I need arthroscopic knee surgery......

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jason L., Jul 7, 2004.

  1. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I have a partially torn medial meniscus on my left knee. I have just turned 33.

    I had an MRI and my doctor seems very gung ho on having arthroscopic surgery.

    I have had this problem for about 2.5 years, and it isn't going away. I can't run or do any exercise that uses the knee, and as a result I keep gaining weight.

    I am wary about having the surgery. I keep reading stuff on the Internet saying that arthroscopic knee surgery is worthless, or makes things worse.

    So, has anyone had this surgery done? I feel like I have no other option but to go ahead with it.
     
  2. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I just had it done... still recovering... exactly the same as you. A couple of days ago I went for a jog. I'm hoping to be back on the tennis court in a few weeks.

    I have full movement, but experience pain if I squat all the way down. I'm hoping that with time that will go away.

    I was in the same boat... couldn't work out the way I wanted to. The MRI showed a clear tear and the photos taken during surgery showed that I really needed it, as the minuscus was torn and folded over. So for me it was not a waste.
     
  3. Chris Rosene

    Chris Rosene Second Unit

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    I had torn minuscus as well. Surgery was a piece of cake. Walked out of the hospital with no assistance. Knee felt 300% better than pre-surgery within 5 days. The key is to keep up with the physical therapy and perform all the recommended exercises.
     
  4. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    I had a torn ACL with my Medial Meniscus tear. I had Arthroscopic surgery to clean it all out. The doctor said if I wanted to in a year to come back and get the ACL rebuilt I could. That was 7 years ago. I'm 42 now and still squat regularly with 405 to parallel.

    Make sure you do the rehab and exercises at home. Bend and stretch like they say or you won't get your full range of motion back.
     
  5. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    In the whole scheme of things, arthroscopic repair of the medial meniscus is really very minor surgery...but the relief it will bring can be huge. You should be able to walk out of the hospital the same day you came in.

    What's important is to build up your thigh muscles before the procedure and work hard on your rehab. Trust me, it's a big relief to be able to lock your knees, bend, twist, etc. without pain and without your knee suddenly giving. And letting the meniscus float around in your knee will only worsen the problem. I wasn't able to get my torn meniscus scoped for a few months after the injury and I already have moderate arthritis in my knee.
     
  6. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Been there, done that. The rehab is vital. In my case, I had to stay off of it for a few days. If you live alone it might suck.

    What I did miss out on, and sort of regret, is that they had a VHS machine in the OR, and would have taped it if I had brought a tape in.

    Glenn
     
  7. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I had it done twice when I wrecked my knee in college. The reason I had it done twice is that I was stupid and went back to Wing Chun before it was completely healed.
    After the second procedure I let everything heal properly and except for the odd day or two, my knee is strong and pain free...12 years later. I think the pain is more due to the fact that I'm probably developing a slight case of arthritis in that knee. They say that surgery points are more succeptable to developing arthritis.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Arthroscopic surgery is a medical miracle. I had it on the shoulder, and it's the reason I have complete use of my right arm today. A friend just had it on the knee, for an injury considerably more extensive than a torn meniscus, and she is delighted at being able to walk again.

    The warning to do all the physical therapy and rehab exercises can't be repeated enough. And start right away, even though it hurts.

    M.
     
  9. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    I appreciate the responses. I guess I should have been more direct with my questions.

    1. How much did the surgery cost?
    2. Was the surgery to a) repair the meniscus b) cut off the damaged part of the meniscus c) flush out loose cartiledge?
    3. What kind of anesthesia did you have a) general b)local c)the kind where they inject into the spine
    4. Were you a runner before, and were you able to run afterward?

    My tear is only about a 2-3 on a scale of 1 to 10. That is why I have been able to live with this for almost 3 years. However, since almost every exercise involves the knee, I really can't do anything athletic.

    I am hesitant because my doctor seemed waaaay to enthusiastic about me getting the surgery.

    I have searched around a bit on this, and have heard from people that didn't do as well as the people who have replied. I have read from some people whose lives were "runied" from the surgery. They say that once you have knee surgery, your knee will never be the same.
     
  10. Ari

    Ari Stunt Coordinator

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    I wasn't a runner per se but would run as part of my workout. No problem running after the surgery but my doctor advised me to not run on asphalt but that's due to excess weight that I'm carrying.

    As I said earlier, no matter how small your tear is, get it fixed since it's just going to cause more damage to your knee. It may not be a problem now but will be years down the road.

    I doubt if arthroscopic surgery to repair your menisci will have any chance of ruining your knee. There will only be three small holes around your knee and these will be covered up by band-aids. You should be able to walk out of the hospital the same day and be back running in a couple of weeks.

    I have had ACL reconstruction (aside from arthroscopic meniscectomy) and it's a totally different (and much more hard core) surgery. I can't bend my knee as far as before and have decreased sensation at the surgery site but functionally, my knee is as good as ever. Meniscectomy is much simpler and I wouldn't worry about it at all.
     
