Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My orthopedic doc (an acclaimed knee specialist) is recommending that I consider having my right knee scoped. Based on his initial evaluation, and without having had an MRI, he thinks I may have a medial meniscus tear. I've been experienceing slight chronic tenderness in that knee during the past two years (I'm 40+ years old). Fortunately, cycling does not seem to aggravate it.

I currently have the time and good insurance, but am concerned about recovery time and post-surgical knee mobility/issues, if I choose to have this orthoscopic surgery performed.

Anyone else have experience here?

Thanks, Dav
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48,238 Posts
Recovery is usually quick. I had a cartilage tear trimmed and scar tissue from a previous surgery removed via 'scope. I was off the bike for two weeks and back to general riding and full mobility in a month or so.
 

·
mtbr dismember
Joined
·
6,988 Posts
Piece of cake!

I've had several scopes, plus much more extensive work. And I am a real sissy when it comes to these things. You are generally walking the same day and back to normal within a week. Not sure how long until you are back to regular biking but a good physical therapist could tell you. I suspect you could road ride a bit after a week but mountain biking might require more time. The most dangerous part is the anesthetic. And I am not kidding! I've had a lot of problems so make sure you get a good anesthesiologist and understand the different options. And I definitely suggest you get it done now while you are really young :thumbsup:
 

·
Old man on a bike
Joined
·
12,395 Posts
Playing softball years ago had a meniscus tear repaired via arthroscopy, and part of the therapy was getting on a bike shortly thereafter (a few days) which was a major push into my current bikeaholicism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,494 Posts
Zirkel said:
My orthopedic doc (an acclaimed knee specialist) is recommending that I consider having my right knee scoped. Based on his initial evaluation, and without having had an MRI, he thinks I may have a medial meniscus tear. I've been experienceing slight chronic tenderness in that knee during the past two years (I'm 40+ years old). Fortunately, cycling does not seem to aggravate it.

I currently have the time and good insurance, but am concerned about recovery time and post-surgical knee mobility/issues, if I choose to have this orthoscopic surgery performed.

Anyone else have experience here?

Thanks, Dav
Yes, several years ago I had reconstructive surgery on my left knee and last summer I had the same knee scoped. In my case, recovery time after my second surgery was not that quick at all. The doctor fixed many things while operating, that are too complicated to get into here.

If cycling does not seem to aggravate it, I would recommend putting off surgery for the time being. An mri will offer a more definitive analysis, than a general consult with a surgeon. Your doctor is probably right, but try all alternatives first. Physio therapy, supplements, whatever might help.

People throw around the term "scope" like it is no big deal. Well, it is. Surgery, no matter how small, is always serious and should be treated as such. It is an invasive procedure and everyone heals at different rates. I have been in and out of physio therapy for over 17yrs and can attest to the positive and negative results of knee surgery and other sports related inuries. Surgery is not for everyone.

If you do go with surgery, try to do it in the off cycling season, if you have one, where you live. There is the chance that recovery might not be that speedy.
 

·
I wear two thongs
Joined
·
1,675 Posts
I tore my acl and meniscus and had some surgery done in may of '04:




After 2 weeks I was on a road bike and after a month I was doing light trail riding (against doctors orders) I was able to ski the following winter with no problems (and a custom made brace).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Just had scope done and medial miniscus removed

I just had (about 12 weeks ago) endoscopic (aka scope) surgery done on my left knee.
I injured my left knee lifting weights about 6 months ago (leg pressing over 900 lbs and tore on the 12th (last) rep of the 5th (last) set.) At the time I was biking on a stationary bike each morning before work 20 to 25 miles a day and lifting weights at night 5 days a week. (Just starting to get my endurance up for off road riding and trying to get back into shape)

The doctor ordered an MRI on my first visit to help accurately diagnose the pain in my left knee which I had been suffering from on and off for 12 weeks. It ended up that I had a tear to the medial miniscus that looked slight from the front but upon further inspection it was badly torn from the rear. The surgeon opted to completely remove and clean out the medial miniscus. He said I should be up and walking in a week or two and back to 100% in 4 months including all prior sports related activities.

