Question - Medial Meniscus Tear (continued pain/swelling)

by Michael
(Hoover, Alabama)

I had surgery for a Medial Meniscus Tear on my right knee 1 year ago. I had 3 weeks of therapy before returning to work.


About 3 weeks after returning to work my knee started hurting on the opposite side directly under one of the incision points. I was sent back to the Doctor and he drew a tremendous amount of fluid off of my knee and gave me a Cortisone shot. This felt much better for about 3-4 weeks then it returned.

Ever since then my knee has been swollen primarilly on the right side which is opposite of the side where the miniscus was torn. My original doctor could not find anything on MRI's, but decided he needed to go back in to find out what was going on. He told me that if I didn't correct the problem that I would be looking at early knee replacement.

At this point I requested another doctor (This is a workmans comp. case) because I didn't feel comfortable with him going back in to do exploritory surgery. I was given a new doctor and he felt like he could do a laterial release and help my problem, but he was of the opinion that if I did nothing at all that it probably would not cause an early knee replacement.

I really do not know what to do. My knee stays swollen all of the time, the pain most of the time is bearable. I can no longer run, the pain around the lower right side of my knee is unbearable.

I really want to do what would be the best long term solution to the problem.

My age is 48 years.

Comments for Question - Medial Meniscus Tear (continued pain/swelling)

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Apr 23, 2008
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Rehabilitation...
by: Bart - SII

Your situation is a complex one, and a sticky one at that. Anytime you have a workmans comp case, it can become frustrating because usually the physicians are not chosen by you.

Continued swelling, especially if it is inside the joint suggests that there is something going on inside. I am assuming that this is your case because of the constant swelling.

There are many different things that can cause joint effusion - meniscus damage, cruciate ligament damage, articular cartilage damage, and synovial irritation among others. The MRI you had - was that before your surgery or after?

My first recommendation would be to return to therapy if you have not already done that. Strength deficits, even minor ones, can contribute to excessive stress on the knee and lead to some of your symptoms. Secondary to that, I would be concerned about a lateral release unless your physician is absolutely sure that your problem is caused by lateral tilt or lateral tracking of your patella. These conditions are the ones that respond best to this procedure.

Again, this is a fairly complex situation, and I would recommend that you discuss every possible option with your surgeon, especially returning to rehabilitation.

I hope this helps - please comment back if you have other questions

May 08, 2008
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meniscal tear
by: Anonymous

I am 23, Female and i incurred a knee injury(right knee) way back my college days due to basketball( i was playing for one of the universities here in manila). At first I was diagnosed to have an ACL tear, then i took a second opinion and was advised by the University surgeon that it was a partial meniscal tear(specifically lateral meniscus tear). I was told not to have it operated & undergo knee strenghtening therapy instead. My knee wasn't the same as it used to be.I have no problems doing my normal day today activities but sometimes it tends to lock if I extend it too much. I also still get to play basketball but if i land on my right knee or if i make a wrong lateral move i would feel a twitch(or a click as if my knee glided) and it would cause pain & swelling for days. What should i do about it?

Aug 23, 2008
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Hard on the knee
by: Anonymous

I got hit by a car many years ago and my meniscus was in bad shape. I had to wait almost 2 years to get into a specialist because I wasn't on any form of healthcare. I had a MRI done and had to have surgery to remove fragments. This helped me for a bit but about 6 months after my symptoms came back. I had a second MRI done and the specialist said there was a hairline indentation that he could not fix. I can walk around but have to be really careful. Going up the stairs is the hardest, it makes my knee hurt really bad. If I try to push off with that leg to the left or right it'll drop me to the ground because of the pain. I'm thinking I should try to get a second opinion. I don't like the answer I got that i'll have to deal with it for the rest of my life....

