Knee Arthroscopy


The growing interest in exercise and sports has made knee injuries common. The knee is a complex and active joint. This makes it easy to injure or to damage. Arthroscopy allows your surgeon to see into the knee to find out how bad your knee problem is, plan surgery, watch or treat knee your problem. Arthroscopy is used to treat meniscus and ligament injuries, wear and tear problems, loose bodies in the joint and problems with the kneecap. Arthroscopy typically causes much less pain than other kinds of surgery. Healing time can be much shorter, patients usually go home on the same day as their surgery. Also, it leaves small scars.

This article teaches you about knee anatomy, common knee problems and knee arthroscopy. The content and medical illustrations in this article are property of Media Partners, Inc. and have been filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Healthy Knee Anatomy

Normal knee anatomy

Normal knee anatomy (click to see larger image)

Knowing knee joint anatomy can help you to understand your knee problem. It can also help you to properly care for your knee after your surgery. Proper care often helps shorten your recovery time.

A joint is where two or more bones meet, along with the surrounding structures. The articular cartilage, synovial membranes, menisci, ligaments, muscles and tendons are the major structures of the knee.

The four bones that meet and form the knee joint are the kneecap (patella), thighbone (femur), fibula, and shinbone (tibia).

The parts of bones that touch each other are covered with articular cartilage. This cartilage is a smooth substance that protects the bones as the joint moves and the bones rub. It allows the bones to move more freely against each other without pain or wear.

The synovial membrane is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the entire knee joint. This membrane contains synovial fluid. Synovial fluid is a slippery liquid that bathes the joint and allows for even greater freedom of movement. A piece of rubbery cartilage, called a meniscus, is found in some highly active joints. One function of the meniscus is to absorb shock. The knee joint has two meniscus (menisci) sitting atop the shinbone, between the thighbone and the shinbone. Ligaments are rope-like tissue bands that connect and support the bones of a joint. In the knee, several ligaments run from the thighbone to the shinbone and the fibula. Tendons are elastic tissues that connect muscles to the bones of a joint. When a muscle contracts it causes movement in the joint. Muscles and tendons also give added support to the joint.

Knee Problems and Repairs

Knee problems can be caused by disease or by injury. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, instability, and difficulty walking. The most common knee problems are:
• a torn ligament
• a torn meniscus
• chondromalacia
• a loose body inside the knee joint

Torn Ligament

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear (click to see larger image)



Sudden start-stop movements and quick changes in direction are common causes of ligament injuries. Basketball and skiing are two activities where you might use start-stop movements. A torn knee ligament can cause pain, swelling or difficulty in walking. Ligament sprains can take 4-6 weeks for recovery. Ligament injuries can also be partial or complete tears. A torn ligament needing reconstructive surgery can take a year to heal.  In addition, damage to the meniscus may be found and repaired during arthroscopy.

Ligament Reconstruction

ACL harvest

ACL harvest (click for larger image)

Reconstructed ACL

Reconstructed ACL (click for larger image)


Changing your activities, taking medicines and doing physical therapy all may help. If they don’t help you enough, knee arthroscopy might be needed to decide the extent of your injury. Your surgeon can repair or reconstruct the ACL with staples or stitches. The repair is made by grafting other tissue into the injured area. Damage to collateral ligaments cannot be repaired arthroscopically.

Ligaments take a long time to heal. You may have to limit the amount of weight you put on your knee for several weeks. You’ll need a cast or splint to support your knee and use crutches to get around. Strength and range-of-motion exercises will be needed to get your muscles strong enough to support your knee. It can take a year to get back to your normal activities and even then you may need to wear a brace during sports or strenuous exercise.

Torn Meniscus

Meniscal tears

Meniscal tears (click to see larger image)



Twisting the knee joint is the most common cause of a torn meniscus. This can happen during sports or even during normal daily activity. The meniscus also becomes softer with age, making it easier to tear. Tears can occur along the edge of the meniscus or larger tears can occur deeper into the meniscus. A torn meniscus can cause catching or locking of the knee, giving way or buckling (instability) of the knee, pain or swelling. The size and location of the tear determine both treatment and recovery. Small tears need 4-6 weeks for recovery while repair of larger tears can take 3 months or more.

Meniscus Removal or Repair

Cartilage removal

Cartilage removal (click to see larger image)



During knee arthroscopy, the damaged part of the meniscus can either be repaired or removed to prevent permanent damage to the knee joint. If the tear is near the edge, the meniscus may be trimmed to smooth the rim. In most cases, it will be repaired with stitches which can make rehab longer, but your knee will better keep its shock absorbing ability. You’ll need crutches, a brace to immobilize your knee, and limited weight bearing. A full recovery is likely for a mild injury. If the meniscus was removed, you may have more problems in the future.

Chondromalacia

Chondromalacia can be caused by overuse or injury to the kneecap and is a condition where the articular cartilage of the knee bones softens. It is most common on the back of your kneecap where the kneecap rubs with straightening of the knee. As the cartilage softens, it wears away more easily during joint movements. The cartilage can also be damaged by directly injuring the knee. Or the cartilage may just thin with age, which can cause catching or locking of the knee, giving way or buckling of the knee (instability), pain or swelling.

Cartilage defects

Cartilage defects



In chondromalcacia, if the articular cartilage is worn or damaged, the bones will probably rub against each other. This can cause pain walking down hill or down stairs, pain after sitting for long periods, getting out of a chair or aching in the knee area.

Rest, NSAIDs and physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the hamstrings and quads should be tried before choosing to have surgery. If medicine and physical therapy don’t help, knee arthroscopy may be needed. During the surgery, your surgeon can make the damaged cartilage smooth as well as smoothing out any rough or worn surfaces on the bone.

Recovery from mild damage to the surface cartilage can take 4-6 weeks; more severe damage can take 3-4 months.

Loose Body (Joint Mouse)

Any free-floating object in the synovial fluid of the knee is known as a loose body or joint mouse. It can be a fragment of bone, cartilage, or meniscus. It can also be a piece of glass, metal or any foreign object. A loose body isn’t usually noticeable until it lodges somewhere in the joint. Your symptoms can change depending upon the exact location within your knee. A loose body can cause catching or locking of the knee, giving way or buckling of the knee (instability), pain or swelling.

Removal of lose body from the joint space

Removal of lose body from the joint space



Arthroscopy allows your surgeon to find the loose body in your knee joint and remove it.

Other knee problems

Arthroscopy can also be used to diagnose and treat misalignment of the kneecap, wear and tear injuries, and cracks in the surface cartilage on the ends of the bones. Loose bodies and bone spurs are also common findings. Biopsy can also be done arthroscopically.

What is Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy
Arthroscopy is a way to view and repair the inside of a joint. Your surgeon uses a soft, pencil-thin tube called an arthroscope. This tube has a tiny video camera, a light and fluid-exchange paths. The arthroscope, and other small instruments, are inserted into the knee joint through small incisions. From one to about four incisions are usually needed. Fluid is pumped into the joint to expand the space, giving your surgeon better images. The video camera captures the images seen through the arthroscope and displays them on a video monitor.

Because only small incisions are made, you usually have arthroscopy as an outpatient. This means, you can go home the same day you have your surgery.

