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Anyone had arthroscopic knee surgery?

How did it go? What was the recovery like? How long until you could really be up and moving around and doing things again? Did it help?

I had an MRI last week. Doc wants me to come in this afternoon and it looks like the only option we have left is surgery. So - just looking for experiences so I know what to expect. 


Re: Anyone had arthroscopic knee surgery?

  • romiguromigu member

    i've never had that type of surgery but I do see many people post-operatively after arthroscopy.  it seems like their recovery is quick however i'm going to get on my soap box for two seconds about this type of surgery. 

    my mother in law has now been in the hospital for 2 weeks with liver failure which all started because of arthroscopy for a torn meniscus.  she was extremely healthy and tore her meniscus doing squats with a barbell on her shoulder at the gym - probably in better shape than i ever could be. 

    she got the surgery and then one week later developed a DVT - deep vein thrombosis which is a clot in her leg.  That is one of the risk factors that the orthopedic surgeon should be very careful about and make sure you don't have any clotting problems. 

    then when they put her on blood thinning medication for the clot, the incision site in her knee and whatever the repaired inside started oozing and she developed hemarthrosis - a large collection of blood in her knee.  She needed to be hospitalized for a week for that and was on a morphine drip at one point.  

    now she's back in the hospital because it looks like the scopes they used were possibly not sterilized properly and she contracted hepatitis B which has led to liver failure. 

    obviously, these things don't happen to everyone and I think her surgeon was a complete idiot and could have communicated to her the risks and benefits of the surgery more clearly.  he also should have emphasized the importance of mobility after surgery to prevent blood clots and he should have obtained a better medical history from her so that he would know that she did have a history of getting blood clots. 

    anyway, i think your surgery will probably go very well since you're not 68 and probably don't have any medical problems.  i just think that sometimes surgeons don't always disclose all of the complications that can occur and its important to know those things before agreeing to surgery. 

    i will now get off my soap box - sorry...being in the hospital and seeing your loved one so sick for something so stupid gets really stressful

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  • smb29smb29 member

    Recovery really depends on what kind of surgery you are having.  I had a lateral release (my tendons were too tight and pulled me knee cap off track) and some minor cartlidge clean up.  It took me a lot longer to recover than the doctor said it would, and although I fully recovered my range of motion in a short time, it took me a lot longer to get the full strength back in my leg.  All that said, I would totally do it again, it was worth it.  My scars are tiny, most people would never know they were even there.

  • smb29smb29 member
    Looking at your post again I don't feel like I answered any of your questions, at least not in detail.  For me, I only took the pain meds for 1 day, but I tried to stay off my feet for a week before I went back to work.  Once I was up and around, I had a lot of swelling in my foot and knee.  Doc said I'd be on crutches for 10-14 days, and I probably had them for a month.  After that I limped for a while but was pain free by 2 months or so, once I was off the crutches I could do most things, going down stairs was probably the scariest. 
  • I worked in Orthopedics for 3 sports med surgeons who did these procedures daily.

    Do you know exactly what kind of surgery you're having? Meniscus repair? Meniscectomy? (They cut out the torn part of meniscus- this is not a good option for a younger person - if they CAN salvage the meniscus, they need to - however, it is a much longer recovery for a repair than a meniscectomy.)

    Meniscectomy - crutches for 1-2 days, and you're pretty much released to do everything except running/jumping like activities and heavy lifting.  That happens in about 2-3 weeks.

    Meniscal repair - You're looking at 6-8 weeks on crutches and full recovery around 3-4 months.

     At least, that's how my docs handled it. Wink

    DX PCOS 2006 - Off BCPs since 1/09 - TTC #1 4 cycles clomid (50, 100, 150, 200) - FAIL, no O Multiple cycles clomid + femara - FAIL, no O 3 injectable cycles - FAIL Ovarian Drilling 6/2010. Several failed cycles follow. 11/2010 - "Hold" on IF treatment.
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  • image Kitkatishbakk:

    Do you know exactly what kind of surgery you're having?

    It is for Plica Syndrome.  He said I would be up on my leg in 36 hours - so I am assuming this is a pretty mild surgery.  I have an appt this afternoon to go into details with him.  I know he said "36 hours" but I just want to be realistic.  We have several trips, etc planned this summer so I want to be sure I give myself adequate healing time and don't rush back to full activity too quickly. 

  • I had plica removed from my knee arthroscopically about 12 years ago. ?The doctor thought he was going in to repair torn cartilage, but when he got in there it turned out that I had a mess of plica under my kneecap, and he had to get that out. ?The plica under my kneecap was tissue that was supposed to have dissolved when I was very young but hadn't -- I don't know if that's the same thing you have.

    Recovery wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. ?I only needed my pain meds for a couple of days; however, it was a good month before I was really up and about again. ?I was on crutches for 2-3 weeks, then used a cane for a couple of weeks after that. ?It took several months for me to be up and about for long periods of time comfortably. ?I remember I took a trip to DisneyWorld six months or so after my surgery, and I had to suck it up and ride in a wheelchair for the last half of the day. ?That much walking on hard surfaces was just a bit much.

    The surgery was, IMO, very successful. ?The doctor told me at the time that because of the way my legs and knees are put together (the angles aren't quite right), I'd probably be looking at knee replacement on that side by the time I was 40. ?I'm a year and a half from 40 now, and my knees couldn't be better. ?I don't do high-impact things like run for exercise, and I'm careful about putting undue stress on those joints (for example, I bike when I'm not pregnant, and I'm always really careful about stuff like my pedal alignment). ?But my knee is tons better now than before I had the surgery.

    I guess my advice would be to go in expecting anything, and don't feel bad if you're not totally back to normal in a few weeks. ?Get your knee fixed, take the time it takes to heal (however long that may be), and then enjoy your new pain-free life! ?And don't worry about your vacation. ?You'll find ways to adapt if you need to. ?Good luck!

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  •  Sounds to me like you're having an arthrscopy with partial synovectomy(or full - but doubt it). 

    I would take that 36 hours lightly.  You are going to be weight-bearing as tolerated, but in our practice, it was along the lines of 1-2 weeks (even if you're just using one crutch).  The main thing is - the faster you push yourself - the more likely you are going to have a rocky recovery.

    Whatever you do - do your leg strengthening exercises after surgery. (straight leg lifts especially!) Most people don't think this matters too much and their muscles atrophy. 


    EDIT: Agree with PP though.  This is a surgery that is not 100% predictable.  There were patients whose plica was just that bad, or they had other things in the knee that needed to be fixed that prolonged the recovery.  When you sign the consent for surgery, they will explain that if they see something else wrong (torn meniscus, etc) they will fix it.  This could throw a wrench in the works!


    DX PCOS 2006 - Off BCPs since 1/09 - TTC #1 4 cycles clomid (50, 100, 150, 200) - FAIL, no O Multiple cycles clomid + femara - FAIL, no O 3 injectable cycles - FAIL Ovarian Drilling 6/2010. Several failed cycles follow. 11/2010 - "Hold" on IF treatment.
    10/24/2011 - Surprise BFP; EDD 6/21/12! BOY!

    Sweet baby boy born 6/14 9lb 2oz via csection.
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