Sep 29, 2008
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Miniscal Tear
by: Dee

I had surgery about 2 years ago and the pain is still there. I find that when I do parades and fairs with my kids I get home and I feel like if my leg could be cut off from the knee it would be so much better. The pain is unreal. I can no longer bend stand for a long period of time our squat. After taking a hot shower and letting the water hit it in the spot where it hurts and taking something for pain in the morning it's much better and if my routine is the same the pain is right back. The back of my knee always feel as tough there is a lot of fluid but it never swells, for as much pain I be in you would think it would swell. When I had the surgery my doctor sent me home with no cruch or knee brace and told me I could put pressure on the knee the next day. I fold that strange because the next day I was unable to put body weight on my knee. I think I may go and have my knee looked at again to see If there is some other problem. I don't thin it suppose to hurt like this. I just turned 40 this August. My doctor who performed the surgery told me Author may visit me. What do you think anyone, should I go to the doctor and see whats going on with my knee again?

Nov 13, 2008
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medial meniscus surgery
by: Anonymous

I just had surgery on 10/31/08 for a outter brim meniscus tear. just started therapy and I have no pain at all. I do have fluid above the knee cap, but have been told it will dispearse.still very stiff when bending the knee, but overall very good. luckily my workers comp lets me choose my own doctors and I chose the best in boston, DR.B Zarins at mass general sports. do your homework and find a good surgeon its your knee.

Nov 27, 2008
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Medial Meniscus Tear (Rt Knee)
by: Habib

Dear All,

I have been suffering of medial meniscus tear and I am looking for a good doctor for treatment. As per my knowledge from website it can be resolved by arhtroscopy. But I dont know that will it have any negative impact in future? Should I go for this treament. If any one can help me providing doctors information in this regard please write on sahabib65@yahoo.com

Looking forward.

Dec 18, 2008
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Get a MRI to be sure
by: Braddo

its been three weeks since sugery for me the knee is still swollen and swells after a walk it clicks and givesway the pain is bearable with codine the os said its normal it didnot click before he says he can't do any thing about it the swelling is going down slowley and I don't think he is interested in going back in I'll see him in a month that's to long for me I want to no if its torn again what should I do please respond quick

Mar 09, 2009
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Is an orthopedic D.O. a good idea
by: Margaret

I am 71 years old, in good health and active. I enjoy long walks, dancing, pilates, bicycle riding and the treadmill. I have been experiencing leg and thigh pain intermittently for some time and lately left knee pain. At times the pain is so severe I really can't get around. My primary physician is a D.O.,he sent me for a MRI. The MRI showed a medial meniscal tear also generalized capsulitis, particularly anterolaterally. I was set up with an appintment to see an othopedic doctor. I found out online he is a D.O. also. Would a D.O. be recommended to do surgery if needed. I would very much prefer not to have surgery because of horror stories I have heard about continued pain and arthritis and future total knee replacement. Should I get a second opinion? Thanks, Margaret
margrey@comcast.net

Mar 09, 2009
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Surgery or not
by: Bart - SII

Hi Margaret - to answer your question, yes, a D.O. would be ok for surgery, provided they have experience in dealing with knees.

From what you describe, it sounds like your knee is keeping you from doing the things you enjoy. There are obviously reasons to avoid surgery. You can never guarantee the outcome, and there are risks including arthritic changes, continued pain, etc. Surgery to fix a meniscal tear is relatively simple, done arthroscopically, and the recovery time is generally about 6-8 weeks, depending on your level of health prior.

There may be options for conservative treatment - rehabilitation, etc. The decision ultimately has to be based on how limiting the current injury is, and whether it is something you can live with, or something that you feel has to be fixed.

Bart

Mar 09, 2009
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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you Bart, your comment was very helpful. I have definitely been going through a bad spell with pain and inability to get around well but then it has in the pased cleared up and I will be ok. The thought of removing the meniscus is fearful because once it's gone it's gone and then I will have bone on bone. Margaret

Mar 10, 2009
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maybe not the entire meniscus
by: Bart - SII

Margaret, they may not have to remove the entire meniscus - in fact, that is rarely done anymore. They only remove the torn portion, so depending on the size of the tear, it could be a small percentage. Your surgeon should be able to estimate based on the MRI, but it shouldn't leave you completely bone on bone unless you have some other type of trauma / previous history of meniscus damage in that knee. Still, all of the concerns of arthritis and recovery are still there.