Well that did not happen. I was walking in about a week with a little limp and at the time I was working on a HUGE project at work that required me to work on my feet 14 to 16 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week. The knee swelled up after about 3 to 4 weeks and it really started to hurt bad. I had/have a LOT more pain after the surgery. I went back to the doctor and he said it was due to fluid. He did not offer to drain it. He said eventually the body would drain the knee itself slowly. Also he insisted that my activity levels where not damaging the knee further. He did say later that if I did not slow down to let it heal that it could take a year to heal. Needless to say I slowed down as much as possible. I talked to a few co-workers who had the same surgery and where very familiar with similar knee issues. They all recommeneded I go back and ask to have it drained. I did exactly that. The doctor drained it and it felt MUCH better for about 4 to 5 days. I tried to stay off it and take it easy as much as possible those days and it seemed to help. Then we had to move the following two weekends which required long physical days again. Then my project was completed but my knee filled up with fluid again.

It has been 3 weeks since we completed the move and 5 weeks since he last drained it. I have been staying off it for the last 3 weeks and taking it easy. Some days are REALLY bad and some are just bad the first 3 hours in the morning. I am actually calling the doctor in the morning to see if I can have it drained again since I will be able to reduce my hours down to 24 per week for the next 4 weeks to try and get this healed.

It has been very difficult physically and mentally. I have read a few peoples experiences on this board and it has helped to lift my spirits. I am an extremely motivated and active person and it is difficult going from full throttle to hitting the brakes to slow down enough to heal. Mentally it has taken a huge consious effort to remain positive and fight negative feelings when they come around. So far I have been doing ok.

I can't wait till this thing heals so I can get back to my active life style. Definitely think twice about getting this operation since it does not always go as smooth as some have experienced.
 

·
I Have Gnarly Potential
Joined
·
369 Posts
You guys got off a hell of allot easier then me :p (except you klondike :/ have you gone to another doctor yet to check his oppinion?)

I was out for like 2 months each and i had to have it done 3 times (2 in 1 knee, had to scrape down the ends of the melt away screws on 1 since i wouldnt of been able to fully lock my knee straight without the goint hitting them untill the scews melted if not for that)

Stupid cartlage dmg, had 2 aspots the size of a nickel lose their blood supply and then dried up and started to crack with impacts (liek bike crashes :/ ) had to have screws in them to hold the cartlage in place and not brake off and had 2 holes drilled in the bone to bring in a new blood supply to heal them ><

Worked though so i cant complain.
 

·
Always Learning
Joined
·
9,608 Posts
Zirkel said:
My orthopedic doc (an acclaimed knee specialist) is recommending that I consider having my right knee scoped. Based on his initial evaluation, and without having had an MRI, he thinks I may have a medial meniscus tear. I've been experienceing slight chronic tenderness in that knee during the past two years (I'm 40+ years old). Fortunately, cycling does not seem to aggravate it.

I currently have the time and good insurance, but am concerned about recovery time and post-surgical knee mobility/issues, if I choose to have this orthoscopic surgery performed.

Anyone else have experience here?

Thanks, Dav
Welcome to the 40's.:thumbsup:

Is your Doc going to order an MRI to confirm the tear?

I've had both knees scoped and about 40% of the meniscus removed. Recovery time varies, but expect to be on crutches the first few days to help you ginger the discomfort and get around the house/work. Depending on your job, you can be back to work pretty quickly following surgery.

As everyone else has said, expect to be back to pretty much normal by the end of 4 weeks. I was snow skiing by the end of the 5th week following surgery on my right knee and at the end of the 4th week with my left knee. I'm not saying I was pain free or my legs were full strength, but they worked. I would say realistically to build the muscles back up and be at full strength expect 1 - 3 months. Cycling with easy pedal cadence is a great way to get the knee working again, but I wouldn't mess with that in the first 2 weeks following surgery. Have patience and the healing will take place.

Is the surgery worth it? Yes if you are having pain going up and down stairs (usually up hurts more). Those little twinges and discomforts will start to go away and you will be glad you had the surgery.

But do demand an MRI to make sure there is indeed a tear.