  11. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Well I was a basketball player and not a hardcore runner, but running is involved nonetheless. Yes I was able to run again after getting meniscus and ACL repair, but it took me about 8-12 months before I was at a level close to where I was before. The one thing I noticed was that I lost a bit on my vertical leap. Pre-surgery I could dunk the basketball no problem at regulation height, afterwards I could not (still could grab the rim, just didn't have the extra height). I got some more leaping ability back through additional work in the weight room but still never obtained pre surgery levels

    Rehab is very important. I went to a rehab center 3 days a week, rode bikes, got electric stimulus, and did other stretching and strength building exercises. The other days I did similar things at home.

    J
     
  12. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    Mine was through insurance also. It cost 10 bucks. I got a really nice DonJoy brace for 50 bucks from insurance. I had ACL surgery at the same time so I got general anesthesia. I wasn't a runner per se either but played a lot of soccer,flag football ( which is when it happen during a tourney) softball etc....I love sports. I lost some range of motion in the extension position. My veritical also went down. If you don't have a bike get one. It's one of the best things for rehab.
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I had it done on my left knee about 2 years ago.

    I had to move some computers, but the pallet jack was too small for the pallett - the end of it was dragging on the ground. I had to get the PCs in storage for the weekend, so thinking I was Conan and could drag it.I was fine all weekend and by monday my knee was like a basketball.I had a slight tear of the meniscus, but the main problem was 6 years worth of gout, which I didnt know I had until tey opened up my knee and saw the crystals.

    I was a bit worried becuase it was the first time Ive ever had any sort of surgery done.

    While recovering, I got tired of being waited on, so I decided to get up go downstairs and get my own food. I tripped and snagged my big toe on the opposite foot fracturing it.

    My advice is to to relax and let it heal. It will heal very quickly it you let. I took the week off from work.Keep your leg elevated with some ice and watch some DVDs[​IMG]

    A little bit of physical therapy that included exercise and ultrasound for about a month as I was as good as new.

    I was able to run about 3 weeks after the surgery - but everyone recovers different. Dont push yourself! Like I said just relax and let ur body do its thing.

    Good Luck!
     
  14. Mike JL

    Mike JL Extra

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    I had a tear of the medial meniscus repaired five years ago. The repair actually involved removing the torn flap that was causing the pain. Before surgery, I couldn't walk three blocks without extreme pain. It got to the point that I was literally dragging my leg. The surgery made a huge difference. It took almost a year before it was fully healed. I even experience some pain on occasion today, five years later, but there is no comparison with what I had before. It is definitely worthwhile.

    Mine was paid by insurance for the most part. I had general anasthesia - I wasn't given an option. I was never much of a runner, but I have always walked a great deal.

    One other thing - the success of your recovery is related to your age. At 50, it took me a while to come around. Guys your age and younger typically recover fully in a much shorter period of time.

    Get it done, the sooner the better.
     
  15. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    No wonder your doctor is enthusiastic -- if your injury is preventing you from exercising: get it done! I had a total of four torn ligaments (3 in the right knee, one in the left) from a skiing accident last year -- I couldn't even walk, I actually had to learn to walk again -- after surgery and therapy I am in good shape: I bike, run, hike, swim, etc.

    Good luck!

    Ted
     
  16. Mark32

    Mark32 Auditioning

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    Jason,
    I had meniscus surgery about 2 weeks ago and am still recovering. I am pretty active and had been living with the problem for about 2 months and it kept getting worse. The first surgeon I saw didn't even bother to look at the mri and just wanted to have surgery. I didn't get a good vibe from him and got a 2nd opinion and the second surgeon was able to show me on the mri where the tear was and told me that a tear would not heal itself but in reality probably wouldn't get too much worse. I elected to have a menisectomy (where they cut out the torn part) and was told that the recovery would be pretty quick. During the procedure my surgeon realized that he could repair it (which is much better long term) and so he did but I am on crutches and in a brace for 3 weeks. I am in Texas and have no insurance. The hospital was about $8500, the surgeon was about $2000, and the anaestesiologist (I had general through IV and was out the whole time) was about $800. These are all after they gave me a 20% no insurance discount. The price was steep but is appearing to be worth it.
     
  17. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    A drinking buddy of mine who did in one of his cruciate ligaments years ago playing basketball recently got scoped, because of ongoing pains: the doctor thought he might have done something to his meniscus as well by now.

    As it turned out, it was simply gout, uric acid crystals having formed inside the joint. His wife was not amused... [​IMG]
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I can only imagine how much the procedure has improved in the four years since this thread got started.

    What was "new technology" just a few years ago (arthroscopic surgery) is now pretty routine stuff.
     
  19. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It was old four years ago, Mike. It was already pretty standard stuff when I had it on my shoulder 15 years ago (with complete success).

    M.
     
  20. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I had it years ago and the knee is great. No BFD. Enjoy the day off from work.
     

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