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Thread: Meniscal Tear Surgery

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnMarie's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever had surgery for a tear in their meniscus? I'm probably going to have to have this surgery soon, and I am curious about how long it takes and what recovery is like. Am I going to be able to drive or use my foot pedal on my sewing machine during the recovery time?
    I know these are questions for my doctor, but my appointment isn't until March.

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Yes, Last May, 3 years ago and again coming up in April. I have to wait until the end of tax season to have mine done. It is the same knee as last year. They remove the damaged part and just a tiny piece was left in and I re-tore it in October.
    I have to run out the door, right now. If you have no answer by tomorrow I will come back on when I can.

  3. #3
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    Yes, my hubby had it done - they repaired it with cadavar tissue(?)...was off it for a good week...did therapy for about a month.

  4. #4
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I have had this surgery many times over the years back when the surgery was a real nightmare with open incisions 4 inches long so - relax! Now it is a day surgery and they will probably make 3 or 4 tiny incisions and do it laparascopically. My hubby had it a couple of years ago and after being on crutches for about two days per doctors instructions, he was able to bear weight and back to work with no problem in a week. For the first few days, they are going to want you to keep your leg elevated as much as possible to help with swelling and probably keep ice packs on it. They will give you some pain meds but my hubby did not take any after the first day. Only your doctor of course can rule on how soon you can sew and/or drive.

  5. #5
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    This should be an easy recovery for you. Watch for swelling and drainage. I got staph when I had mine done, but that was 6 years ago. You should do just fine and be out and about soon.

  6. #6
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    My mother is having her done too she also has a stress fracture not sure if they go hand in hand. Your young you will recover fast!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DawnMarie
    Has anyone ever had surgery for a tear in their meniscus? I'm probably going to have to have this surgery soon, and I am curious about how long it takes and what recovery is like. Am I going to be able to drive or use my foot pedal on my sewing machine during the recovery time?
    I know these are questions for my doctor, but my appointment isn't until March.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i think you should to well it is not as bad as it was in the olden days LOL

  8. #8
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    My daughter had it a few years ago while she was in high school. She only missed 3 days of school but had a bigtime brace and used crutches.

  9. #9
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    It is done arthroscopically, I only have 2 holes in my knee. It only takes a little while, You'll be home in a couple of hours. I only used my crutches to take some of the weight off my leg the first day, my shoulders are as such that I cannot use crutches fully. The first several days you will want to keep it elevated and iced. If you can get a "polar care" type unit, those are great, then you can just hook it up and sit and watch TV or read. I'd give it 5 to 7 days before you do much driving or sewing. Make sure that you bend your knee occasionally. It can lock up on you if you don't. My dr has me take 2 weeks off of work, which is why I have to wait for after tax season (I work in an accountants office) I was sent to therapy for a month or so after each of the surgeries and will be sent for therapy again this time. It is better to take your pain meds and actually bend you knee as far as you can than to not take them and not bend your knee cause it hurts too much to bend.
    You will do fine. I just can't believe that I have to have the same knee have surgery twice in one year!!!

  10. #10
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    I wish I could. After spending months in the queue to see the orthopaedic surgeon, he was less than encouraging about it and said there was a 40% chance it might help but more likely that it wouldn't make much difference to the pain. Since the surgery is rather expensive privately (and would be many years waiting on the public lists), that answered the question. I'd love to be able to walk for exercise again though!

  11. #11
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    I had a meniscus repair 5 years ago. i had my sewing machine set up downstairs so I could sew while off work. I couldn't drive for about a week and was supposed to avoid stairs( not easy since we live in a two story house). Honestly if I had known how easy it was to get rid of the pain I would have had it done sooner(I thought it was arthritis)i missed about 3 weeks work, then went back on a limited schedule. If i had a desk job it would have been 2-3 days but my job requires constant standing/walking so I eased back into it. Have a great boss that let me set my own pace.

  12. #12
    Super Member mmonohon's Avatar
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    I got injuried in 2008 and L&I approved surgery in 2009 because the knee was still so painful and swollen. Before surgery it was difficult to walk. After the surgery I was worse than ever because it is bone on bone. I could not walk for more than 20 minutes , standing was impossible, and stairs were a no go! After surgery/recovery time, I ended up going to a pain clinic/ physical therapy rehab for two months of intense physical therapy (tears daily). I finally am more mobile but the pain is still extremely high. I am on etodalac (anti inflammatory) which helps a TON.

    I am only in my early 40's and I feel like I am 80. I really wished that I would not have had surgery.

    I was not able to go back to my job and have major restrictions on what I can do now. It also hinders my sewing and driving.

    I have heard a zillion stories of people with the tear having surgery and then they are fine. I am in the minority that get worse.

    Good luck. Prayers will be sent your way.

  13. #13
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    I can't help you out but I am very sorry you need to have the surgery. May you have a quick recovery.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mrs B's Avatar
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    My daughter is home right now recovering from this which she had on Thursday afternoon. Today (Saturday)she walked about 1/2 a mile in the city without a limp or crutches or any walking aid. She walked out of the hospital at 7pm after having it done at 3pm. She is resting it most of the time but does her exercises as prescribed by the physio. She has only had to take panadol once since the operation.
    I think you'll be fine as you are young too. Just do as your medical advisers tell you.

  15. #15
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    I just thought of something important. Don't put a pillow beneath your knee. I doesn't help those muscles stay straight and can cause you problems in the long run. It was something I did that was not good.

  16. #16
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fayzer
    I just thought of something important. Don't put a pillow beneath your knee. I doesn't help those muscles stay straight and can cause you problems in the long run. It was something I did that was not good.
    I did this 3 years ago with the first surgery. Not good. My knee froze up and I could not bend or straighten it!!!!

  17. #17
    Super Member CloverPatch's Avatar
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    I am having this Surgery March 11. I tore the meniscus and a cyst formed. They are removing the cyst then looking to see how bad the tear is. I am told this is easy peasy, simple and back on my feet in no time. But i am with you, it is my right leg how long before I can drive or sew? Or go up the stairs.

  18. #18
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    Let's be honest here. It's just a couple of holes (most of the time) but it is still surgery. There are different degrees of injury when you tear your meniscal, some worse than others. Just listen to your doctor and do what he says. You can't push it or you will cause yourself setbacks.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DawnMarie's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I didn't think it was too bad of a surgery, but I wasn't quite sure. Now, if I can have the surgery and be recovered by May 21. I'm a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding, and I have a 1" heel to wear. My dress is long, so if I need to wear a brace it won't be bad.
    I hope I'm not wishful thinking. :)

  20. #20
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    It is not a bad surgery, fairly easy stuff! Only used the crutches first day, no brace on mine. You will be fine for the wedding, except for maybe the shoes. You may want to find some flat sandals to wear instead. I had the surgery done in May last year and had the hardest time wearing even low heels for a wedding in July. It's because of the angle of how you stand. I was fine in flats but even my low heels made it miserable.
    I have my first grandbaby due about 4 weeks after my surgery this April. I am confident that I will be able to walk but not sure how much I can spend on my feet. This time I will lose 100% of the Meniscus. It is my right knee, it was this same knee last May. My recovery may be slightly longer this time because of how much more they have to clean up and because it is 2 surgeries so close together.

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