BB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,494 Posts
Similar situation here. After two years of pain going up stairs and running (had to stop running), I finally had a MRI done. Apparently I have a tear in my Medial Meniscus as well. I'm just a weenie when it comes to going under with Anesthesia so I'm putting it off. I also don't have much confidence in the fix right now. I need to do some research on a good surgeon before going a step further. Biking bothers me only if I ride very long or hard and two days back to back. Well, it isn't getting better so I may have to do something soon.

I had a friend who got brain damage after going under so it still freaks me out. He was a nationally ranked athlete and after his knee surgery, he could not orient himself properly or even talk properly and needed help getting around for years. I lost touch with him so I don't know if he recovered fully but he was almost childlike when he came out of surgery- for years. I guess I should not dwell on that incident but I have people who rely on me (especially my parents who are getting old) and it would suck if something bad happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting comments and a range of experiences.

For me, there is no pain walking up or down stairs. Yet. I only experience slight pain or discomfort from putting a lateral torque on my knee (imagine if you were to play hacky sack). Based on what I've heard here, I may put it off until it really becomes an issue. I just need to be very aware of my knee limitations and start acting my age on occasion.

Interestingly enough, I'm about to start a 2-year radiography (X-Ray Tech) program in Utah this Fall that will include an MRI clinical rotation. I'll be the guy in class volunteering to get his knee imaged.

Thanks for your comments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
Zirkel said:
Interesting comments and a range of experiences.

For me, there is no pain walking up or down stairs. Yet. I only experience slight pain or discomfort from putting a lateral torque on my knee (imagine if you were to play hacky sack). Based on what I've heard here, I may put it off until it really becomes an issue. I just need to be very aware of my knee limitations and start acting my age on occasion.

Interestingly enough, I'm about to start a 2-year radiography (X-Ray Tech) program in Utah this Fall that will include an MRI clinical rotation. I'll be the guy in class volunteering to get his knee imaged.

Thanks for your comments.
I guess you'll know better than the rest of us, but as I understand it (and in my experience), an MRI rarely is very accurate for meniscus tears. It's better for ligament tears. With my last meniscus tear, my doc said I could get an MRI if it would make me feel better, but if you're experiencing a lot of discomfort, the only thing to do is have it scoped so your surgeon can fix whatever the problem is. I had a displaced tear (meaning I couldn't bend, straighten or put any weight on it) and had surgery immediately.

And really, it's impossible to tell what your recovery will be like going in. He could find a small tear, do a little trimming and you'd be walking and feeling great almost right away. I had this on my left knee - he removed maybe 50% of my medial meniscus and I was back racing DH, riding my moto, and skiing within 4-6 weeks. And that timeline was only because he did some shaving of loose articular cartilege and wanted me to try and let things heal a bit before any serious impacts.

I had a meniscus tear on my other knee though, and he was able to repair it. Good in the long run, PITA for recovery. 4-6 weeks on crutches to allow the repair to heal (very little blood flow so it takes a while), and then you have the fun process of rehabbing to recover all the muscle lost while you were non weight bearing. 7 days of recovery for every 1 day of non weight bearing is typical.

So you never know. And personally, if it's just a little irritation... I think I'd consider it if I had a good time in my life to deal with surgery/recovery - otherwise I might wait. Just know that if you have a little tear, it can progress to a bigger displaced tear in a split second (i.e. the tear gets bigger and flips upside down and you can't move the joint). At the most inopportune times usually... I was out backcountry skiing, did a kick turn and suddently couldn't weight it or move my right knee at all. Ended up having to sideslip/hop on one leg several miles down to the road where a friend came and picked me up. Luckily we had a small rope so my husband could pull me up the little uphill sections. Not fun at all, and the closest I've ever come to thinking I was going to need search and rescue to get me out of somewhere.

And realize that if you do the surgery earlier rather than later, they would likely be able to preserve more of your meniscus, which is good for your long term knee health as well.
 

·
breathing helium
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
I have had a knee injury since my very first mountain bike race back in 1997. I fell against a rock wall on my left side in the mud and used my left arm and left leg to push myself back upright. My knee popped and has never been the same. Ever since then, riding has aggrivated my knee to the point that I can only ride once a week due to discomfort and general tightness. I've had it MRI'ed twice but they cannot find anything wrong with it. The doctor said that he would have to scope it to see what is going on in there. It has been several years since and it is not getting any better (even with long periods off of the bike in the off season). Thing is, only biking makes it hurt...but I LOVE biking and cannot give it up. I'm thinking of going in to the doctor after my vacation and having it done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
My orthopedic doc (an acclaimed knee specialist)...

Since you are in Steamboat Springs, perhaps you can have Dr. Steadman do your surgery. He practically invented the thing.

It's a common practice, done in an in-n-out clinic these days. Be adament on repairing it AND not removing any of it. I can't stress that enough. A lot of doctors will simply take the easy way out and snip here and there. My doctor, repaired and the knee is better than the other non injured knee.

Oh yeah, bring a videotape so you can get the inside of your knee on film. It's so cool to watch.

Good luck,

jps
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,348 Posts
knee surgery

I had my knee scoped about two years ago after having messed it up in 1998 and living with the pain until it was snapping and popping with every step that I took. (I too did it while lifting weights, in my case it was showing off in front of my brother while doing heavy squats. My right knee bowed out and it hurt ever since.) After having it scoped recovery for me only took two weeks and I felt as if I was at 100%. However about 9 weeks ago I woke up one morning to find that the front of the knee had a tremendous amount of swelling and the back was extremely sore. Cycling did not hurt but sitting at a desk would cause it to tighten to the point that when I got up to walk it almost brought tears to my eyes. I went back to the Doctor about 2 weeks ago and he prescribed a anti-inflammatory that did help a little bit. I went on a road trip to Eureka Springs AR and the knee did alright except when torquing the pedals to make a really serious climb. The swelling has went down but there is still a little soreness even with the drugs. However, this pain is nothing like what I experienced before the surgery. As others have stated everyone responds differently. As for me I am glad that I had it done. Good Luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
I've had seven operations on my right knee and two operations on my left knee to deal with meniscus tears. I recommend getting an MRI to get additional information on the extent of a tear, and then physical therapy to try to rehab the knee.

Put off any arthroscopic surgery until you can't bear the pain/swelling any more; unless you're young enough (< 30?) to be considered a candidate for a meniscal transplant from a cadaver.

My experience with repairs/partial removals(trims) of meniscii have been that it gets torn again, and you end up repeating the cycle until it is all removed. Each time, I worked under the care of a physical therapist to rehab the knee as fully as possible, but never achieved full performance.

Maybe others have been more successful. If you do elect surgery, make sure the doc is the best available, and has extensive experience in the procedure you elect. Best of luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Recent Update

Here is a recent update on my situation (read a few posts above.)

I went to the knee surgery yesterday and took my father with me to let him hear what the doctor was saying to me. I was not suppossed to go for another 3 weeks but bumped up my appointment since it has been hurting a lot lately. I discussed the pain with the doctor and he opted to go ahead and drain the fluid out again. This time there was about half the fluid from the last time he drained it. (last time close to 80CC and this time about 36CC of fluid drained) Not sure but less fluid may be a sign of progress. After the drain he said to lay off it for the next few days. Then he said normal light activity for the next 4 weeks. Specifically said, NO Biking, NO excessive stairs and, NO lifting weights. Still lots of ice through out the day to keep swelling down. He said if the pain does not start to chill out in the next two to three weeks to call and let him know and he will order another MRI to make sure that nothing was damaged post surgery.

I still have quite a bit of pain and can not walk w/o limping most of the time. The doctor said that most people would heal from this by now. He said out of hundreds of cases each year he usually gets about two people that take a lot longer to heal up to a year. It looks like I am one of those cases.

From reading the posts on here it seems like quite a few people here stayed off thier knee for the first 4 weeks after the surgery. Maybe this is helping some of you to heal quicker. I am not really sure. I am wishing I had the opportunity to do this when I had my surgery and maybe my healing would have gone a lot smoother.

I will keep you all posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
What do they do for the surgery?
Do they cut little 2 holes in the sides of the knee and insert 2 stainless steel chopsticks and go poking and rooting around in there?
Seems harmless. They certainly couldn't damage anything or screw up the circulation. I mean there is so little in there anyway. Wonder why they even bother with anesthetic and painkillers.

Spiral
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top