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Recovery time from meniscus repair?

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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby dskoon » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:56 pm

Good luck on it, Bob.

Alrighty, speaking of knees, I've "tweaked" my left one, sometime over the past few decades. I say tweaked, as I"m not sure what else to call it, or how bad it is compared to what you guys are talking about. MIght've done it backpacking across the tundra years ago, when I hyperextended it pretty badly(lying on the tundra, in pain), though not sure, as that was a couple of decades ago. . .

Anyway, mostly, the knee seems fine, ie, I can bike, hike, ski, and run(a little), with little or no discomfort. But, ah, here it is, when I really noticed it is was a couple of years ago running uphill at the local park, and then felt a severe twinge towards the front center of the knee. Needless to say, I don't run uphill too much anymore, though there is one trail I do run now(gingerly),with little or no complaints from the knee. And, sometimes if I"m on a ladder for awhile, and step off a certain way, I can definitely feel it, though not all the time. I paint houses in the summer and the knee mostly does fine.
So, dunno. Some people have suggested it's tendonitis, and some have suggested it was a partial tear. . . Hiked in the Sierras this past summer with nary a complaint. Just acts up every so often. Probably should get it checked out, but, almost never seems bad enough to warrant it. . . Thoughts? Thanks.
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby JanG » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:49 am

Bob:

I looked at your profile and you seemed to be quite active. I suggest that you get the knee evaluated by an experienced Orthopedic surgeon. I am a physician (internist) so I can relate my own experience, since I had medial meniscus tears and arthroscopic surgery on BOTH knees. My left knee was first injured in 1990 when taking a jump on skis. Physical therapy (PT) and stretching exercises, icing, etc helped for many years until it was finally operated & repaired in 2004. My right knee was operated in 2001 within 2 weeks after an acute tear while climbing. In both instances the surgery was outpatient and I recovered full range of motion after PT within 2-3 months and was back hiking and climbing within a year of each surgery, fully recovered.

Once word of caution: after surgery do not rush into full activity too soon and always stretch & ice after vigorous activity. As mentioned, I continue with active climbing and deep powder skiing 6 and 9 years after each arthroscopic repair.

GO FOR IT, you will never regret it!

Lots of luck
JanG
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby westhegimp » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:08 pm

After a day I started the easy exercises. Walking a little with crutches in a few days. Without crutches within a week or two. Lots of exercises, especially in the morning help for me. Easy hiking and climbing within months. It took years though for my knees to feel like before the injuries. Running on concrete or on the trail down hill is no good though. Wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, climbing, bouldering dismounts, ice climbing, cycling, difficult hiking off trail with a heavy pack all good. Well my knees aren't what hold me back. :)

For me the surgery was a good thing, I didn't think that the first year though.

Running on concrete or on the trail down hill is no good though.

Good luck

Wes

PS A friend of mine was RUNNING on trail in less than a week after surgery! I think he regrets that now. So be careful not to overdo it!
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:09 am

My twin exploded his ACL and tore his meniscus in 3 places on December 5th 2010. The recovery time for him is 8 weeks on crutches, swimming in 10 weeks, hiking in 6 months, and skiing by next year. Your recovery time will all depend on how many tears and what type of Meniscus damage has occured. For my twin he had a root tear that might need yet another surgery. Keep in mind Bob that the longer you wait for the surgery.....the more likely you are to have future problems in that knee such as arthritus and possible knee slip. If the injury in your knee is your meniscus remember that surgery is REQUIRED for a full recovery and the knee will not heal properly on its own. Happy Trails Bob and good luck with the surgery (and the painful physical therapy that follows).
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby asmrz » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:38 am

Bob, please have the surgery if you have a tear and if you want to avoid trouble with your knee in the future. In 1992, I was preparing for Himalayan expedition and while running slipped on a water puddle. Tweaked my knee a bit.

In the summer of that year, I climbed several ice faces in the Canadian Rockies, allways with some degree of pain behind the knee, never too bad, but it was always there. In early 1993, almost a year after I first injured the knee, I had a friend orthopedist look at it. Had surgery within two weeks.

Within 8 weeks I was back to winter rock climbing in the Sierra (with some pain and the knee locking every once in a while). By June/July I was in the gym every day working on the knee and in August I left for Nepal. We did the third American Ascent of Dhaulagiri I. The knee was not an issue at all.

