Discussions By Condition: Knee conditions

Wife's MRI says torn medial meniscus and effluence--Any advice?

Posted In: Knee conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: showme
  • February 20, 2009
  • 00:40 AM

my wife has had swelling and sometimes sharp pain in her knee for the last few weeks. Her doctor thought it was a Baker's cyst, but had her get an mri before seeing an orthopedic surgeon. The mri results came back as a torn medial meniscus (sp?) and effluent, which i understand is water on the knee. We've done research, but I'd like to hear from people who have suffered from this. She's 45 and though a bit overweight, she's fairly active and in good health. Sounds to me like the answer is surgery. What can she expect? Thanks for any and all replies. Lee

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  • A co-worker of mine just had surgery for a torn meniscus. It's not the most painless procedure (from what I understand), but he has regained full use of his leg. It's only been about a week or two. They gave him pain meds (hydrocodone I think), but he says he only really needed them the first day or two. He says it hurts like crazy for a couple of days or so. Actually, he says it still gets sore a bit, but he's still doing the PT for it. His knee down to his ankle has some significant edema.....but that too is manageable. His doc is telling him to 'walk it off' and just use it as much as he can during the day. At night he is to elevate and rest, sometimes with ice. All in all he is very happy so far with the surgery although it really hasn't been that long yet (1-2 weeks). Oh, he's in his mid-to-late 50's. He's an active person though, always on the go. I think he tends to push himself too far, but his knee does seems to be healing.Sorry I don't have better first-hand knowledge, but I thought you would want to know about someone who had a similar surgery that went well. Best wishes to your wife!! She can do it....what's the alternative really? Living in pain? Not an option I would choose.
    Harmonium 322 Replies
    • February 20, 2009
    • 06:00 AM
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  • Harmonium- Thanks for the reply and the information on your friend! It really does help to hear a direct instance of what she's going to have done. My physical therapist told gave me a similar story yesterday when I was there. (I've got a back injury from work, and I've been getting PT for the last few weeks). He also gave me the name of a couple of good ortho surgeons in St. Louis. She was lined up to go to a local guy, and I found out that he's not so great. Good news twice, since she will get to see him Monday afternoon instead of having to wait till next Friday. The sooner the better, I say. She's really hurting, sometimes severely. Thanks again for the good word! Lee
    showme 15 Replies
    • February 21, 2009
    • 05:05 PM
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  • Was she ever prescribed the drug "avelox" this past year? DOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • February 21, 2009
    • 05:55 PM
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  • She says no, unless it's under another name. All that I can remember her getting were pills for perimenopause and a script for an antibiotic for a cough she's had for months. Why? What is it and how could it have an effect on this?
    showme 15 Replies
    • February 22, 2009
    • 07:56 PM
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  • It is most likely not the cause of her problem, but here is the side effect info on avelox, which is an antibiotic:Tendonopathy and Tendon RuptureFluoroquinolones, including AVELOX, are associated with an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in all ages. This adverse reaction most frequently involves the Achilles tendon, and rupture of the Achilles tendon may require surgical repair. Tendinitis and tendon rupture in the rotator cuff (the shoulder), the hand, the biceps, the thumb, and other tendon sites have also been reported. The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is further increased in older patients usually over 60 years of age, in patients taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Factors, in addition to age and corticosteroid use, that may independently increase the risk of tendon rupture include strenuous physical activity, renal failure, and previous tendon disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. Tendinitis and tendon rupture have also occurred in patients taking fluoroquinolones who do not have the above risk factors. Tendon rupture can occur during or after completion of therapy; cases occurring up to several months after completion of therapy have been reported. AVELOX should be discontinued if the patient experiences pain, swelling, inflammation or rupture of a tendon. Patients should be advised to rest at the first sign of tendinitis or tendon rupture, and to contact their healthcare provider regarding changing to a non-quinolone antimicrobial drug. Some docs do not make patients aware of this danger when taking this drug.Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • February 22, 2009
    • 08:38 PM
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  • Thanks, acuann. I will do a little research on the ab's she's taken. (I've never been impressed by her doctor, so it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't know about it, if it is the same type). my wife is 45, and though she's in good health, she doesn't take nearly as good care of her physical health as she should. I'll pass this information along to her. Thanks again.
