meniscal tears and arthritis

margot666
margot666 Member Posts: 3
edited 23. Jan 2016, 04:59 in Say Hello Archive
Hi

I am 56 years old and have torn my meniscus. The surgeon also said I have some arthritis. I have seen some videos on keyhole surgery and the surgeon left it up to me to decide whether to have it. He says that 30% stay the same and 70% might see an improvement. There is always the risk of infection. I was wondering if anyone has had keyhole surgery because the recovery seems varied. He says I may be on crutches for 6 weeks but I thought that was only for meniscal repairs and that most people walk home. I see that some people have surgery to ease arthritis so was wondering if any has had the surgery and could tell me how they got on. I have read that the inflammation I have may be from the tears but he thinks it is the arthritis. I am really confused.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums from the moderation team.

    As moderators we are here to help with any problems you may have using the message boards so feel free to send us a message if you need to.

    I am sure you will get a lot of support from the members on here who have loads of experience of living with arthritis.

    Please do join in wherever you like, you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Moderator AC
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, a few years ago I had a keyhole synovectomy on my right knee to remove some swelling and it did - but not for long because then I was affected by an auto-immune arthritis which wasn't under proper control. The recovery was far easier than the open synovectomies I had on the left knee but it still took some time: I was already on crutches then so it was just more of the same.

    Now I have the auto-immune plus osteoarthritis so my situation is somewhat different to yours. I have always taken the view that surgery is designed to help matters and in my experience it usually does. Patients bear some of the responsibility for effective surgery, the surgeon can do the technical stuff but it is down to us to ensure that we do what we are told re exercise and rest, eating a good diet and generally not being too impatient for a 'return to normal'. Healing takes time, normally far longer than we might like but we can make it shorter by being sensible. I wouldn't expect to be walking out of any surgical procedure involving my knees or any other leg joint - the only surgery I walked out from was my double carpal tunnel operation but had to be held up by my husband because I couldn't use my crutches!

    There are around ten million people in the UK with some form of arthritis or another, osteo is the most common and in its early stages you won't know it's there. In your shoes I would opt for the surgery - the chance that things could improve is never to be sniffed at. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,278
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello margot666 and welcome to the forum.

    I can see where you're coming from – too much apparently conflicting information. You seem to have seen the surgeon about a torn meniscus only to discover you also have arthritis in the knee. I'd have like to query his percentages (“ 30% stay the same and 70% might see an improvement. “) The 30% sounds definite so why only 'might' for the 70%? And, are these percentages for any meniscus tears (ie including superfit athletes) or for those who also have arthritis in their knee?

    There's a risk of infection with any surgery but it would never put me off something that needed doing.

    I'm a bit puzzled by your sentence “He says I may be on crutches for 6 weeks but I thought that was only for meniscal repairs and that most people walk home.” I had thought it was a meniscal repair op that you were writing about as that's the title of your thread. So I'm actually wondering what keyhole surgery you mean. There's an op called an arthroscopy where I believe the knee joint is essentially cleaned out. Maybe yøu mean that?
    My understanding of arthroscopies is that they do help some but tend to be a temporary measure.

    If you want to read more threads on 'meniscus tear' just enter the term in the Arthritis Care search engine – the small blue 'search' tab above – and some old threads will come up.

    As DD says, it does seem unlikely that anyone would walk out of a knee op without crutches. The incision point might be tiny in keyhole surgery but the inside stuff is still poked, prodded, chopped etc..
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, we're a few days on from your first post - are things any easier? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Ladybrown
    Ladybrown Member Posts: 130
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello - slightly late to the party but I had an arthroscopy on my knee just over a year ago and I suspect this might be the keyhole surgery you mean. A colleague had a meniscus repair at around the same time and she was back comfortably on her feet within a couple of weeks - I think she took a week off. Mine was painful for a longer time (the surgeon told me he'd done a lot of cleaning up in there) but it has improved some aspects of my knee (I have osteoarthritis in my knees, 40 years old). The joint does not 'catch' as much as it used to although the degradation in the joint has continued and I reckon I've got a year of extra mobility out of it. Mine is caused by a misalignment in the joint so I get little dislocations of the kneecap and it is only going to get worse because I do insist on working! But not all knees will deteriorate so quickly and yours may have a more positive outcome - as I think others have said, all knees are different.

    The actual procedure was a lot better than I expected. I took 2 weeks off work because I am a teacher and there is just no way to rest properly and do the job well. And I needed them. After that I did a few more weeks on crutches, did my physio rigorously and payed a lot of attention to the prompts my knee was giving me.
    It's worth finding out what they plan to do and what they expect the results to be. I had no problems with infection and my 8 year old nephew was positively disappointed by the scars :lol::lol:

    Good luck with it, and welcome to the forum
  • margot666
    margot666 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Hello, we're a few days on from your first post - are things any easier? DD

    I have just seen my GP. I told her the conflicting information I have had and that I am unable to make an informed decision. The Physical Therapy Dept said you don't need surgery but as I told the GP form my reading there is no blood supply to the medial cartilage so there is no way it can repair itself. I have a discoid meniscus which tears easier than a normal meniscus and they can reshape it. As I have had trouble all my life with my knees I would like this done. I am too old to have a meniscal repair and this is the repair that would mean being on crutches for 6 weeks. They usually just shave off the tear. I showed my doctor the recovery tracker that the royal college of surgeons put on the web and it says that you should be able to return to walking, swimming cycling within 7-14 days so this doesn't tie in with the surgeon I saw. The surgeon also said I might be worse off as regards flexibility. I just got the impression he was putting me off for whatever reason. He only suggested giving me cortisone shots every 3 months with no mention of physical therapy. I have also read that having cortisone long term is not a good idea as it can mask injury as we see with footballers.

    I finally found a youtube video from surgeons from Basingstoke hospital who have made videos on risks and recovery etc. I emailed him and he replied that I should have a consultation. If I couldn't make it to see him he suggested a surgeon at my local hospital who he said was excellent. My doctor has put in a request for a second opinion from him.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,278
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you're being very throrough and that is exactly what your situation requires. It's good that your GP is on board too.

    It would be good to know why your surgeon was 'putting you off'. In my experience good surgeons actually relish the more tricky ops whereas the ones who prefer a quiet life try to dissuade us. However, it might be that he doesn't feel it would solve your particular problem satisfactorily. That would be worth knowing.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran