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Meniscus Repair....

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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby CClaude » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:20 am

Will they be removing the damaged part of the meniscus or is it a true repair? Big difference. I've had two tears cut out (both radial complex tears, one on each knee). Lucky, my doctor is fairly aggressive given he is one of the orthopedic sugeons for the US Ski and Snowboard teams. On my first one the intention was a repair, but once they got in they decided that the damage was to severe to repair and just removed it. I was told for a meniscus repair expect to have the knee isolated for 6 weeks minimum.

for me, within 2-3 days I was off crutches.

On the last one, within a week I hiked Mt Humphreys on crutches (didn't want to stress the knee... totally non-technical but still 9 miles and 3500ft altitude gain).

On day 9 did a 1.25mi bike ride. Also on day 9 started to Top Rope climbs using only my good leg (and the arms). Continued both the biking and TRing of climbs until day 30.

On day 10 started PT.

On day 14 started easy weights

At day 45 started to lead using both legs. (doctor didn't authrize me TRing climbs but he never said I couldn't so I figured it was ok, though I never did ask if it was ok....). Came back like nothing happened (profile photo was one the first day back from surgery).

Good luck with the surgery.... Never fun
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Vitaliy M. » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:35 pm

My Ortho Surg is also the local Official US SKI & SB Team Surgery Dude and he ONLY does knees. He repaired my previous knee/Dislocated Fib injury three years ago and he believes in super aggressive PT and Rehab.


So why don't you do as he tells you? You had a good recovery before and should follow his orders for the best chance at a quick recovery.

Enjoy.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:13 am

smoke a crapload of medical marijuana--good for what ails ya
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby chugach mtn boy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:53 pm

I've been through this a couple of times, the most recent one in 2011 with a surgeon who holds the record for the most finishes in the 250-mile Alaska Wilderness Classic footrace. In other words, my surgeon is a badass ultramarathoner. But even he was cautious--had me spend the first month working up to 90 minutes of flat and rolling walking on good footing (never more than 500' total elevation gain). I got my more serious cardio doing hard water running intervals during this period. In month 2 I was mostly trail hiking--didn't progress to total verticals of over 3000 and scree and scrambling till about week 8 or 9. Even with this gradual progression I had some setbacks and swelling issues.

You're going to have issues with prolonged standing and strolling for awhile. Funerals, going to the mall with the wife, can be killers.

One thing I observed: Losing some meniscus changed the architecture of my knee more than I expected, and it just didn't "run right" for quite a few months until it remodeled into a new pattern. This was kind of good news/bad news. The bad is that you're not 100% for a surprisingly long time after surgery. The good is that if you don't like where you are at 6 months, don't be too depressed because it will be better than that at 12 months, and better still at 18 months.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby IagosGhost » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:37 pm

I just had this done about 8 weeks ago to repair the medial meniscus. I started "physical therapy" the day after the surgery with a series of stretches and basic lifting and bending movements. I started real phisical therapy after about two weeks with two visits a week with the therapist and everyday at home once or twice a day I had about 8-10 different exercises to do. All these exercises were to strengthen my leg muscles. After six weeks I was cleared by the doc and the therapist to do anything I wanted as tolerated.

My routine at the therapist was:

8 minutes on stationary bike
knee bends 5 for 20 seconds on injured side. Later proformed this on memory foam to increase balance difficulty
heal touches 2 sets 10 reps
lunges 2 sets 15 reps
side lunges 2 X 15--later moved to a half a swiss ball for balance
squats and heal raises with 70 lbs increasing 5 pounds per week 2 sets 20 reps
leg extensions and hamstring curls 10 lbs 2 sets 10 reps each
one leg squats and heal raises with rubber band resistance 2 sets 10 reps
5 minutes walking on treadmill--eventually moved to eliptical machine and last two weeks running on treadmil

This routine took about 30 minutes to complete.

At home I would 2-3 sets of 10 reps of the following exercises:

wall squats
heal raises
partial lunges (forward, back, and side)
swiss ball hamstring curls
one-leg deadlift
swiss ball bridge
calf stretch
hamstring stretch
quad stretch
a few other exercises I can't remember
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Fletch » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:45 pm

Chiefie- glad to hear you are ok. I waited almost a year to get surgery after tearing my ACL/meniscus (I was living overseas and insurance with the State Dept is a big pain in the ass). My PT was a 6 month suffer fest. Things I learned:

- Get your quads and butt going. Strong legs means less stress on the knees.
- Don't extend you bum knee out over your toes - puts pressure right on the meniscus (it's ok for ice unless you're climbing inverted shit).
- Advil is not your friend. Listen to the pain and stop. Ice, rest, repeat.
- Don't over compensate. Lost of folks start favoring their good knee (putting too much pressure on it) and eventually have to get the good knee scoped.
- Go slow. Check the ego, stay humble, and keep after it every day. Don't let a day go by unless you need the rest. More reps, less weight is always better when getting back into the swing of things...