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Arthroscopy

• Should I take my daily medicines before surgery?
• How much pain can I expect after surgery and how will the pain be controlled?
• Will I be on crutches, a walker or a cane? For how long? Where can I get these? Should I get them before surgery? Should I bring them to the hospital with me?
• Will I need a brace? For how long? Where do I get one? Should I get them before surgery? Should I bring it to the hospital with me?
• How soon will I be able to drive?
• How soon until I can get back to my normal activities like going back to work?
• How soon until I can get back to more strenuous activities like sports or exercise?

Write down the answers so you don’t forget.

Getting Ready for Arthroscopy Surgery

Since arthroscopy is not emergency surgery, you will have plenty of time to prepare. Your surgeon will likely give you instructions to do 2 weeks before surgery:

• Always tell your surgeon or nurse what medicines you are taking, even medicines, supplements, or herbs you take without a prescription.
• Stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other medicines.
• Ask your surgeon which of your daily medicines you should take on the day of surgery.
• Tell your surgeon if you drink more than 1 or 2 drinks of alcohol a day.
• If you smoke, quit. Ask your surgeon for help quitting—don’t use a nicotine patch. Smoking (nicotine) can slow down wound and bone healing and increase your risk of wound infection.
• Be sure to tell your surgeon about a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness or infection that happens between the time you see him and a few days before surgery. You may have to postpone surgery to prevent infection in your knee.
• Get your home ready for your return home. Set up an area where you won’t have to go up and down stairs and rearrange furniture so you can get around with crutches.
• If possible, strengthen your leg muscles with exercises. This can help you do exercises after surgery as well.

The night before surgery scrub the leg with the bad knee from your hip to your toes for 10 minutes using a germ killing soap like Dial.

On the day of surgery:

• Do not drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
• Take your daily medicines that your surgeon says it’s OK to take with a small sip of water.
• Arrive on time at the hospital or surgery center. You will likely have to show that you have brought someone with you and they will wait and drive you home.
• Wear loose fitting clothing that you can pull over the bulky bandage on your knee. Sweat pants or basketball shorts are good choices.
• Bring your crutches, cane or brace with you.
• Your surgeon will ask you to sign a surgical consent form if you haven’t signed one already. By signing the consent form you are saying that you understand the risks, benefits and possible alternatives to arthroscopy and that you give your permission to go ahead with surgery.
• You may be given a compression stocking to wear on the unaffected leg to help prevent blood clots form forming in the veins of your leg. If you are at high risk for blood clots, you may be given anticlotting medicine instead of or in addition to the compression stocking.

During Arthroscopy Surgery

Pre-operative Area

After checking in for surgery, you will go to the pre-operative area. Usually, your blood pressure, pulse and temperature are monitored in this area. Your heart and lungs may be listened to with a stethoscope. Here, you will probably meet your anesthesiologist. She will talk to you about anesthesia and answer your questions. An intravenous tube (IV) may be placed into your arm or hand. The IV puts medicine and fluids into your body. It remains in place until after your surgery. You can probably have a visitor in the pre-operative area.

Operating Room

When it’s time, your nurse will bring you to the operating room (OR). Here, your leg will probably be shaved and scrubbed clean with an anti-bacterial soap. A pressure band (tourniquet) may be applied to your thigh to restrict blood flow and reduce bleeding.

Anesthesia

The three types of anesthesia used for arthroscopy are:

• local anesthesia—numbs your knee area
• epidural anesthesia—numbs you below the waist
• general anesthesia—puts you to sleep

Usually, local or epidural anesthesia is used. If it is, you’ll be awake during your surgery. Sometimes, for more complex surgery, general anesthesia is used.

What You’ll Feel

With a local or epidural, a needle is used to deliver the anesthetic. You’ll feel the sting of this needle. But, once the anesthetic has taken affect, you shouldn’t feel any pain during surgery. You may feel some pressure or tugging on the knee as your surgeon works. You can tell the surgeon or nurse if anything bothers you. If you have general anesthesia, the medicine is put into your IV.

Arthroscopic Surgery

These are some of the problems that can be examined and possibly repaired made during knee arthroscopy:
• synotivits—inflammation of the synovial membrane
• irritations in the plica
• chondromalacia
• meniscal tears
• problems with the articular surfaces of the tibia and fibula (arthritis)
• problems with the anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments
• loose bodies
• misalignment of the kneecap

A small incision is made to allow sterile fluid to be pumped into your knee to expand the space and expose the joint and injured area. The fluid allows the surgeon to see your joint more easily. The pressure of this fluid also helps control bleeding. The arthroscope—a tube with a tiny video camera on the end—is then inserted. The inside of your knee joint is now viewed on a video monitor. Several more small incisions may be made for inserting other instruments into your knee. Commonly used instruments are forceps, scissors, a blunt hook, a shaver and a burr. These instruments are used to grasp, repair or remove bits of tissue or bone. These instruments are guided by the view on the video monitor. This part of the procedure usually lasts between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how much work is needed to repair your knee. When finished, the fluid is drained out. As the surgeon finishes, your incisions are closed with sutures or adhesive strips. Then your knee is bandaged with a compression bandage to reduce swelling and bleeding.

Risks of Having Surgery

Knee arthroscopy is commonly performed and generally safe. However, surgery always has risks. Though not common, sometimes complications occur such as:
• Infection of the surgical wounds
• Blood clots (phlebitis) in your legs
• Accumulation of blood in the knee (hemarthrosis)
• Damage to other parts of your knee
• Instrument breakage

Other possible complications are weakened joint and resulting arthritis, knee stiffness or trouble breathing while coming out of general anesthesia. You may also have loss of feeling in the skin over the knee. Some patients’ knee problems are not corrected with surgery. Sometimes your surgeon may find out during your surgery that arthroscopy cannot help your knee problem. Risks are specific to your knee problem and your surgery, so ask your surgeon to tell you which risks likely apply to you.

After Arthroscopic Surgery

Recovery Room

At the end of your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. You usually stay here for one or two hours, depending on your type of surgery. You will be in recovery until the effects of anesthesia have worn off, you’re past the stage where complications are likely to occur and you’re reasonably free of pain. You can usually have a visitor in the recovery room.

Your blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature are typically closely monitored. You may be given fluids and medicines for pain or nausea from anesthesia. You’ll have an ice pack on your knee to help keep down the swelling. Your surgical leg circulation and sensations are checked. It’s important to pedal and move your feet often to keep blood circulating in your legs and prevent blood clots.

Discharge – Going Home

Your surgeon decides when you’re ready to be discharged. Discharge is based on your recovery from anesthesia and whether your pain is under control. If you have problems or need to be watched longer, you may be admitted to the hospital. When you’re discharged, someone will have to drive you home.

You may have a big bandage, brace, or ice pack on your knee that goes home with you. A nurse usually reviews home-going instructions with you, gets your prescriptions, tells you when to make a follow-up appointment with your surgeon and what to do if you have problems when you get home. It may take several hours to regain feeling in the affected knee. In the meantime, be careful not to bump or injure your knee. A physical therapist may speak with you about exercises you can do. You may also go home with the compression stocking on your unaffected leg.