    showme 15 Replies
    • February 22, 2009
    • 09:09 PM
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  • I had surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus on 1/13/2009. The doctor told me to stay off my feet for the first week. The second week he told me to walk using crutches,the third week he told me to get rid of the crutches and walk without them. Five weeks after surgery I was given the Ok to return to work which I did last week. First couple of days at work were a bit rough since my work requires lots of walking around. This is my second week at work and for the last couple of days I have experience swelling and pain on the back of the knee and also on the front. I am applying ice at night but I am just concern that perhaps I may have reinjured the knee by walking too much on it. I have made an appt to see the doctor this coming Thursday and will request that he orders an MRI. I know that some doctor's hate for patients to be telling the what to do but I am so worried!Has anyone experienced similar situation and if so please share it with me. what's happening with my knee. Has anyone experienced my kind of situation? Feedback and advise is very appreciated!
    Marie-T 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Marie-T,Like I posted above, my co-worker who had the surgery is experiencing swelling (edema). His is actually pitting edema (when you press on it with your finger it stays indented). He went back to the doc and had another MRI to check it out. They said it was fine, just to keep walking on it and elevate it with ice at night. I do think you should see your doc just to be sure, but I really think the swelling is normal. Especially if you work on your feet. Hope that helps! :)
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
  • Here's an update on the wife's knee problem. She saw a specialist last week, and he and his 'team' looked her and her mri results over. He said she would need the surgery, (or live with it as is), and that it would be a 20 minute procedure for him, and that she could count on an easy recovery time of about 2 weeks. He described it as being like "taking a stone out of your shoe". He will "scope" it, and the surgery is scheduled in their own outpatient surgery unit in St. Louis. I was impressed that he told us that he had a lady in the next room for the same thing, but the symptoms were reversed for Verla (my wife) and the other woman. Verla had less pain with movement that they had her do, though it had been months up to this point, but the mri pics showed much more clear evidence of the injury. In the other room was a woman who could not hardly move her leg without severe pain, but the mri showed much less damage. He told us it was a very educational day for his residents that would let them see opposite ends of the spectrum on a very similar injury. So, this Friday, we will get the procedure done, and start the road to her recovery. Meanwhile, back at my back, after 4 weeks of PT, I went to the ortho surgeon yesterday from my work injury, and the guy released me !:eek: I had a 30# piece of refractory block dropped on my head, and have had headaches and back pain ever since January 24th, and the guy said I could return to work! I tried to tell him that as an Ironworker in construction, there was no way I could wear a 25# tool belt, connect iron, bend over, pick up heavy weight and weld overhead all day with my back still hurting. And they haven't even checked my skull yet. So, good news on the wife's front, bad news for the work comp case. I was just informed by the claim adjuster that he will schedule an mri. :) But, the way they keep referring to my problem as a sprain instead of the head trauma that drove me almost to my knees, I'm starting to fear that there will eventually be attorneys involved. Thanks for all the comments and input on the knee, friends!
    showme 15 Replies Flag this Response
  • i pla ysoftball for my high school, might i add that softball is a huge deal at my school and not taken lightly. we were doing situations and i was caught in one at 3rd base, and slid into home. i slid late i believe, but i suddenly felt a very sharp pain. i thought i'd just hit it wrong, you know? the pain radiated through my whole leg but i could tell it was originating from my knee. well i get up to walk and let's just say i quickly found the ground again. i continued to make myself think that there was nothing wrong, considering we're only in our 2nd week of softball at the time. i didn't tell any of the coaches, but they soon noticed me limping and wincing. they didn't think much of it, i get hurt a lot. they told me to ice it, but beiong the stubborn teenager i am, i didn;t think twice about it. that night, i woke up every hour because i'd straighten my knee in my sleep and the pain would wake me up. so a new symptom, i definetly could not straighten my knee. it helped to walk on my toe, to make sure i didn't straighten it. a trainer came and saw me and suspected my ACL or MCL. that freaked me out, but the orthopaedist recommended a torn meniscus or chipped cartilage. they took an x ray and everything was perfect. i am dead set on it being jsut a bruised bone, but he informed me if he thought it was jsut a bruised bone i wouldn't be getting an MRI. so i got an open MRI. it took about an hour, and i kept having to cough, haha. but i find out today what exactly the problem is and i'm worried. i was told if my meniscus was torn, i would have surgery. recieving an epidural and i could watch the surgery, which fascinates me. i can now straighten it (after two weeks) but i can't straighten it and put pressure on it. some days it doesn't bother me, some days it does. what does this sound like to y'all?