strength imbalance between each leg.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Logical95's Avatar
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    Yea......I tore mine partially about two years ago (but no ligament tears) and its in the lateral part......
    Funny thing is, it never locks on me, and it doesnt really give me any pain or bother me.....it just pops and clicks occasionally. I can still run, jog, and play all my normal sports like I used to (football, basketball, tennis) and i still go to the gym and do legs.....

    The ortho said thats probably bc I've had it awhile and its had time to scar over or form fibrosis tissue....I'm also taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin and Cissus, which I am sure is helping somewhat.....

    Alll in all, my ortho said if it doesnt really bother me and I can do all my normal stuff, then leave it alone.....if it gets worse take care of it at a later time.....
    But he said if I had any major symptoms, then he would recommend the scope.....but in my case he doesnt think its necessary......
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