Meniscus tears

bird_man

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Jan 14, 2012
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Hello everyone,

I'm a 29 year old country footballer struggling with a couple of injuries and looking for some opinions. During early pre season this year I started noticing a pain in my knee that my physio thought was Pes Anserine due to too much long distance running. Long story short, I ended up getting an MRI and it turned out to be a meniscus tear in my left knee. I managed to do most my pre season with it as well as the first couple of games before I though I'd better go in and get it done while we had a couple of byes coming up. 2 weeks in it's starting to feel pretty good and should be fine in two more weeks.

Bad new is, I've realised that I have the exact same pain in my other knee now which I'm positive is another meniscus tear. I can't afford to have anymore time off work to get this one scraped so I'm just going to have to tough it out. Is it possible to make it through the season with this injury if I take anti inflammitories? Can a cortisone help? And can I do more damage?
 

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BluesMan

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Well the meniscus is cartilage of the knee thats why. Tbh, I think its possible to play the season, but if I dont think it would be beneficial long term. Would get it sussed out sooner rather than later, as you could do, and probably will do more damage, if you played the season.
 

Drumroe

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Yeah you might be able to gut it out for the season, although it would be a terrible decision for your long term health. Just asking for arthritis really
 

iDon

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Depends on how big and whwre the tear is. I have had two tears, on seperate knees. One caused the tear (fragment) to 'catch' in my knee. This resulted in my knee locking up and being quite painful. Surgery happened straight away. The other wasn't as bad and with the right tape job I was able to play out the final 6 games of the season.

Be careful though. I have damagedd my articular cartliage (base of femur) and resulted in bone grinding on meniscus which isnt a nice feeling. Get it checked out, follow the advice of a sports doc. I understand its easy to ask us but in the end we are just users on a forum and aren't paid to give a proper diagnosis. you should get it checked out, if the advice is to get it operated on but you can't due to work then perhaps your foott season is done.
 

bird_man

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I plan on this being my last year of footy so I want to get the most out of it. Sounds like I may regret it when I'm older
Depends on how big and whwre the tear is. I have had two tears, on seperate knees. One caused the tear (fragment) to 'catch' in my knee. This resulted in my knee locking up and being quite painful. Surgery happened straight away. The other wasn't as bad and with the right tape job I was able to play out the final 6 games of the season.

Be careful though. I have damagedd my articular cartliage (base of femur) and resulted in bone grinding on meniscus which isnt a nice feeling. Get it checked out, follow the advice of a sports doc. I understand its easy to ask us but in the end we are just users on a forum and aren't paid to give a proper diagnosis. you should get it checked out, if the advice is to get it operated on but you can't due to work then perhaps your foott season is done.
Thanks mate. Yeah I'm going to see what the doctor says about it next week. The reason I ask here though is that I know doctors and physios can be really conservative. I have a mate that says he's played with them for multiple seasons but he is a strange bloke!

I'm hoping I can get through the year with it so if anyone has any tips i.e. Heat, strapping, cortisone etc. please let me know.
 

Bazzar

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I had major tears in both knees and operated on 21 months ago and they are just about spot on, but i was very surprised and interested to read this report and it has made me think why has it taken so long after surgery and very good constant rehab.

Physical Therapy to Treat Torn Meniscus Comparable to Surgery for Many Patients
"About 700,000 arthroscopic partial meniscectomies are done each year in the United States, at an estimated annual cost of $4 billion. Recently, a randomized trial showed that arthroscopic partial meniscectomy combined with physical therapy provides no better relief of symptoms than physical therapy alone in patients with a meniscal tear and knee osteoarthritis.

Therefore, the authors initiated this multicentre, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the procedure in patients with a degenerative tear of the medial meniscus but no knee osteoarthritis.

After undergoing diagnostic arthroscopy to confirm eligibility for the trial, 146 patients aged 35 to 65 years were randomly assigned to receive arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or sham surgery.

During meniscectomy, the damaged and loose parts of the meniscus were removed with a mechanized shaver and meniscal punches until solid meniscal tissue was reached, the unstable meniscus was then resected, with as much of it as possible preserved. The sham surgery simulated partial meniscotomy but did not instill any medication into the knee during arthroscopy.

Patients in both groups received similar postoperative care, which included walking aids and instructions for a graduated exercise program. They also took over-the-counter analgesics as needed. The primary outcomes were changes in the Lysholm and Western Ontario Meniscal Evaluation Tool (WOMET) scores, each ranging from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating more severe symptoms, and in knee pain after exercise, which was assessed on a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (extreme pain) at 12 months after the procedure.

All patients in both groups showed marked improvement from baseline to 12 months in the 3 primary outcome measures, and there were no significant differences between the groups..."

More-
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1305189
http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2014/03/14/bjsports-2014-093578.extract
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2013/pt_surgery_meniscus.asp
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818399
 

bird_man

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Jan 14, 2012
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I had major tears in both knees and operated on 21 months ago and they are just about spot on, but i was very surprised and interested to read this report and it has made me think why has it taken so long after surgery and very good constant rehab.

Physical Therapy to Treat Torn Meniscus Comparable to Surgery for Many Patients
"About 700,000 arthroscopic partial meniscectomies are done each year in the United States, at an estimated annual cost of $4 billion. Recently, a randomized trial showed that arthroscopic partial meniscectomy combined with physical therapy provides no better relief of symptoms than physical therapy alone in patients with a meniscal tear and knee osteoarthritis.

Therefore, the authors initiated this multicentre, randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the procedure in patients with a degenerative tear of the medial meniscus but no knee osteoarthritis.

After undergoing diagnostic arthroscopy to confirm eligibility for the trial, 146 patients aged 35 to 65 years were randomly assigned to receive arthroscopic partial meniscectomy or sham surgery.

During meniscectomy, the damaged and loose parts of the meniscus were removed with a mechanized shaver and meniscal punches until solid meniscal tissue was reached, the unstable meniscus was then resected, with as much of it as possible preserved. The sham surgery simulated partial meniscotomy but did not instill any medication into the knee during arthroscopy.

Patients in both groups received similar postoperative care, which included walking aids and instructions for a graduated exercise program. They also took over-the-counter analgesics as needed. The primary outcomes were changes in the Lysholm and Western Ontario Meniscal Evaluation Tool (WOMET) scores, each ranging from 0 to 100, with lower scores indicating more severe symptoms, and in knee pain after exercise, which was assessed on a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (extreme pain) at 12 months after the procedure.

All patients in both groups showed marked improvement from baseline to 12 months in the 3 primary outcome measures, and there were no significant differences between the groups..."

More-
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1305189
http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2014/03/14/bjsports-2014-093578.extract
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2013/pt_surgery_meniscus.asp
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/818399
That's interesting. I know some tears can heal own their own depending where the tear is. I have a team mate that says he played out the last 6 games of the season when the doctor said he needed surgery on a meniscus tear. He booked the surgery in for just before his Christmas break but by the time that came along he was confident it had healed so he cancelled to surgery and hasn't had any problems since. I think it helped that he has an office job and wasn't on his feet a lot.
 

Nickos66

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I tore the cartilage in my left knee towards the end of 2012 as a result of a knock which momentary dislocated my kneecap for a split second. It was a recurring issue that happened 3 times in 18 months and just didn't get the time it needed to heal up - me just not being able to stay off the training mats probably didn't help in hindsight..
Scar tissue kept building up and got worse after each re-occurrence and the fragment of cartilage would occasionally lock up the knee at certain angles. It actually took a year free of knee injuries to stop noticing it again.
I actually forgot all about the saga before I saw this thread.
 

estibador

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Yeah you might be able to gut it out for the season, although it would be a terrible decision for your long term health. Just asking for arthritis really
Yeah this. I tore mine a few years ago but I pushed on through two seasons of cricket before I got it fixed. It would swell up like a balloon after every game and I'd spend an hour or so icing it.

I wish I hadn't now because by the time I went to get it fixed the surgeons told me I already had the beginnings of arthritis in my knee.
 

bird_man

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Yeah this. I tore mine a few years ago but I pushed on through two seasons of cricket before I got it fixed. It would swell up like a balloon after every game and I'd spend an hour or so icing it.

I wish I hadn't now because by the time I went to get it fixed the surgeons told me I already had the beginnings of arthritis in my knee.
I've never had any trouble with it swelling up. It usually just causes pain towards the end of the game and then for a couple of days afterwards.
 

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MrNatural

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I had a major injury to my knee about 4 years ago, partially tore my acl and had a meniscus tear.
Had part of the meniscus removed, but it knocked me out of football for a while.
You probably could play with painkillers, but like it's already been said, it wouldn't be a good idea long term.
Having surgery on the knee wouldn't take you off work for all that long.
When i had mine operated on, i had it done on a Friday and was pretty much back at work the Monday following.
 

bird_man

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I had a major injury to my knee about 4 years ago, partially tore my acl and had a meniscus tear.
Had part of the meniscus removed, but it knocked me out of football for a while.
You probably could play with painkillers, but like it's already been said, it wouldn't be a good idea long term.
Having surgery on the knee wouldn't take you off work for all that long.
When i had mine operated on, i had it done on a Friday and was pretty much back at work the Monday following.
Yeah thing is I just had surgery on my left knee only 3 weeks ago and only noticed the pain in the right knee a few days prior and after surgery to the right knee. I had two and a half weeks off with my left knee, went back to work for 2 days and the left knee has swollen up and I'm back off work. Hoping I haven't damaged the knee I've had surgery on otherwise I'm back to two rooted knees.
 

MrNatural

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Yeah thing is I just had surgery on my left knee only 3 weeks ago and only noticed the pain in the right knee a few days prior and after surgery to the right knee. I had two and a half weeks off with my left knee, went back to work for 2 days and the left knee has swollen up and I'm back off work. Hoping I haven't damaged the knee I've had surgery on otherwise I'm back to two rooted knees.
What sort of work do you do?
Have you got sick leave to take?
If you can, just do it. Your boss can't sack you because of a legitimate medical issue
 

Nickos66

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Could also be an issue of overcompensating on the other knee post-surgery which has inflamed things, which is pretty damn hard to avoid.
 

dorianyates

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I tore the cartilage in my left knee towards the end of 2012 as a result of a knock which momentary dislocated my kneecap for a split second. It was a recurring issue that happened 3 times in 18 months and just didn't get the time it needed to heal up - me just not being able to stay off the training mats probably didn't help in hindsight..
Scar tissue kept building up and got worse after each re-occurrence and the fragment of cartilage would occasionally lock up the knee at certain angles. It actually took a year free of knee injuries to stop noticing it again.
I actually forgot all about the saga before I saw this thread.
Hello,
Was this a bjj injury?
I have a bucket handle meniscus tear in my left knee which I did 5 weeks ago.
This morning I reinsured it causing my knee to lock - unable to fully straighten it. The first time this also happened and took a week to fall back into place.
I am considering getting surgery and will see a specialist. I don’t have private health cover so wondering what it would cost if I wanted surgery sooner rather than later.
 

Nickos66

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Hello,
Was this a bjj injury?
I have a bucket handle meniscus tear in my left knee which I did 5 weeks ago.
This morning I reinsured it causing my knee to lock - unable to fully straighten it. The first time this also happened and took a week to fall back into place.
I am considering getting surgery and will see a specialist. I don’t have private health cover so wondering what it would cost if I wanted surgery sooner rather than later.
Yes it was, hahah that was a post from 5 years ago, recounting an issue from 2-3 years earlier.

*Knock on wood* no knee issues since then.
 

dorianyates

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Yes it was, hahah that was a post from 5 years ago, recounting an issue from 2-3 years earlier.

*Knock on wood* no knee issues since then.
5 weeks ago my knee just popped when doing de la riva to back take.Yesterday I tried rolling again and didn’t really do anything and my knee came unstuck. Have you continued bjj after your injury?
 

kaiserchief13

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I tore my lateral meniscus in my right knee about 6 or 7 years ago. Had the tear removed and smoothed over and was at 100% about 2 months post surgery. Did it again in 2018 and had surgery again but this time they managed to repair the tear. Takes way longer to recover from the repair compared to removal but repair is better for long term.

I would imagine if you play with a tear the tear could just get bigger and less chance of repair.
 

Aeglos

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Hello,
Was this a bjj injury?
I have a bucket handle meniscus tear in my left knee which I did 5 weeks ago.
This morning I reinsured it causing my knee to lock - unable to fully straighten it. The first time this also happened and took a week to fall back into place.
I am considering getting surgery and will see a specialist. I don’t have private health cover so wondering what it would cost if I wanted surgery sooner rather than later.
May not affect what you do in the immediate future, but if it's a bucket handle it's pretty much 100% that you need surgery to remove/repair it.
Other tears you can often manage w/o surgery but it doesn't seem to work for bucket handle tears for whatever reason.
It may also be worth looking at taking out private insurance for the surgery.
I'm not 100% sure on the logistics, but I definitely know of people who have taken out PI, had a specific surgery, then cancelled their PI and it worked out a lot cheaper than paying for it in full. Admittedly these were cosmetic surgeries (boob implants, reductions etc) but I presume it can be done for orthopaedic procedures.
 

kaiserchief13

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May not affect what you do in the immediate future, but if it's a bucket handle it's pretty much 100% that you need surgery to remove/repair it.
Other tears you can often manage w/o surgery but it doesn't seem to work for bucket handle tears for whatever reason.
It may also be worth looking at taking out private insurance for the surgery.
I'm not 100% sure on the logistics, but I definitely know of people who have taken out PI, had a specific surgery, then cancelled their PI and it worked out a lot cheaper than paying for it in full. Admittedly these were cosmetic surgeries (boob implants, reductions etc) but I presume it can be done for orthopaedic procedures.
You can also go via the public system and check around which hospital has the shortest wait list for orthopaedic. Also meniscus will be classified grade 3 surgery
 

Nickos66

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5 weeks ago my knee just popped when doing de la riva to back take.Yesterday I tried rolling again and didn’t really do anything and my knee came unstuck. Have you continued bjj after your injury?
Bummer, have you gone for a scan or talked to your physio? I'm not familiar with bucket handle tears but a quick google search looks like something like that would need surgical intervention.
 

Aeglos

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You can also go via the public system and check around which hospital has the shortest wait list for orthopaedic. Also meniscus will be classified grade 3 surgery
We had a guy at footy on a waitlist. Was meant to have the surgery around now but someone pulled out of the op he was getting so ended up having it in March and playing the second half of the year.

Bummer, have you gone for a scan or talked to your physio? I'm not familiar with bucket handle tears but a quick google search looks like something like that would need surgical intervention.
If he’s been told it’s a bucket handle then he will have had a MRI.
If not I’d like to know which medical professional told him that so I can report them to their board lol
 

dorianyates

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Thanks for your replies. I did have an mri 2 days after first tearing it. I’m booked in to see a surgeon Friday. I’ll probably just bite the bullet and pay th 6-7,000 quoted to me over the phone for surgery if required.
 

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