Left Knee Injury

by Andrew D'Angelo
(St. Louis, Missouri)

I injured my left knee on 08/31/08. It popped and had severe pain/swelling (hasn't gone down yet). Its a Workers comp situation, unfortunately.

Had MRI: Alot of complicated medical language. I had prior left knee surgery (tendon/ligament/cartillage removal) in 1977, which showed up on MRI. Also had alot of "chondromalacia". And alot of "ostephytes" and "lesions". No meniscal tear seen, or damage to any ligaments or tendons. Mostly Grade 4 osteoarthritis (no cartillage seen...bone on bone, etc.).

My orthopedic surgeon told me I would need a TKR probably. But, he want's to try arthroscopic first, event though he highly doubts it will cure/solve my Grade 4 osteoarthritis ("my knee is pretty well shot). He said, "I doubt if it will help solve your osteoarthritis problem, but it "might" help your pain and swelling.

I guess my question is...is this good standard of practice to do a surgery that probably won't help my situation at all, and will more than likely still result in a TKR in the near future? Why go through 2 surgeries when the 1 big one could fix the problem for me right now?

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