Bart

Apr 01, 2009
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KNEE PROBLEM MRI REPORT
by: PUSHAP CHANDER

in 1997 i got an accident where my knee bone scrached & doctor had given 3-4 months rest with weight on legs but know after a long time the pain strat .4 days before i took MRI my mri rerport is ----
1: EVIDENCE OF JOINT AND BURSAL EFFUSION.
2 : LINEAR HORIZONTAL SIGNAL SEEN IN THE MEDIAL MENISCUS REACHING ARTICULAR AND CAPSULAR SURFACE.

3: ABNORMAL SIGNAL SEEN IN THE VISUALIZED PERIARTICULAR SOFT TISSUE INCULIDING INFRAPATELLAR FAT PAD OF HOFFA.



IMPRESSION:

1: GRADE 3 TEAR IN THE MEDIAL MENISCUS.
2: JOINT AND BURSAL EFFUSION.
3: PERIARTICULAR SOFT TISSUE ODEMA.
LINEAR VERTICAL SCLEROTIC LINE SEEN IN THE LOWER END OF FEMUR.

MY EMAIL ADD.IS PINTU_SHRESTHA@YAHOO.COM


Apr 12, 2009
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Hopeful that results can be found
by: Anonymous

What do you do when you can't have a MRI anymore because you have a dorsal column stiumlator in to ease the pain of your lower back. The knee sometimes swells and the dorsal column stimulator helps with the lower back pain. This has caused the opposite knee to wear some. I was able to get the other doctor (non worker'scomp) to look at that knee and he recommended a knee brace to support that knee therefore easing the pain some. The right knee has many issues do to excessive pain. The back and the right knee can sometimes hurt so bad all you can do is cry and rock. I wish that they would just let me get a team of doctors in the same place work as a unit to resolve the problem. I go to Dothan Alabama for hip and back problems (worker's comp) and VAldosta for the knee. The doctor in Valdosta is getting a CT scan because I can't have an MRI with the stimulator in. My prayers are with those that are suffering because I understand the pain....I also pray a lot and get busy whn the pain occurs, trying to put mind over matter. The injury was to lower back, hit and right knee.

Sep 24, 2009
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Grade 3 Meniscus Tear
by: Kay

Okay, the impression from an MRI states: Chronic mild osteroarthritic change of the medial compartment of the knee with evidence of oblique grade 3 injury/tear body of the medial meniscus and possible subtle tear body of the lateral meniscus. A moderate-sized joint effusion is present. No ligament injury is identified. I work as a CNA and the only restrictions I have been put on is to Alternate sit/stand as needed, No repetitive squat/kneel, No repetitive climbing. Meds to take IBU and tylenol. My knee injury happened on the 7th of August at work and I have been told by the PA that she will not take me off work under any circumstances or she will be fired. I spoke to work and they tell me all they can do is follow Dr.'s orders. I compare the pain in my knee to a dead peice of skin on your finger and when you pull it off it pulls beyond the dead part and into the live part of your finger-like being skinned alive. I am concerned about safety especially working with a resident and the possibility that if the knee locks or gives way, we could both be hurt and I could loose my license. I am beside myself, the pain is sever and the meds they have me on are less and less effective. I am suppose to go in to see the ortho dr. work picked Oct 1st, eight more days away and that scares me because it is obvious they do not have my best interest at heart. I asked if I should be working a regular shift with 17 patients and the Dr. office told me the surgeon would make that call when he sees me Oct 1st. I feel like I am getting the run around. I am concerned that I could be causingn more injury by being on my legs, stressing my knee out 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. Any suggestions? I'll check back. Thank you

Dec 26, 2009
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better
by: Teter

I had a pretty bad tear after 2 months it was some better then I worked it way too much and was in extreme pain for 2 weeks was told I needed surgery by everybody except my wife who is into natural healing,so I listened to her and found a good nuro muscle therapist,slowly it has gotten much better and feels great now with just stretching and exercise.

Oct 22, 2015
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knee NEW
by: http://www.essaymojo.com/

It is so easy to hurt knee! I think it needed some therapy after surgery. Maybe any special exercises.

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