Recovery At Home

Knowing how to care for your knee once you get home will make a big difference in your recovery and results. How fast your knee heals depends on your age, your job, your fitness level before surgery, how active you are or want to be, and how much time you’re willing to spend on getting your knee back to normal. Everyone’s recovery time is based on their overall health and the extent of their knee surgery.

Before going home, your surgeon may give you a set of instructions similar to these:
• Help at home: For the first 24 hours after surgery you should not be left alone. This is if you need help or unforeseen problems arise; remember you cannot drive.
Rest and walking: You may feel groggy for the first 24-48 hours. Rest and give your body time to recover from surgery and anesthesia. Do not begin walking before your surgeons says it’s OK, usually after 3 days. Be sure to wear your brace if your doctor ordered one. Adjust the brace to give you support but it shouldn’t be too tight. While you are resting, point and wiggle your toes and flex and rotate your foot and ankle for the first few weeks. Be careful not to trip and fall. Keep your hands free to help you balance.
Medicine: Your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and medicine to relieve pain and discomfort. Take all medicines exactly as prescribed.
• For pain and swelling: Your knee is likely to feel sore and be swollen for at least a week. For the first 24-48 hours ice your knee as directed. Rest and elevate your knee by supporting so that your knee is higher than your heart as much as possible. Especially after physical therapy and exercise, and always at night. Take pain medicine as prescribed. (See R.I.C.E. Therapy)
Crutches Use crutches or a cane as directed by your surgeon. You can gradually put more weight on your leg as your knee heals.
Wound care: Keep your wound and bandage dry and clean. With your surgeon’s permission, you may remove your bandage a few days after the surgery. At this time you may shower as usual—use a nonslip mat and hand rails when possible until your knee is strong and stable. Do not soak your incisions in a bathtub. Check your incision every day for redness, tenderness or drainage. You may see bruising, slight swelling and a small amount of blood on the bandage.
Exercise: Begin a strengthening and range of motion exercise program as instructed by your surgeon or physical therapist. Physical therapy can greatly help your healing progress. Don’t forget to ice your knee after therapy.
Return to routine: Return to daily activities and work as soon as possible. You may start vigorous exercise in 6-8 weeks or as instructed by your surgeon. Avoid driving for 3 weeks. Avoid high impact exercises until you’ve made a complete recovery and your surgeon says it’s OK.

When to call your Surgeon
Call your surgeon to make a follow-up appointment.

Call your surgeon with any questions you have about your healing or if you notice any of the following:
• drainage from your incisions with a bad odor a fever over 101.5ºF or if you have shaking chills
• continued bleeding through the bandage
• persistent swelling, warmth or redness around knee
• tingling in your toes or they become cold, discolored or numb
• persistent or increased pain, not relieved by your pain medicine or rest
• pain, swelling or tenderness in your calf
• headache, muscle aches or dizziness
• trouble breathing or chest pain

Call 911 if you have chest pain, shortness of breath or severe nausea.

Expectations After Arthroscopy

Recovery Time

There is often little pain during recovery from knee arthroscopy. You should expect complete recovery without complications. Allow 6-8 weeks for recovery from the surgery; full recovery of the joint can take up to a year. Each patient is unique. The time needed for recovery depends upon your injury, your fitness level and if you had complications. After knee arthroscopy you will have small scars on your knee from the cuts.

A “simple” surgery, like loose body removal, with no added complications, can heal rapidly. Arthritis is one kind of complication that makes healing difficult. In fact, up to 50% of patients with arthritis might not improve after surgery. Ligament reconstruction is a more complex surgery and usually needs more healing time.

Often, patients return to work within a few days. You can probably return to most of your physical activities within 6-8 weeks. Expect to return to intense physical activity only with your surgeon’s permission.

Frequently Asked Questions After Arthroscopy

  • There is blood and drainage from the incisions. Is that OK? A little drainage that is watery and clear or reddish in color is common for the first few days. This is likely the salt water used during surgery. If the drainage is bright red, or looks like pus and you have a fever or pain, called your surgeon right away.
  • What if I have a slight fever? It’s normal to have a slight fever. Take some Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen as directed for fever. If the fever does not go down or stays above 101.5F, call your doctor.
  • When can I take a shower or bath? Keep the wounds where the surgical instruments punctured the skin clean and dry for the first week. Do not take a bath or soak the knee until these wounds completely heal. You can take a shower if you cover the whole area (including the dressing) with sticky plastic wrap (Press and Seal from the grocery store works well.) or use a trash bag and adhesive tape. If the bandage gets wet in the shower, change it.
  • When can I move around? You should be up and around as soon as you can after your recover from the anesthesia. You should not try to walk around unassisted while on narcotic pain medicine to prevent falling. Being up and around will help prevent blood clots and scar tissue forming in your knee. Don’t do strenuous activity or exercise until your surgeon says it’s OK.
  • Why is my skin itching? Narcotic pain medicines can make you itch. Unless you develop hives or shortness of breath you are not having an allergic reaction. You can take an over-the-counter anti-histamine like Claritin or Benadryl to stop the itching. If you have an allergic reaction and have trouble breathing call 911.
  • Why am I constipated? A side effect of narcotic pain medicines is constipation that usually only last for a day or two. Also, the lack of activity can add to the problem. You can increase the amount of water, fruit and fiber you eat. If you need it, take a stool softener. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. If you feel nauseated or start vomiting and don’t feel like you can keep food down, Benadryl or Dramamine may help.
  • When can I drive? It’s usually OK to drive 1-3 days after surgery. You can drive when: 1. you are no longer taking the narcotic pain medicines during the day, 2. (if your right knee was operated on) you can bend your right knee enough to get from the gas pedal to the brake, 3. and, your knee and leg feels strong enough. Sit in the car and see if you feel like you can drive before you actually take the car out on the road.
  • When can I go back to work? If you have a “light duty” job or you can work at a temporary light duty job while your knee heals, then you can go back to work the next day. You shouldn’t go back to work while you need and take narcotic pain medicine. If you have a heavy duty job, then don’t go back to work until you can do your job safely.

Comments

  1. Phil Foxall says:

    Found very useful but after two weeks of my rtroscopy and partial meniscal surgery I am still in pain and find it hard to do any excercises etc. I have also been advised to use crutches for 6-8 weeks. Tis is also awkward as I have pain in my lumbar region. I am 57 yrs of age.
    Tramadol are not effective, the only medication that helped was morphine, but they only gave me a very small bottle.

    Thanks and Regards
    Phil

  2. I had this surgery Tuesday Sept 28,2010. After surgery was sore and didn’t sleep much first night. But I think that me being up and down kept it from stiffness. The followering day was great.Didn’t need crutches. Better everyday. Then on Friday I had been waliking and everything healing great. I had Therapy and then went home. My knee started bleeding. Elavated leg and it stopped. Knee looked as if bleed inside.Dark and bruised. Ibruise cleared up by the followerin wednesday.
    Over weekend knee and down front leg it hurt. Little sharp pains At night I have throbbing pain on left side of right knee. Loratab has helped me sleep.
    Doctor says everything is normal and healing fine. He will see me again in 4 weeks. This is the 9th of the followering month. I still have swelling that now is alway to my ankle. Nurse says to keep leg elavated. I have pain when walking and feelig that something is pulling in same ares. Some heat and bruising in knee area.
    I’m hoping that this heals soon. I would’ve liked to go back to work asap. I’m worried about how long. plus hoping that i havent harmed it in any way.

