meniscus issues/rehab
General Topic
Contributors to this thread:
mrelite 17-May-20
MQQSE 17-May-20
eddie c 17-May-20
Ken 17-May-20
mrelite 17-May-20
Buffalo1 17-May-20
joehunter 17-May-20
Tilzbow 17-May-20
jjs 17-May-20
WV Mountaineer 17-May-20
Shawn 18-May-20
MQQSE 18-May-20
lawdy 18-May-20
eddie c 18-May-20
eddie c 18-May-20
jbone 18-May-20
Bob H in NH 18-May-20
Rocky D 18-May-20
Royboy 19-May-20
splitlimb13 19-May-20
Z Barebow 19-May-20
grossklw 19-May-20
gil_wy 19-May-20
mrelite 24-May-20
ground hunter 24-May-20
Candor 25-May-20
Elkslaya 25-May-20
sfiremedic 25-May-20
mrelite 25-May-20
DCNOE 25-May-20
mrelite 03-Jun-20
Tilzbow 03-Jun-20
DL 04-Jun-20
mrelite 05-Jun-20
Tracker 05-Jun-20
From: mrelite
17-May-20
So I am scheduled to get my meniscus taken care of and would like to hear about other peoples experience with rehab time, how bad their meniscus was and how long till you were backpacking again. My MRI showed complex tears on the posterior horn which surprised me since I still get around well, for the last couple years I have gotten pretty good at getting by but I gotta be careful not to aggravate it, doing so could result in it hurting for a few months. Generally I can do most things without any pain but there has been no real exercising the quads, no squats , step ups, no bike riding and lately even swimming kind of irritates it so I decided to see if they can fix it...... lol that's what I am worried about, the fix being worse than the symptoms!

From: MQQSE
17-May-20
I had my meniscus tear cut out a few months ago. I did a stone sheep hunt with the tear last fall but it wasn’t any fun.

After the surgery I walked out of the hospital and after four weeks I was back to doing stadium steps and was able to run after 6-8 weeks. I did tear it running last year so after a few short runs I have decided to retire from running (50 this year) and just focus on low impact training.

If all goes well you will be back to normal in 6-8 weeks from my experience.

From: eddie c
17-May-20
Each person has different results. I tore my right probably 10 years ago and it's doing ok. Tore my left in April 2017 and was going on my first elk hunt that fall. Rehab didn't go as well and wore a brace the whole time. Still hurts today under stress. I wish you the best.

From: Ken
17-May-20
I've had it done twice, once 25 years ago and again 4 years ago. I can say the process has come a long way and my recovery from the second knee scope had almost no recovery time.

From: mrelite
17-May-20
Mqqse, what type of tear did you have? eddie c, same question, poor results is what bothers me, I have a Gila wilderness tag for Sept and there is nothing easy about the hunt and next year I am up for an Alaska moose hunt.

The thing that sucks is that they can't say exactly what the extent of the injury is until they are inside looking at it, the MRI just shows them that there are tears so it seems to be just an open ended deal.

From: Buffalo1
17-May-20
I ahd a pretty bad tear about 5 yrs ago. Had it repaired and then rehab to rebuild. My surgeon after the surgery told me my real limitations would be not doing exercises that put a lot of pressure on my knee and avoid "catcher squats." I have followed his orders and no further problems. I think surgery to back to normal activity was about 90 days.

From: joehunter
17-May-20
I have had two scopes on the left and one on the right. All depends on how good of a job your surgeon does. If he cleans it up well then you can expect to have little pain even a couple weeks out. If not it will still be a problem. My advise - get it done and be very careful with what you do in the future. I do not run, I do not jump across streams, I do not jump over dead falls. I do not do anything that may risk more injury to my knees. I walk and carry a weighted pack to work out. I get injections prior to my hunts. My cardio my be less than desired, but if my knees do not hurt I can battle through. Knee pain in the mountains is really difficult to hunt through!

From: Tilzbow
17-May-20
I had the left and right done. Left in 2010, right in 2015. Tore the left in the fall of 2009 when I slipped coming down a steep hill while chukar hunting. Tore the right one on day 1 of a Stone Sheep hunt and hunted for 13 more days. Hiking wasn’t too bad but squatting with but knees to take a dump was impossible so I figured out a way to do that with the injured leg out in front.

I delayed both surgeries about 6 months because I had hunts I didn’t want to miss. After surgery I was doing an eliptical trainer a week later, lifting light after two weeks and back to normal after about 6 weeks.

I believe both of my tears were radial tears and both were in the medial meniscus. The surgeon simply clipped them, similar to what any of us would do with a cuticle that was hanging off around a finger nail.

There is a type of meniscus tear on the outside of the meniscus they sometimes put sutures in and I was told by my surgeon that one takes about 4 - 6 months to recover from. There’s apparently enough blood flow on the outside that the meniscus will actually heal.

From: jjs
17-May-20
Would rather go through a meniscus op than going through a knee replacement that I had 8 wks ago, would be running by now instead of stumbling.

17-May-20
If it’s something you can live with, with any age on you it might be best to ride it out until you can’t stand it anymore.