Now 17 years later, I still don't have significant problems with it. If I had to have it done again I would never let it sit. I was told that the longer the torn piece sloshes around in the knee, the worse it is for the future. Bite the bullet and if it is torn enough to have it cut, do it. Good luck and speedy recovery, Alois.
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby Deb » Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:23 pm

Bob Sihler wrote:Thanks for the advice here, everyone. I finally saw the doc today. Per insurance rules, he had to send me for an x-ray before doing an MRI, but he was pretty sure it was a meniscus tear, and I'll be scheduling the MRI tomorrow.


Good luck Bob. I'm keeping an eye on this thread cuz I just twisted the mutha-FK out of my right knee skiing 9 days ago. Could barely walk for a couple of days and sported full leg brace courtesy of the VA hospital. ER doc suggested torn MCL...what does he know?
I've got a high pain tolerance and this thing put ME DOWN! With a lot of positive thought and hopefulness (I think), I was able to move to just a knee brace is less than a week and actually jogged a few miles one week after injury. BUT I can neither straighten nor bend more than 45 degrees - MRI scheduled this Friday.
I'm REALLY bent out of shape about not being active, so I understand your aggravation. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you if you do the same for me. :D
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby Bob Sihler » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:58 pm

Deb wrote:I'm keeping an eye on this thread cuz I just twisted the mutha-FK out of my right knee skiing 9 days ago. Could barely walk for a couple of days and sported full leg brace courtesy of the VA hospital. ER doc suggested torn MCL...what does he know?
I've got a high pain tolerance and this thing put ME DOWN! With a lot of positive thought and hopefulness (I think), I was able to move to just a knee brace is less than a week and actually jogged a few miles one week after injury. BUT I can neither straighten nor bend more than 45 degrees - MRI scheduled this Friday.

I'm REALLY bent out of shape about not being active, so I understand your aggravation. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you if you do the same for me. :D


Doesn't sound good, Deb. I hope it's not that bad. My knee was in much better shape than yours sounds after nine days. Yes, my fingers are crossed for you.

I went over MRI results with the doctor this morning. No tears (good news), but some wear to the cartilage and femur. It turned out to be a remote MCL sprain, something the doc says can heal on its own but can heal faster and better with therapy. So I have a consultation with a PT scheduled for Friday.

I've been limiting myself to moderate hiking and scrambling since the injury and will keep it that way for the time being, but I am glad to know I probably don't need surgery.
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Re: Recovery time from meniscus repair?

Postby IagosGhost » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:49 pm

I know this issue has been resolved for you Bob, and I'm glad you didn't need surgery. I wanted to add my experience for reference and benefit of anyone else who may experience a meniscus injury.

In October 2011, I experienced a knee injury while I was running. I felt my leg tighten up a little (I thought it was just a muscle cramp) then I felt a pop in my knee followed by sharp pain. I walked back home very mad that I wouldn't be able to race in a 5K I had signed up for that weekend. The pain was strong enough that I couldn't sleep so I went to my doctor who ordered an x-ray and prescribed some anti-inflammatory medication and pain killers. She suspected a meniscus tear and said that I should get an MRI to confirm it. A few days later I talked to a friend who is a doctor. He said meniscus injuries often can heal on their own and suggested I wait 6-8 weeks to see how it felt. I waited, and I recovered almost completely. I felt no pain, and I could carry on my normal activities so I did nothing further.

About six months after the injury I could tell things were not completely normal with my knee. I could walk, hike with a heavy pack, bike, but my range of motion was not the same. I would occasionally feel moderate pain if I happened to twist my knee or step awkwardly while hiking. I got the MRI which confirmed a meniscus tear. Surgery would be the best option. But I put off the surgery for a number of reasons: fear, busy summer schedule, vacation, etc. Finally, last month, a year after my initial injury, I had arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage. The doctor debrided the frayed and torn cartilage and cleaned things up inside the knee. The surgery was an outpatient procedure.

I am in my third week of physical therapy, and I am surprised (but I guess I shouldn't be) at how weak my muscles are. In the year since my injury my right leg muscles have atropied considerably. My right thigh is 1.5 inches smaller around than my left, and my calf muscle is .5 inches smaller too. The exercises I'm doing are to return my strength to my pre-injury level. I have a routine to do daily at home and I visit the physical therapist twice a week for more intense workouts. I am scheduled for 5-6 weeks of PT. I can say my knee feels so much better, and I can tell I am getting stronger. My range of motion is returing to normal, and I hope soon I'll be able to return to my previous activities.

What I have learned from the exerience: Don't wait! The surgeon said that I wasn't the first person to wait, but if I had waited much longer--another six months-- the surgery probably would not have been effective or of much benefit. The longer one waits, the more potential for further damage to the joint there is.
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