    Thanks
    Phyllis

  3. Had meniscus surgery on Sept 24. All went well and was walking right after operation. Now 3 weeks later, have a tightness on outside of knee. My PT says possible cause is something to do with a tight
    Iliotibial Band. Can’t sleep past 3am. Going to do more PT. Anyone have similar experience?

    Dave

  4. I had meniscus tear repair on both sides and a “polishing” of the bottom of my femur bone on Nov 23, 2010. Easy first two days. The third day, Thanksgiving day, i could put little weight on it and the pain was out of control. By the post op visit on 11/29/10, there was still significant swelling and bruising from my hip to my toes in patches some the size of my hand. NOT PRETTY. I have great pain when I begin to walk after having my leg up and iced as the fluid tries to gravity travel down my leg and runs into the swollen lower leg. It takes about 45 seconds to one minute before the pain is bearable enough to limp. Surgery leg is about 4 degrees warmer than other leg. ??? Anyone have any advice?

  5. Media Partners says:

    If your leg is that warm, it sounds like you have a fever. Maybe you have an infection in the joint. Take your temperature and let your doctor know if you have a fever.

  6. 3/31/11 Had knee arthroscopy for medial and lateral meniscus tear. Throbbing pain the first night even after taking Vicodin and Motrin. Felt better the next day. Pain was just a discomfort with one Vicodin every 4 hrs. and Motin 800mg every 8 hrs. Up and about for short periods the second day. Fourth day only taking Motrin twice daily and starting some light knee excerises. Day seven walking with slight limp but lots of clicking going on inside knee area. Thinking about taking Physical Therapy. Taking only Motrin 800ng once a day.

  7. I think it depends on the activity level you were at to begin with. If you got home and elevated your leg and kept it iced for the first 2-3 days you shouldn’t have any problems. I had mine done and within the week we drove across the United States for a month. No problems. But, I kept walking and doing knee exercises. My husband age 66 is having another one done on the 19th and says he is going back to work on Friday. We shall see.

  8. David, I had the surgery for a Lateral Release, and chondromalasia. They found a small meniscus tear. The knee cap pulling to the outside of the leg, is aweful, I have it in both knees. In my right knee, I had the Lateral Release done to help the pulling on my right knee. Before the surgery on my right knee, I had been to Physical Therapy for 3 months, and had pain on and off for 2 years. It was a good last resort. Since the surgery I have had a rough few weeks. it is pushing 6.5 weeks. I have the same issue in the left leg, I found that Taping the knee helped a lot! The tape help the knee cap in the correct alignment. It just stinks when it is not taped. The Physical Therapists should help with some exercises to stretch the IT band. It helps. :) Good luck!
    K

  9. I had arthoscopic surgery for a torn meniscus in the left knee on April 7, 2011. The first night was difficult, I didn’t take the vicodin at the first twinge of pain so it was hard to sleep. finally took the pills after suffering for many hours (don’t wnat to become addicted) and it didn’t help so I had to take two more before the pain was under control. I iced my knee for the next few days and was able to limp around the apartment. however i wasn’t able to drive becasue I couldn’t bend my knee. enough to get in the car. I was finally able to drive after 10 days. Started physical therapy on day 10 things were going well but lately my ankles and lower calf is hurting, the outside of my knee hurts as well, i get sharp shooting pains in my knee and throbbing pain inmy calf. My right knee also has a tear and the pain is intese there becaue i’ve been putting the majority of my weight on it. I elevate my knee at night but still have trouble sleeping sometimes. Thanks to whoever recommended icing the knee after physical therapy. I’ll start doing that, hopefully it will help, It’s been 35 days since I worked. I was hoping I would heal faster than i have. I’ll see the doctor next week to discuss surgery on the other knee.

  10. Holy crap, didn’t this surgery actually help anyone? I’m thinking about going through with arthroscopy, but all these comments make it sound like the end of the world!

  11. I had arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus 4 days ago. I had been suffering for over a year and a half with this.I am removing the bandages today but fear that i have torn a stitch , as it has bled thru all the bandages. My knee is still in pain and it throbs almost continually. I get cramping around the kneecap and its cracking and clicking lke never before. The surgeon tells me 4 weeks to go back to work but I cannot see that happening anytime soon. I bought a cane to assist with the weight bearing as i was advised that crutches would just be more of a pain to use. Not sure where this is going….and I still have the right knee yet to be done….

  12. I am getting arthroscopic surgery done next week for my torn ACL. Super scared, but I’m getting general anesthesia. does anyone know how long it will take for the anesthesia to wear off completely?
    I also need to do a singing performance at school 2 days after the surgery. is this possible?

  13. Virginia says:

    Nick, I read your remarks and laughed; my thought exactly…
    EVERYONE is unique. I am very optimistic I will have an improved situation with my right knee. I had A.surgery for torn medial meniscus on the 20th of May. My surgeon is very good and this makes a boatload of difference. I am an active 57 year old woman.

    I am doing quite well. I never needed pain medicine after leaving the outpatient surgery center – where I was for only about 3 hours. I was the most ill from the general anesthetic.

    I was walking without crutches on day 3 post surgery and driving my standard transmission vehicle after a week. Stitches on the three incisions came out on day 6. I wore surgical anti embolism stockings for over a week on the right leg and 6 days on both. Now on day 11-12 I am doing normal daily movement quite well, plus stretching, and trying an indoor exercise bike – icing afterward. I hope to continue to ease into outdoor cycling in a couple weeks and gentle hiking/walking activities.

  14. Hi I can relate to all the above stories except the very fortunate 57 yr old athlete. I had a large meniscus tear w/cartlidge damage on my right knee. I had surgery 5/26/11& was adv’d my surgeon had to flip back my meniscus into place& shave cartlidge& even part of my bone. I started PT 10 days later& they got me walking again until my 3rd wk post op, my new PT made me squat my body wt on that leg. Ithen couldn’t walk again & had to have surgery on my left knee 7/8/11. It’s been 6wks since my right knee surgery& it still hurts. My advice to everyone is be careful during PT& let your PT know no means no the first time& if you tell them you can’t & they insist, suggest you get a new therapist. My left knee tear was not as bad bandages come off tomorrow. Wish me luck as I too wish you all the best& a quick& healthy recovery.

  15. I had torn meniscus on right knee surgery done 20/5/2011 got staph infection & in hospital for 10days no physio done even 2 weeks after I was released. In total pain & lack of sleep for 2 months. I did my exercises as much as I could while taking oxycotin to no avail. Still couldn’t bend my right knee.therefore, scar tissue set in. Went back for 2nd arthroscopic on 18th July 2011. Still can,t bend knee & in constant pain worse than 1st operation. My specialist has given up on me saying “I’ll be limping forever” I wonder if life now is worth living as I was a very active person & loved my dancing & gardening. Now I can’t even bend down to pick things up or sleep

  16. I had a right knee arthroscopy done on 8/3. Was supposed to be a “look and see” with a possible PCL reconstruction, I tore my PCL on 4/9. Doc says PCL is healing but I had damage to my knee cap. Video is just constant fluff being yanked and sucked out for 30 solid minutes. Still partial weight bearing with crutches and a knee immobilizer. I am getting tremendous pulling pain medial knee with bending. Boy, I hope it gets better!