I’ve had 3 acl repairs, been bone on bone in my left knee for 20 years, and have some issues with meniscus in my right knee now. It’s sucks. But, I’ve had the repair on the right knee 11 years ago and I can’t tell you it ever got as pain free as I had hoped.

Good luck and God Bless.

From: Shawn
18-May-20
My tear was pretty bad, but I was back to work in 3 days and within a month I would of never new it happened. Lots of ice and light PT the first week and than just normal routine. Shawn

From: MQQSE
18-May-20
I would have to look up the exact type of tear I had. It was worse than the Dr anticipated once he went in to fix it but he was able to cut around and remove it. It was on the isndide of my left knee.

With my tear I was able to climb but descending was a SOB and I was fully dependent on trekking poles. If you don’t already use them I highly recommend them whether someone has knee issues or not.

From: lawdy
18-May-20
Ran competitively into my 60’s and coach runners. I had to switch to a bike when my knees acted up. I had the meniscus removed on my right knee and a bucket tear fixed on my left knee. I never took painkillers after surgery, just used a cryocuff and was biking within a week, though with limits. I am 73 now and still bike with no pain. Occasionally my left knee will hurt if I kneel on it when it is cold. The key to good knees is working the leg muscles. Stay active and keep the weight off. I ice my knees almost every night and have my runners do likewise after long runs or interval training. Ice works wonders.

From: eddie c
18-May-20
Mrelite, my right knee was a minor tear, I'd thought I had just strained my knee and waited a couple of weeks before I mentioned to my chiropractor about it. His office is in a sports clinic so he immediately got my to the knee doc. My left was more intense and I went to the doctor the next day only to have insurance to require e to go through 4weeks of therapy BEFORE the MRI. Doc said that didn't help it any. MRI didn't show the whole damage and I was hurting during post op bad. Severe tear, burised bone, and chipped knuckle joint. All from slipping off a step while holding about 40# of stuff cleaning out Dad's house.

From: eddie c
18-May-20
I forgot to add, when I first saw the doc in April, I mentioned that I was supposed to go to CO for an elk hunt in late August. He stated " I will have you ready". The only thing that wasn't ready was my cardio.

From: jbone
18-May-20
Mrelite, I had a complete ACL reconstruction as well as medial meniscus repair done a little over three weeks ago. I am about done with pain and swelling and easing back into bike riding right now since the gym is closed. I also have a Gila tag early September and plan on hunting as normal. Rehab and PT are the key, in my opinion, to getting back quickly. FYI my tear was a small one on the medial horn and the surgeon shaved it off. I will wear a good brace during the hunt as well.

From: Bob H in NH
18-May-20
I've had 3 tears repaired, all scopes (also a TKR which is WAY worse recovery, but long term, it works)

Alot depends on: - type/size/number/location of tears which will guide them to how they fix. Mine where mostly medial meniscus, radial tears.

- How good of shape your legs are in now. The quads are going to go to "sleep" and you wake them up

- How fast you get Range of Motion back, that's harder than the rest with my repairs. Much of this is also swelling related, DO NOT OVER DO IT EARLY.

Hunting this fall you should be at 100% for a long time by then. Just remember, they are most likely going to cut some of it out to repair it, that means less cushion for the knee joint.

From: Rocky D
18-May-20
In September of 2012 Orthopedic Surgeon said I had three different tears then said she didn’t think that I had enough left to sew. We decided to try six weeks of physical therapy and on 1 November I went on a three week hunt and haven’t had any problems since!

I will say that the physical therapist said in her eighteen years she had only one patient to work as hard as I did and that was a Navy SEAL.

I incorporated the physical therapy exercises into my routine. About every three months I’ll get the band let out and do the exercises. Evidently, it helps.

P.S. I have a desk job so when I wasn’t exercising nothing hurt my recovery.

From: Royboy
19-May-20
Had a meniscus tear about 5 years ago and the doc said I was bone on bone as my cartilage was gone in my right knee . Started laser therapy but Covid stopped that before I saw results. The doc says she had her brother get better after laser treatments so I am hopeful as I don’t want knee surgery yet

From: splitlimb13
19-May-20
I had mine done , worst mistake I ever make. Still ain't right!

From: Z Barebow
19-May-20
I have torn meniscus in both knees and had surgery on both. (I don't remember the location or type, I would have to look at pics!) First tear was elk hunt 2015, packing out bull. Doc removed 30%. (May 2016) Said I could run again,,,,, in a year! I elk hunted ID in 2016. I started running again in 2017 and tore the other knee. I scouted for WYO elk in summer of 2017. Downhills killed me. I wanted to cut my leg off. But I hunted I elk hunted in 2017. Had surgery in early 2018. I can run, no more 90 mile weeks for me! 1-3 days a week. I have zero regrets. I have no lingering issues in either knee. Per my doc (And he is top notch) If you have less than 40 % removed, life can move forward. If you have more than 40% trimmed up, it isn't a matter of if you will need a knee replacement, it will be a a matter of how soon. (Per statistics)

If you have 3 months post surgery, I would have zero qualms about going hunting.