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It sounds an awful lot like what my wife has. She actually thinks it happened about November, and she just lived with it until she started noticing the swelling on the back of her knee (effluence\water on the knee). She would "be ok" sometimes, but all it would take is one wrong turn, and she would almost collapse from the pain. She's pretty tough and doesn't like to admit she hurts, but since she got the mri results, and the chance to talk to a great doctor who knows his way around these injuries (Dr. Glen Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri), she's not worried about it a bit, now. I'm surprised they didn't offer to give you the results on the spot. At the mri sites around here, they allow you to get the results that day if you don't mind waiting for 15 or 20 minutes after you get the mri. Anyway, i'm a firm believer, after a few injuries that showed nothing wrong with xrays, (and thus doctors saying there was no problem to fix) that mri's and cat scans are necessary if you know there is a problem and the doctor says there's "nothing on the xray". For example, I fractured a 5th metatarsal on a construction job. The orthopedic surgeon told me that it was a hairline fracture from hitting my foot on a piece of steel as a buddy and I carried a steel beam across the site. This was in the summer. Even though the company was glad to keep me supplied with painkillers, by December when the cold weather set in, my foot was killing me. I went to a podiatrist, who ordered an mri, which showed him that there were some bone fragments from the fracture that were still irritating the area. He operated to remove the fragments, and also planed down the fracture to minimalize it. After some PT, I was back to running and biking better than before! But due to the time that it took to get the real treatment needed, I messed up my other foot because I had been overcompensating for the injured foot with my good (right) foot. Walking wrong, shifting more weight to that side and playing havoc with my natural stride. I ended up with plantar fasciitis and a tarsal nerve release done on my previously "good" foot. More PT, more time in the chair (torture for anyone active) and a bill that came out of my insurance and my pocket due to not getting the right diagnosis by the first doctor. And the worst part? The doctor who is messing up this time is from the same Orthopedic group as the orthopedic surgeon that couldn't find my foot problem back then. :mad: Doesn't seem this group of ortho docs believe that mri's are necessary. The moral is, if it's not right, it's not fixed. And if you wait too long to get it right, you may end up with other problems that will be caused by the initial problem, but will be paid for by you. Find out what it is, and fix it. If the doc you have seems unsure, get someone else, quick.
    showme 15 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Well, she had the surgery today and it went off without a hitch. She is now recovering at home with ice 30 min on\off. Doc gave her percocet for pain, and although she probably could walk, she's using crutches to be safe. The doc came out after the 20 minute surgery while she was waking up and showed me pics (see attachment). Second from top-left was the torn pre-surgery pic. The 2 bottom pics were after the repair was done. She should be back to normal in two weeks, but the doc said she'll be able to walk by the time we go back to see him on Friday (3 days). She'll be able to take the bandage off tomorrow, but will wear the compression hose they put on her legs until Friday.
    showme 15 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus on 1/13/2009. The doctor told me to stay off my feet for the first week. The second week he told me to walk using crutches,the third week he told me to get rid of the crutches and walk without them. Five weeks after surgery I was given the Ok to return to work which I did last week. First couple of days at work were a bit rough since my work requires lots of walking around. This is my second week at work and for the last couple of days I have experience swelling and pain on the back of the knee and also on the front. I am applying ice at night but I am just concern that perhaps I may have reinjured the knee by walking too much on it. I have made an appt to see the doctor this coming Thursday and will request that he orders an MRI. I know that some doctor's hate for patients to be telling the what to do but I am so worried!Has anyone experienced similar situation and if so please share it with me. what's happening with my knee. Has anyone experienced my kind of situation? Feedback and advise is very appreciated!Hey there yea i have had a similar issue with my left knee.Except my problem stemed from me being a bone head,3 days after haveing my medial meniscus reatched that didnt show up on 3 mris i had done dating from 02,my exwifes car had the e brake type that u press down and tap it to release well my foot sliped off and shot my knee to my chest and i heard a pop and my knee swelled like a ballon.I went to the er and then made an apt with my doc and he did nothing about,now i heard a pop and since my knee hasnt been the same.You are correct to be worried but give it a little more time and make a apt with your doc and see what he tells you.I would sugest a mri and see what he says about it.The same thing with me i think i walked on my crutches for about 2 weeks or so and then pt which was hard for me because my knee still hurt from that accident.i hope this helps somewhat.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2010
    • 06:08 AM
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