  17. I’ve seen told today that I need a right knee arthroscopy due to osteoarthritis to buy time before probable knee replacement. I was so positive as something was being done at last after suffering pain for 5 years (I’m a 56 year old woman). But am now teriffied having read all this! Surely these are just bad examples – please tell me all will be okay?

  18. I’m meeting with my surgeon tomorrow , my primary care read my MRI to me and explained its probably gonna have to be scoped because I canyt live with the pain as it is which would only get worse. I have multiple tears – radial tear, horizontal tear, bucket handle tear with fragment floating. I’m nervous to do the surgery of bein in pain no matter what. It seems like 2/10 people have “good” results, all the rest are bad. I’m hoping to go back to somewhat normal after few weeks. I am already in chronic back pain degenerative discs(herniated) + spinal stenosis with vicodin +gabapentin+motrin all 3x daily. Knee has been injured 5 weeks now. Is it worth it to get surgery? How bad is pain and how long does it last?

  19. Hi

    Had surgery 8-3-2011. R knee medial menicus tear. Started with an intra articular injection so I could be awake and watch procedure. Little over a week out feel great and minimal pain and swelling. I feel it went smoothly and feel it was a great choice. No pain meds and PT twice a week. Little stiffness but it is better every day.

  20. Had miniscule op 7 weeks ago and im getting bad throbbing pains in leg .seems to radiate from my groin .Its starting to efect my sleep . knee still clicks from time to time .

  21. Hi….I had Arthroscopy on my left knee two days ago….I had been surfing the week before and my knee had not been playing up for over a month so I was in two minds whether to risk the op or not…2 days on I have no pain at all….I took a couple of solpadol and some ibuprofen on the first night and slept okay…i’m 43 and usually quite active and after reading all these posts feel rather lucky….for anyone thinking about the operation who is worried about all the horror stories…. I would just like to say people who have had post op problems are more likely to be searching the web for answers and there may be many many others who have had more luck and are out running marathons or washing the car….although I will change my view tomorrow if my leg drops off !!

  22. Media Partners says:

    Hahaha Robert! Hope your leg doesn’t drop off. Thanks for posting so people get to hear both sides of the story.

  23. How much does it if you don’t have insurance

  24. Hi,

    Am thinking to have an Arthroscopy at my right knee for a medial meniscus tear, but I am still considering. I can walk with some discomfort, and other than that my life is not too much affected, although I cannot do the sports I used to before, and I cannot fully bend the knee.
    I did PT but the doctor says I still have liquid in the knee, and this is not good (he recommends the operation,and I think he is a good docotor).
    Any advice?
    The other thing that I find “annoying” is that MRI can’t say much (other than showing a tear sign) and so the surgeon will only know what’s wrong exactly after scoping the knee.
    It’d be interesting to know what % gets actually worse or no better….In any case, the legend that one goes in and in 1 h goes home “almost problem free” is definitely A LEGEND, it seems: 4 weeks off work? sounds like major procedure:(

  25. Oh great. I’m getting this done on my left knee tomorrow. I wasn’t scared, but now I am after reading all these reviews…..hope I’m doing the right thing…!!!

  26. can i loosen the bandages?

  27. BEWARE SYNVISC-1. Had surgery Aug. 10th. Did PT twice a week up until Sept. 29th. Had some swelling & clicking when I went for my LAST visit on the 29th. Doc drained some fluid & injected the Synvisc-1, a lubricant. While waiting for my knee to get numb, I read the brochure on synvisc. Was advised and read that I would have swelling for 24 to 48 hours. The 29th was a Thursday. By Monday, my knee was as big as my thigh and I couldn’t bend it. The doc put me in the hospital on strong antibiotics for three days. Had steroids for 12 days. Every week since I have had fluid drained and steroid shots, very painful. Tomorrow morning I’m having the synovium lining “trimed”. In the meantime the pain is horrendous. Of course, can’t take the pain meds after midnight so it will be along night. NO WHERE in the literature does it mention these issues. It is rare, I understand, but it should still be known. The drug co. has nothing about this on their web site and when I called them they stated that my doc is doing the correct proceedures so they ARE aware that this can happen. My “minor” scope has turned major. Any one else have Synvisc Issues? I too have a fear of becoming dependent on the meds and co-pays and time off from work is draining me.

  28. Media Partners says:

    D.

    Thank you for sharing your drug reaction to Synvisc One, it may prevent someone else from going through the same thing. Were you taking any other med that may have caused a problem? Thanks again and good luck with getting over the nightmare! Get well soon.

  29. Had surgery for torn miniscus with lots of (arthritis scraped from kneecap also). Walked on it from day 1 went back to work after 6 days. Spent 1st 5 days pretty much iced and elevated. Started some therapy on my own on 4th day after bandages were removed. Rode my bike around the block after 2 weeks. Now 3 weeks out still swells some and pretty stiff when getting up after sitting but the pain I endured before surgery is gone. I too think a good surgeon is the key, and doing what you are told! For me it was definitely worth it.

  30. I had the sunbird 1 injection in both knees on Monday. Today is Wednesday, and the knees are pretty sore when I climb stairs.I had some bleeding from both knees when I had the needle inserted for the injection, but the bleeding didn’t last very long.I was told that it will take about a month for me to notice any improvement with the knee pain, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

  31. Media Partners says:

    Please come back and let us know how you did.

  32. I’m 17 years old and I had this surgery on December 20th 2011 and the first two days there was a bit of pain but not much. the mediaction I got didn’t really help either so I just didn’t take them anymore. I satrted walking without cruches in the fourth day but ever since I started walking I feel like my knee LOCKS and I almost fall. it either locks to the back or falls to the front and it happens frequently. I have a doctors appointment this Monday (The 16th) but I’m really concerned about this. What should I do or not do?

  33. Hi. I had my meniscus repaired and after 4 months I have severe pain at night with fluid build up. I am not sleeping and am so tired of the pain. I was told by my physo to not work my leg so hard. Therefore I have stopped most activities, skiing, and leg exercises. I am so worried that I will not be able to do my regular althelic hobbies. I went back to my Dr. 2 months after the operation to complain of the pain and problems. he did n’t even look or touch my leg but told me to give it time!!!!! I don’t know what to do. I just keep waiting each day for it to feel better. Anyone else have the pain after 4 months from surgery date?

  34. 9 MONTHS LATER IM STILL HAVING TROUBLES TOO

  35. Media Partners says:

    Are the problems related to the arthroscopy or from the problem that lead to the arthroscopy? What kind of problems? Pain? Loss of movement?

  36. Hi: I think the problems are related to the surgery. The pain is different from before the operation. I have less flexibility in my quad and I can see now that I will not be able to squat down lower than 90 degrees along with no running or jumping at this stage! I was doing all the exercises that were recommended but cut back because of the swelling. I could except the restrictions that I have now but the night pain is still awful. I now have bursitis on the knee cap for no known reason. Again I spent most of the night moving around in pain. I am seeing the Dr. this Thurs and demanding more investigation as to what is wrong. It has to get better the golfing season is around the corner!!!!!