Good luck big guy!
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:10 am

What negative symptoms did you have before the surgery?

Heal fast. People who exercise often have a better chance for quick recovery (duh). So hopefully you will be ready quicker than you think. You might be able to ice climb this weekend?
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby IagosGhost » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:37 pm

The Chief wrote:Great inputs gents.

A bit stiff cus of swelling. Not much pain actually. Walking with crutches and lots of leg lifts and foot rotations.

Keep the experiences and rehab routines coming.



I was surprised at how little pain I felt in my knee joint after the surgery too. My doctor warned me that many people feel so good after surgery that they over do it and come back after a few days in worse pain. He told me to keep my knee elevated "above the level of my heart" which meant I was flat on my back with my leg propped up for three days. I iced the knee for about 20 minutes 3-4 times a day also. I only got up to go to the bathroom or to get something to eat. It was boring, but I did finish reading The White Spider.I didn't use crutches at all. I think the fact I took it so slow at first helped my general recovery.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Princess Buttercup » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:48 pm

Diffrnt' strokes for Diffrnt' folks.

Even with the same surgery, healing rates, reaction to changes in activity, scar tissue formation, etc. are all different.

Bottom line, if you can push without significantly increased pain, use of meds, increased swelling, then go for it. Still would target stabilizer groups: quads (VMO in particular), lateral hip and deep hip rotators, and trunk/core, before heading into larger functional movements or higher-level activities.

If you have to gimp without the crutches, you aren't ready to be off of them. Every step you take is teaching your body how to move, and the compensations will become habit. Focus on technique, moving with precision, while using the crutch, then gradually speed it up until it's perfect (for you) again. Unless you like limping.

My doc's approach was different, but that was because I hadn't actually torn the meniscus, only stretched it beyond its elastic limit so that it was doubling over on itself (acting like a tear). I had to give it time to scar down and stabilize (only other option was a uni-compartmental replacement or removal of the whole meniscus). My ortho looked at me in recovery and gave me strict instructions to do "nothing" until I saw him in 10 days. Oich: not good for someone who can't sit still. I ended up driving around to seek out the changing colors, using the clutch for ROM, short walks on flat trails to see the trees. Caught myself doing squat-downs to take pictures on my good knee, but the bad one was bending just fine. Hiked up to Tyee Lakes with friends 10 days out, then was able to squat to the floor in front of the surgeon the next day.

5 weeks out: Mt. Gould
7 weeks out: Skied Mammoth opening weekend
9 weeks out: scrambling all over Red Rocks for Thanksgiving weekend

I never had one single day of pain, almost no swelling. Still have all my Vicodin.

Bottom line: push as hard as you like, but listen to your body.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Princess Buttercup » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:02 pm

Damage was to the entire meniscus. Imagine a big, wide, floppy rubber band flopping over onto itself. The line on the MRI, which looked to be mid-substance, turned out to a actual fold. I watched the surgeon play around with his hook, pulling the meniscus across the tibia and saying, "See, it's not supposed to stretch this far..."

Being awake for the surgery was fun.

Agreed, the motion should assist with stimulating as much flow to the area as possible. Like I said, make sure the movements are as precise and "perfect" as possible (whatever that happens to mean to you), in order to avoid compensations.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:02 pm

You might as well get a BLOG for yourself. See a lot of updates about your life, even after that attention seeking "Moving on from SP" thread.
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:10 pm

What did you eat for breakfast?
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby Princess Buttercup » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:51 am

You're welcome, Rick.

And it's Laura. :)
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby CClaude » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:21 am

Hey Rick,

How goes the recovery? Hope you are on track to enjoy the January ice.....
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Re: Meniscus Repair....

Postby TimB » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:13 pm

The Chief wrote:I was gonna wait till Monday (3 Weeks after procedure) but...

All is on track. I have ridden my bike for over 75 miles in three sessions. Go out for one hour walk/hikes behind my home daily after work. Do 30 mins on the Eleptical every morning before work. Swelling and pain are completely gone. Rotation is about 95%. I can bend completely down and up no prob. ETC ETC ETC.

I want to start running so bad but my PTist says.. NO!

All in all, everything is great.

Thanks for asking CC.


Thanks for the update, Rick!
Glad you are doing well, sounds like ice climbing should be back on the menu soon??

BTW:Merry Christmas!
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