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Any nurses had arthroscopic knee surgery?

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pensivern pensivern (New) New

I’m 59 yrs old and work on a busy med- surg floor- 12 hr shifts. A few weeks ago I injured my knee doing yard work- heard a big “ pop” , knee gave in and have experienced pain ever since with walking. I‘ve had similar knee pain before but never to this degree. I went to work anyway for 3 shifts and wound up limping an hour or 2 into the shift. I had an MRI which showed a medial meniscus tear- I’m not sure if it’s new or further tearing from an old tear. Anyway, the ortho I saw wants to do a trim. All the DPTs I know say “ don’t do it- PT is just as effective and it’ll lead to needing a TKR eventually”. I’ve been out of work now for 5 weeks doing PT and it still hurts with walking. I can’t take off an indefinite period of time for it to resolve non surgically so I’m leaning toward having the procedure. Can anyone who’s been through this tell me your experience with the procedure? How was the recovery? Was it successful? Thanks for any feedback!

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

I tore my right ACL when I was 35 years old playing Indiana Jones and had surgery to "trim the tear", as the surgeon put it. My pain after the surgery was a true "10".

My knee would go out now and again for some time after and the pain was excruciating. It inspired me to seriously got into strengthening the collateral structures with weight lifting, and low impact aerobic exercise like using the elliptical and bicycling. My knee has not gone out in years (knock on wood)!

Now, the surgeon had a reputation for being one of the best, but if I had to do over again, I would have chosen PT. I exercise every day, weight-lifting with bicycling and/or the elliptical.

I do not want to have to go through another surgery like that one and it taught me that, God and The Fates willing, I will work out and exercise for the rest of my life.

Good luck and the very best to you, pensivern!

SineQuaNon, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in ED, Family Practice, Home Health. Has 14 years experience.

I had surgery and they cleaned up my meniscus. It is just now beginning to feel better and it's been six months. And I don't know if the surgery had any effect or if it was just time that did it. If you can ramp up the PT I would try that first.

Edited by SineQuaNon

WOW!, I was hoping I’d be feeling pretty good at 6 weeks, not 6 months post-op. How long did you try PT before undergoing the procedure?

martymoose, BSN, RN

Specializes in PCCN. Has 18 years experience.

I did PT. It did not help. The flap then tore more.The more I walked the more I ground it into crabmeat. leading to bone on bone. Mine also was complicated by bad confirmation too- I had varus knees"bow legged". Got TKR on one. Am mostly regretting it. Going for genicular ablation on the other bad knee. Hopefully won't feel a thing after.

eta- I've had a total of 4 arthroscopies over a 10 year period. They did seem to buy me time.

Edited by martymoose

On 5/11/2020 at 10:42 AM, pensivern said:

I’m 59 yrs old and work on a busy med- surg floor- 12 hr shifts. A few weeks ago I injured my knee doing yard work- heard a big “ pop” , knee gave in and have experienced pain ever since with walking. I‘ve had similar knee pain before but never to this degree. I went to work anyway for 3 shifts and wound up limping an hour or 2 into the shift. I had an MRI which showed a medial meniscus tear- I’m not sure if it’s new or further tearing from an old tear. Anyway, the ortho I saw wants to do a trim. All the DPTs I know say “ don’t do it- PT is just as effective and it’ll lead to needing a TKR eventually”. I’ve been out of work now for 5 weeks doing PT and it still hurts with walking. I can’t take off an indefinite period of time for it to resolve non surgically so I’m leaning toward having the procedure. Can anyone who’s been through this tell me your experience with the procedure? How was the recovery? Was it successful? Thanks for any feedback!

I had a bucket tear- PT isn't helpful with that.

Surgery went well, recovery was easy, it all works well. Similar age to you. I am pretty fit and a reasonable weight, which helps.

As far as the opinion of physical therapists- When I looked at it, in general they are right. Equal outcomes with either approach. In general. You are not general, you are specific. So, unless they were qualified to read the MRI and diffentiate the types of tears that don't respond well to PT, I wold take it with a grain of salt.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

On 5/11/2020 at 9:42 AM, pensivern said:

medial meniscus tear

I just now remembered that a former supervisor had a bad meniscus and limped around for years before having surgery.

She sang the praises of the surgery and no longer limped around, so you never know.

Undercat, BSN, MSN, CRNA

Specializes in Retired. Has 41 years experience.

I had a medical tear from a fall right before moving almost 1000 miles in a small car. By the time I arrived in the new place I couldn't climb stairs or stand from sitting without pain. I had a knee scope , got the edges of my meniscus smoothed out and had almost no pain post on. I was back to normal within a couple of months but was not nursing on a floor. Today, I can't even remember without effort, which knee was done. I did mostly orthopedic anesthesia for a few decades and think scopes are over used. But, for me, it got me back moving, hiking and even the squatting of gardening.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

I had a knee arthroscopy when I was in my early 50s. My cartilage was badly damaged and there was a piece of it floating around that was so large my surgeon had to open up my knee to get it out. He said it was the biggest one he'd ever seen. But I did well, used a walker for a couple of days post-op and didn't really need much in the way of pain meds. I also did PT for four weeks afterwards and that helped a lot. Overall, the surgery worked well for a number of years. Now both knees are bad and I'm probably in need of a TKR on the left knee and an arthroscopy on the right. I had promised myself I wouldn't even let myself think about a TKR until I was 60 since they don't last a lifetime and I didn't want to go through it again. I've taken care of a lot of knee-surgery patients and the vast majority said it was the most painful procedure they'd ever had. Well, now 60 is in the rear-view mirror and I'm still putting it off. I figure if I can get along with OTC pain relievers (which I don't even take every day) I don't need surgery.

Phoebe123

Specializes in Geriatrics. Has 22 years experience.

My friend who happens to be a PT and the wife of an orthopedic surgeon put off TKR for years and years and when she finally had them done she was up and about practically right away and she said she wished she had gotten them done “years sooner” as it improved her quality of life and let her garden again more easily, go up stairs etc. I always remember this and really have only heard the good side of TKR — I had never heard anything bad about it at all except that it doesn’t last a lifetime so that is sad.