  37. Media Partners says:

    Sandra, I guess if you can’t squat you won’t be reading putts like Villegas. :) Are you doing heat before and ice after the exercises? Tendon injuries can take many months to heal and are quite aggravating. I’ve had golfer’s elbow and an achilles tear and I just got so exasperated with thinking it’s healed and then pain again. The bursitis may come from the rehab exercises. Ask if a cortisone shot into the bursa is something the doctor could do. I know what you mean about night pain. When I exercise too long or too hard I have “jumpy legs” all night. Good luck, let us know what Doc says. Once the Masters is over, you’ll be dying to get out there! hahaha

  38. SO PLEASE TELL ME WHY AFTER 6 MONTHS MY ANKLE AND LOWER LEG ARE PAINFUL????? I HAVE SO MUCH FLUID ALL THE SUDDEN ON MY RIGHT LOWER LEG AND ANKLE THAT YOU CAN PRESS YOUR FINGER INTO MY LEG AND IT LEAVES THIS REALLY NASTY GROSS LOOKING INDENTION WHERE YOUR FINGERS PRESSED DOWN FOR SEVERAL MINUTES… I HAD RIGHT KNEE SURGERY???? WHATS WRONG WITH MY LOWER LEG AND ANKLE???? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME WITH SOME ANSWERS…. everyone in my small town area tells me my surgeon is the best around but has really bad “bedside manors” and im so sick of hearing that…. i can ask him a hundered times and never get a straight answer or if do its a rude answer…. im worried about this, why isnt he worried…. i will have to drive and hour and a half to find another surgeon due to where i live… uhg… help….I

  39. Barbara whyte says:

    Had Arthroscopy surge have pain back of my knee. My leg swell up from long car ride and walking a lots. not ry to left knee on 1 27 2012 .

  40. I had arthroscopy surgery (with spinal injection) 3 days ago. I have had no problems with my knee, but I’ve started developing migraines. I’ve never had them before, things seem brighter than before and it hurts more when I watch TV/try to read something. Has anyone else had a similar experience and if so, what did you do to overcome it?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Steve

  41. Media Partners says:

    Have you called your doctor to tell him about what’s going on with the migraine’s and to see if he thinks it is serious?

  42. Hello, thank you for your reply. I checked with my doctor, as you suggested, and it turns out I have PDPH (post-dural puncture headache). I’ve been advised to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of water/caffeine. It should heal itself within a week or so.

    Thanks again for your advice :o)

  43. Media Partners says:

    Steve,

    So glad you called your Dr. Getting your questions answered is part of the care you should expect from your doctor. PDPH is common, but it’s good to let your doctor know when you’re worried, especially before the weekend, you don’t want to worry all weekend about it. Plus, if there is something you can do to speed your recovery, you want to know what that is and get started doing it.

  44. HERE IS A MORE POSITIVE OUTCOME!

    I am a 70 year old who had (degenerative) meniscus repair, lateral and medial and plica removal, March 8th. I do have moderate arthritis. Physical Therapy 3 days after surgery, which still continues. Needed pain meds for about two to three weeks, then tapered off. Needed crutches for less than a week. I have been making steady progress, increasing my walking (and shopping) time. It is now 5 weeks and the only issue is some discomfort at night – probably from moving in a bad way. I am doing good stretching and strengthening exercises in PT 2-3 times a week, and have about 90% range of motion now.
    It seems to me that recovery time for this varies, but can be as long as a couple of months. I wish the doctor had told me this; I would have been more patient and stop worrying something was wrong. If I compare the pain I had before surgery, the discomfort after 5 weeks is minor. I expect a good recovery.

  45. Media Partners says:

    Good for you Judy!

    I know what you mean about knowing how long it can take. I’ve been trying to recover from tennis elbow, apparently I injured it pretty badly, and it has been 8 weeks and 2 cortisone shots and I feel like it is going way too slow. PT is one step forward and 2 steps back. But compared to the pain I had when I started, I feel great. Keep up the steady pace, sounds like you’re going to have a great result. Thanks for posting a positive outcome.

  46. Theresa says:

    Osteochondritis dissecans, osteoarthritis, anterior ligament damage. Meniscus tear so partial removal, knee debridement. I was awake and it was not horrible at all. I’m only 35. I found the post-op pain way less than what I’d been living with the year before. Completely worth it for me to have less pain and find out what all was wrong. I have no complaints!

  47. Had surgery for a torn meniscus in March. The pain from this surgery is horrible for the first couple of weeks but it’s worth it. I was up and walking with no crutches right after surgery and never had to use them. I have no pain now and I’m glad I had the surgery.

  48. I am 77 y/o and had arthroscopy surgery almost 9 months ago. My surgeon told me I had alot of arthritis around my knee and had a torn meniscus which he took care of. Now I’m having some clicking in my knee once in a while and the back of my knee I have a bakers cyst which seems like to me, I don’t know, that it keeps me from stretching my knee. I really don’t have pain but sometimes my leg feels weak and gives out on me. How do I know if everything is ok when I don’t have pain but difficulty walking. Sometimes it seems like I walk weird, like I want to go forward fast or that left leg wants to go sideways or different from my right leg, it really seems to make my back hurt.

  49. I tore my meniscus and after a second twist of my knee, tore it enough that it hurt frequently. My knee would swell up and be stiff and sore for weeks. I could walk but with a great deal of pain.

    In February, I had surgery to repair the torn meniscus and while inside they saw a lot of arthritis so they did a debridement to shave the athritis off the inside of my knee cap. In doing so they remove a great deal of cartilage. After the surgery I felt very little pain. I had the most discomfort from the general anesthesia which left me feeling like I had a bad hangover for two weeks. I was on crutches for only 2 days.

    After 3 weeks I was able to resume my normal exercise regimen. I had some swelling and discomfort, but not much. I went to PT one day but they told me I was in such good shape I could do the recommended exercises at home. I did some of them, but many seemed too harsh for my pain level.

    Now I am 5 months post surgery. Gradually, my knee has gotten more and more painful. I began using a knee support during the day which has helped and I take 2 Aleve twice a day. With this I am able to function in a normal manner, and able to do my exercise program with only slight modifications. However, I am in pain that varies from mild to severe every day. I have realized that this is how it will be and I need to adjust my thinking because this surgery did not make me in any way pain free. I am in less pain than before the surgery, but I had hoped for better results.

    Today I Googled “pain worse after athroscopic surgery” and found a study done in 2008 that concluded this type of scraping, debridement, and levage that was done to remove the arthritis in my knee is of no value and patients reported having the same results as patients that had a “fake” surgery. Before my surgery, my only complaint was the meniscus tear and swelling. I never before had pain under my knee cap where they did the debridement. Now I feel a burning sensation in that area after any strenuous walking activity. This has gotten worse in the months since my surgery.

    I am writing this to any of you who are considering this surgery. Do some checking on your own because this may not be a choice that will improve your quality of life. If I had known this before the surgery, I would have asked him to only repair the meniscus and nothing more. I would rather take my chances than be in this situation.

