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Experiences resolving Torn Meniscus in 80 year old man

Merry Christmas everyone!

I am helping someone who is nearing 80. He believes he has Meniscus Tear. However it has gotten worse.

He is scared of going for surgery due to COVID risk (yes, he is fully vaccinated, yet to take booster shot)

He is looking for solution where Surgeon can fix knee in his office.

So far we found

1. Repair of Meniscus tear. Can Doctor do this in office? Will Doctor even recommend sewing up the Meniscus because patient is old?

2. Partial removal of Meniscus. Can this be done in Doctor's office?

3. Complete removal of Meniscus. Can this be done in Doctor's office?

Patient loathes surgery. Some people say that torn meniscus may be manageable with 4 to 6 weeks of Physical therapy,  but even he feels that the knee is so bad, that it needs surgery.

Patient does Recumbent bike and ices knee 1 to 2 times a day. And we saw some stretches/strengthening on YouTUBE, but still knee is paining.

Patient has high threshold for pain and intolerance (quit 35-years of smoking, cold turkey back in early 1990s), but this pain is too much.

We hear of Doctors who will push cortisone shots which may or may not work. Worse, we hear of Doctors who push unnecessary Surgeries just to make money (usually for their Hospitals).

Some people say that torn meniscus may be manageable with 4 to 6 weeks of Physical therapy, but

Please share your experiences and guidance.

1 Responses
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Avatar universal
Okay, I've been through this for years now, but it didn't start when I was 80 years old.  It's not always easy to tell if the injury is a Meniscus tear.  Even an MRI can be misleading.  Yes, there are many surgeons who cut because they make a lot more money cutting then sending you to PT.  I've had a surgeon tell me to arrange a surgery when the MRI showed no evidence of a Meniscus tear.  So this is a case where you get one opinion and then you need a second opinion.  Whether the surgery is done in a doc's office or at a hospital depends on the severity of the tear.  A simple tear can be done with a laparoscopic surgery out of the hospital, but it's not a really good surgery.  It is a quick recovery surgery, but often it doesn't hold up and you tear it again.  Might not matter though for an 80 year old, as reality is the person isn't likely to be around for as long as a young person.  In my case, I was first diagnosed with a knee sprain.  It wasn't a knee sprain.  The second time I saw the doc he diagnosed it as a meniscus tear, but the MRI turned out years later when I had it looked at to not show one, so sometimes a doc will diagnose contrary to the MRI because of how it hurts when it's manipulated.  A better surgery is a meniscus repair, which is more thorough but takes longer to recover from.  If the tear is really bad, you go to the 3d option.  You can't, however, diagnose one yourself, nor can you tell how severe it is without manipulation by a skilled surgeon and an MRI.  So, bottom line, either he goes to an orthopedic surgeon or he will never know.  And he is very possibly looking at a second opinion to make sure.  As for managing it with PT, yes, that's what I was recommended to do.  As long as he isn't a runner that can work.  But how long it will take or if it will work at all is a very individual thing.  Mine is still not operated on and it's been a couple decades or more since it was first injured.  But I can't run anymore.  I can't see how cortisone would ever be useful for a torn meniscus.  You either cut or rehab.  It's not an inflammation problem, it's a connective tissue problem.  But do know, there are other things can can go wrong with a knee that might feel like a meniscus, so my advice is, yeah, there's covid, but covid ain't going anywhere.  He needs to see the doc.  Make sure he gets his booster first.  Make sure he gets it no matter what.  Peace.
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1 Comments
This is very helpful.

Patient will get COVID  booster shot (he just got both doses few months back)

I passed all this great info to him.

Thank you!
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