From: grossklw
19-May-20
A lot of the newer surgeon's I work with are no longer doing menisectomy's for most tears (or at least delaying it in most cases). They did a rather large study a couple years ago looking at sham surgery vs the real deal and the results are the same at 6 months post-op and 1 year follow-up. There will come a time in my lifetime when insurance won't be reimbursing surgeons for doing simple knee scope's. If you have a complicated bucket-handle tear or something similar that's a different story.

From: gil_wy
19-May-20
I had both knees cleaned up last spring, with the most recent in March. I hunted every weekend in September and October. Nice thing about meniscus is you can do whatever pain allows. 7 days after the March surgery, I walked up the river 3 miles fly fishing. A little swelling but that was it.

From: mrelite
24-May-20
My understanding is that if there is a small tear in the thin part of the meniscus it is easily cleaned up with a short recovery time but if the tears are in the thick part it is another story and the recovery time is longer. All I know is that I have complex tears and I need it fixed so I don't end up with a major failure in the back country but not knowing the extent of what the Doc is going to see and do until after the fact kind of freaks me out.

24-May-20
I now run in the pool. It's not easy, but once started, it gets easier, and now I run for an hour. My pool reopens tomorrow, and I have missed it.

From: Candor
25-May-20
There is no convenient time for surgery. The most convenient time is always last year.

From: Elkslaya
25-May-20
Just replace the knee and get it over with ;)

From: sfiremedic
25-May-20
Mr. Elite, First, my knees are great! Sooo, I really think to do it right you need to get the surgery and then rehab it through the fall.. Of course this means you won't need your tag so feel free to transfer it to me... ;)

From: mrelite
25-May-20
Candor, you got that right! July thru April is completely booked up with hunts and scouting. My want was to do it right after the turkey hunt in April but this shutdown screwed me out of 5 weeks and if I wait till next April I run the possibility for some type of meniscus failure during one of my hunts, it's never a good time.

sfiremedic, LOL ......you're the best! I'll make sure you get my elk tag for 2021, I have a moose hunt scheduled so I wont be needing it.

From: DCNOE
25-May-20
John I'll preface everything by saying I'm not a doctor, but I can tell you the description of you meniscus injury sounds much like the one I suffered in February playing hockey. My injury was to the lateral meniscus. I have a tear in the front of the meniscus near the knee cap as well a a significant tear at the posterior horn/root. This as my orthopedic described is not good. Tear in this area is a tear from the bone and will not heal unless surgically reattached. The surgery as I was told is not the difficult part. Post surgery is the challenge. I will be in a complete leg immobilizer for 6 weeks with no touch/weight bearing on the leg. After the 6 weeks, rehab is started to gradually increase range of motion. My surgeon was very clear when explaining, if I was not going to take the post op restrictions seriously, not to bother with the surgery. Success of the surgery is dependent on the fixture to the bone proper time to heal.

Since the injury I've opted to try aggressive rehab before committing to the surgery. Stretching and strengthening the surronding muscles have helped. Biking and straight line running, although not like before, has been tolerable and the knee has responded well. Testing lateral movement is the next test. If that does not go well I more than likely will opt for the surgery in December.

I'm assuming you've already had an MRI so I would clarify with the surgeon if he suspects a root tear at the posterior horn. Completely different ball game then the standard meniscus tear.

Best of luck.

Dave

From: mrelite
03-Jun-20
Thanks for all the comments!

I am done with the surgery and everything seemed to go well, Doc said he cleaned up the tear that seemed to be the problem and no repairs needed. One day later I don't have much pain unless I really bend my knee then it lets me know it isn't pain free but even though it feels like the road to recovery won't be to bad, just hope the surgery solves the problem.

From: Tilzbow
03-Jun-20
Good luck with rehab, sounds like it’ll go fast and you’ll be near 100% soon! I started with an elliptical trainer and stationary bike and quickly progressed to lifting from there. Ice, post workout, is your friend! I was nearly 50 the last surgery and it only took 6 weeks to get back near 100%. 8 and 4 years removed from surgery I still have occasional pain when twisting under load but it doesn’t last more than a few minutes.

From: DL
04-Jun-20
A lot depends on how old you are. Also how the tear happened with both of my knees I tore ACL In half in the 70s. Bucket handle tears. One was scoped the other was opened up with a 3 inch incision. I was in my 20s on both tears. Was back at work a couple days latter until the year locked up my knee. I was back at work in 5 days. The ACLS were not ever repaired. Muscles eventually compensated. But with time and not changing jobs I’ve had a total of 16 knee surgeries. Surprisingly at 70 they work great. I was told 40 years ago that in 15-20 years I would have arthritis. Actually at 15 years I don’t have any cartilage left.

From: mrelite
05-Jun-20
After reading about some of the knee problems you guys have I am feeling pretty good about my knee issue, at 57 I am inspired to work hard so that I can keep my legs strong and stable for at least another 15 years or more!

From: Tracker
05-Jun-20
I had meniscus surgery and recovery well enough in 3 months to do a CO archery elk hunt. I had dealt with the tear for several years but it became unbearable so surgery was the answer. I tore the right knee last Aug and just rehabbed that one with great success. each is different.

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