    I am a 54 year old horsewoman and I am a very active person. This has changed my life and I am only beginning to make any sense of that fact.

  50. Media Partners says:

    Linda,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Many people, probably you as well, weren’t aware of what can happen with surgery. It doesn’t always turn out for the best. I’ve never had bone or cartilage surgery but have heard it is painful. The debridement that you had – was that to clean off the articular cartilage? Did the surgeon just scrape it down to the bone? Why would that be better? Scraping away the cartilage would leave you with bone on bone. Did he say the cartilage grow back? If so, how long? What does he say about your pain level now and if you can expect it to get any better or worse. I’m very active as well and I would hate the thought of having that taken away from me. I hope it gets better for you. Keep us posted.

  51. michelle says:

    i am suppose to have knee arthroscopy done next week, but am having second thoughts because of the comments. I have 2 children and am a single parent with no family around. Is the surgery worth it.

  52. 51 year old man, non athlete but active, yoga and occasional gym as exercise, HPTW. OTC knee brace as needed, 600 mg q d Motrin about 4 times a week. Recently had 1 shot of cortisone in right knee because of impending vacations and lots of walking (Vegas, NYC); lasted 3 wks.

    History: I had arthroscopic surgery on each knee for meniscus tear, right was done around 1997, left done around 2010. Recovery was good for each, with PT for weeks, icing, Motrin and ES Tylenol as needed. Recovery time was much faster for later surgery, as first knee surgeon let me rest in recliner for couple weeks after the surgery, where the second surgeon had me in PT the day after surgery.

    Current: I am looking forward to having arthroscopic again on each knee, for additional tears, because the pain of frequent under knee pain is finally uncomfortable enough and unpredictable instability (stairs, when walking). Yes, I have less meniscus TO be cut away, but I figure it will improve my quality of life o have less current pain and concern of falling. I am delaying the inevitable knee replacement.

    Yes, there are stories of discomfort, but I also have to add that with my two previous success stories, I had not thought to have posted my positive outcomes. So I am optimistic about outcome, but will admit I only know about the arthroscopic part, not additional debridement IF that was found.

  53. Media Partners says:

    Ross, Be sure to come back and let us know about the debridement and how you do. People always want to hear from what others have been through so they can be aware of questions to ask and things to look for or that worked for someone else. Good luck!

  54. I had arthroscopic surgery of my right knee due to a torn meniscus 6 days ago. I was told that there would be an 80% chance of improvement. I was able to walk on my own the day of surgery and started exercises that evening. I have not needed any pain meds. I am very happy with the results and can even do stairs without pain. It is important to do the exercises, elevation and ice to avoid stiffness. I am a 62 year old female, and am very pleased with the results. I believe that a good surgeon,and following post-op instructions is key.

  55. Media Partners says:

    Good for you Nancy, and thanks for posting good news!

  56. If you have access to a pool, use it! It is a powerful, effective rehab tool. Walk, run, hop, lunge, squat…as long as it is within your envelope of function. A few months out land-based exercise, even very modest, would make my knee swell back up. My quad was shrinking despite the exercise, and I was losing motion. In the pool, however. I can really “go for the burn” without the knee swelling back up on me. It definitely had a positive effect on land-based function. I’m in no hurry to begin running and jumping on land again. I’m making progress and taking my sweet time.

  57. Media Partners, yes, the debridement was to clean off articular cartilage. I had quite a bit of arthritis there. What I wonder is if it was necessary since the surgeon did take it down to nearly bone on bone. (I feel arthritis in my other knee but never feel pain). My primary complaint was the meniscus tear. Cartilage does not grow back, which is the problem for all arthritis sufferers.

    As a followup to my last post: I went to see my doctor last night. He told me I should get a knee replacement. I walked in there with loads of questions and he had no time to answer any of them. To him, the knee replacement was the answer. I’m sure he sees hundreds of arthritis patients every day and he has heard all the compaints, but he did not listen to anything I had to say. When I told him I did not want a knee replacement, (and if he had asked why I would have said because I am able to do all the things I want to do but with pain, so I don’t feel things are bad enough to warrant that surgery. He never asked).

    So he told me to have an injection of Synvisc One. This is an injection of a gel that is supposed to increase the amount of lubrication in the joint but should only last from 3 – 6 months. I went ahead with the injection and it feels good today.

    However, I am very dissatisfied with this doctor and his lack of bedside manner so I am looking for a new doctor. I think every person’s situation is different. We each have our own daily routines, our own levels of exercise or lack thereof, and our own histories. To spend no time listening to a patient means you are grouping everyone into one bucket.

    My husband reminded me of a joke: What do they call the guy who graduates last in medical school? Answer: Doctor. For anyone contemplating this surgery, do your homework and get 2nd opinions. It is your life in their hands.

  58. Media Partners says:

    Linda, I could not agree with you more on the second opinion! I hope you will read the post I did on second opinions. I got one and got out of surgery all together. My sister got a second opinion and got out of a recommended spinal fusion for a one inch scar and cyst removal! Her life would have been ruined forever. I hope everyone who is recommended for surgery gets a second opinion. Thanks for posting!

  59. I am 48 years old. I had an arthroscopy on July 25th 2012. This was to repair 2 x torn meniscus and to remove many bone spurs. I am aware I am up for a knee replacement due to the extreme disease of the joint but I do not regret the arthroscopy I recently had. I was in hospital for a matter of hours, came right home and immediately climbed 2 flights of steps. I took no post op pain relief and religiously stuck to the exercises provided by the physio and surgeon. I was able to drive within the week post op. Certainly I had swelling and some discomfort and 3 weeks post surgery I am still on reduced hours at work primarily due to working as a nurse requiring lots of walking. I do have some lumbar pain which I suspect is a combination of my current altered gait and recovery of a chest infection (that was worse then the surgery). I am still limping and my knee feels like it has a block of wood in the middle of it but it feels so much more stable and there is no pain when I stand up or bend it, not to mention the ease with steps now. My surgeon has said due to the arthritis disease in my joint, my recovery to a normal gait may take up to 2-3 months which I am willing to endure for the positives I am already experiencing. Swimming or at least walking in water has been very beneficial.
    Good luck to you all.

  60. Hi, I had my meniscus removed 35 years ago and or the last five years have been getting progresively bad muscle pains and walk with a limp. Some days it is very painful. The first 30 years gave no trouble at all.
    Can anyone comment on this? I would be grateful for any advice or to hear the experience of others in the same predicament!

  61. Annie Hobbs says:

    As a 59 yr old, with torn meniscus in both knees, not a lot of cartlidge and crumbling joints I decided that I had nothing to lose. I had my left knee done on 25th September. Woke up after ‘general’, had lunch, walked round my room, got dressed and went home. Did’nt even need pain relief. Had right knee done 20th November, basically same routine, although I did take pain relief for 2 days. Swelling is going down, bruising is coming out and walking is okay. It’s very interesting reading everyone else’s comments. Personally, I had not been able to walk up or down stairs for well over 10 years, sometimes my knees would ‘lock up’ and I would wait for my husband to get me up from the floor [or garden], pain was incredible and I always worried my knees would collapse. 6 days on and I feel so much better, I can even do the stairs without pain now.
    Clearly the french post-intervention advise is slightly different, but its worked for me. If you’ve had problems for years then I would say ‘go for it’. I even went horse riding 6 weeks after first Op. Feel great. Good luck everyone.

  62. Media Partners says:

    Good for you Annie! What is different about the after care that the French Drs. advise?

  63. Does anyone know a surgeon in the UK who is dedicated to repairing meniscus tears in older people? I’m 50 and have a bucket handle tear of the lateral meniscus I can still walk but it locks and gives way. I don’t want it removed if I can avoid it also I would rather have an epidural. Thanks my email is gerardparkinson@hotmail.com

  64. meniscus tear day 4. still in pain, no bleeding, keeping knee elevated, taking my meds (4 pills a day). but after reading articles here maybe 4-6 weeks recovery. going back to doc 12-27. the way i look at it, as long as i have to take medicene for pain their will be no work, but am looking for a full recovery in a month. the only thing i dont like, meds make me feel like i had a nap, and feel like crap all day. take meds, watch tv, eat. thats all i can do.

  65. Media Partners says:

    John, You are recovering, so you don’t really need to be doing anything that will injure your knee. Be careful about “all I can do is eat.” Being overweight puts a lot of stress on knees.

  66. Dita San Nicolas says:

    I had my knee arthroscopy was on 12/17/12. My orthopedic doctor removed and cleaned severe tears on my ACL, my medial and lateral meniscus and shaved arthritis from my knee.
    Considering all the work that was performed, I was off the crutches, off the pain meds, started physical therapy, and more importantly, pain free, two days post-op!
    DOCTORS ORDERS… I believe this is key; icing, elevation, range of motion exercises, PT, etc.
    ICE PACK… I iced as much as I could the first 2 days and kept my leg elevated.
    BLOOD AND DISCHARGE… Expect to bleed a little or have discharge up to 7 days post-op (especially if incisions were not stitched). Don’t be surprised if you see blood seep thru the ace bandage on the day of or day after, as that happens. I bled a little after day 2 of PT.
    SHOWERING… What worked for me was saran wrap and clear packing tape to protect incisions from getting wet.
    PHYSICAL THERAPY… My first therapy session was 2 days post-op. It’s well worth it! The therapists are specialized in their craft and will work on getting you to where you need to be. I do range of motion exercises on my PT off days.
    NERVOUSNESS… If you are nervous about the procedure, don’t sweat it. I was a nervous wreck from the time I entered the surgical ward to the operating room, but the procedure was quick and before I knew it, I was waking up in the recovery room.
    It was comforting for me to have a nursing staff, OR staff and ortho doc that reassured me all will be fine. I believe they all geniunely cared.
    Good luck to all that will be going thru the procedure.

  67. Media Partners says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Sometimes all we hear is the bad stuff! :)

  68. David

    I had my surgery last Friday at the Oaks under Mr Loeffler, operated on at 15:15 Discharged by 17:30, crutches that evening and had a good nights sleep, the following day (yesterday) felt a lot better, still on crutches but definitely felt stronger. Today crutches are only for going up and down stairs, have managed all day without crutches, leg feels really good, tonight I removed the bandages and could not believe how small the two incision holes are, both have healed very nicely, I cannot thank Mr Loeffler enough he and his team at the Oaks could not have been better, thank you.
    If you need this type of treatment I would highly recommend Mr Loefler.

  69. I’m an active 64year old – play tennis, cycle, swim, hike, climb mountains etc. I had a massive bucket-handle tear repaired 10 years ago as an emergency. First two weeks were in a splint, followed by a few weeks physio, Absolutely no problem. Have played tennis ever since. Tomorrow I’m having arthroscopic surgery to kneecap for arthritis and a general clean-up of cartilage etc. I’m very optimistic, based on previous experience, and not nervous at all. People who have a good experience don’t usually write on blogs – I’m sure there are lots of us!!

  70. Media Partners says:

    Thanks for your comment on your experience. You’re right, people with good outcomes usually don’t speak up and it’s good to hear your story so people looking into this procedure see both sides.

  71. Had my right knee done last september.Had to stay in hospital for three days due to bleeding but that was ,as it turned out,due to my having taken asprin on a daily basis.Apart from that,everything settled very quickly and I had minimal pain.The whole procedure was a huge success and I recovered quickly.However I had my left knee done a week ago and for the first two days I was pain free,then it all changed.I am now finding it really hard to bend the knee and it has become very painful.

    I have gone back to taking paracetamol and codeine every 4 hours as it is so sore.It feels very bruised internally and it stings and feels really sore.
    I only hope and pray that this is just temporary.I shall give it a few weeks and if it continues to get worse I will have to go back to the consultant and find out why.
    I am so dissapointed as the first op was so successful.I had torn meniscus in both knees and also advanced arthritis.

  72. 3 times surgery still ynstability dr say is in my head harly walk he can do nothing for me anymore i just can take this cqn sameone say opinion

  73. Has anyone had arthroscopic surgery with local anesthesia? If so, is it a good option? Thank you.

  74. I’m 64 years old. Had arthroscopic knee surgery on March 19 after 6 weeks of severe knee pain from an episode of overuse in January. MRI said flap tear on medial meniscus and some articular cartilage fissuring. Surgeon cut out flap tear and cleaned up the articular cartilage. No pain after surgery. Did some PT. Seemed to heal normally the first 2 or 3 weeks although still very swelled up and stiff. Then a lot of pain up and down the medial side of my knee. Doctor said probably aggravated MCL and the small coronary ligaments in that area. Told me to wear a hinged brace. Did so for 2 weeks, things improved. But now, a week ago, developed sharp pain along medial joint just like before my surgery. Doctor now says probably re tore the meniscus. He can’t figure out why it tore again so soon (maybe because I’m 64?). Anyway, he ordered up an MRI arthrogram which I am scheduled to have next week. BOTTOM LINE: Be very careful about consenting to arthroscopic knee surgery, especially if you are older. I deem mine to be a failed surgery and a waste of the insurance deductible and other costs I had to pay, totalling $6,500.00 to date, not to mention all of the time and pain and suffering I have endured and will continue to endure.

  75. I am 52 years old and had a knee arthroscopy done on 6th June 2013 under general anesthesia. I had a repair to a meniscus tear on my right knee, and also had a cyst removed. It was done as a day procedure, arriving at hospital for 11.00 and being discharged at 19.00. After the operation I was told to start my knee exercises that night, that it was ok to walk the next day and I could return to work with in 1 week if it was light duties. Was also advised to apply ice packs to my knee once I removed the bandage. (was told to keep bandage on for 24 hours)
    I am now 10 days post op and have the following problems
    1 – I can not bend my lower right leg more than about 6 inches
    2 – I limp on walking and it is very sore and slow going
    3 – I have problems in trying to get down and sit on the loo
    4 – I can not drive as I can not get my right leg into the car (RIGHT HAND DRIVE UK)

    I have been on anti inflammatory drugs for the past 8 days but my right leg is still swollen above and below the knee

    Can any one advise me please on my next move, and is this normal to have so little leg movement after 10 days

    Thanks Robert

Speak Your Mind

*


× seven = thirty five

Top