i was diagnosed with radial meniscus tear. I saw two doctors, one said " need surgery", second said " you may need surgery but you have some knee cap wear, so you are riding dirt bikes." I told him during visit that I race bicycles.
any way, I don't have normal symptoms. My knee is not swollen, i have some clicking but walking doesn't bother me at all. Sitting down with bent knee creates some discomfort near knee cap.
I don't want to surgery if really not needed and don't want to have part of meniscus removed because doctor wants to make money.
I am looking for doctor in NJ who knows and understands needs of cyclists.
Hopefully you got an MRI to get a definitive diagnosis of a tear/not tear. If you have a tear, it depends on the type of tear as to whether you should make the decision to have surgery. If the tear is in the red zone, and it won't heal on its own, then surgery can put it back to basically like it was before. If it is in the white zone, then this will most likely not heal and is not repairable. With this type of tear, a trim is done so any ragged fragments are removed and it scars over smooth. This will eliminate enlargement of the tear, and other complications of having torn meniscus shards flailing around inside the knee joint. The biggest issue you want to avoid with any knee injury is the eventual onset of arthritis in it. That will cause you constant pain and make it difficult to ride in any capacity. The thing to remember is that everyone is different. The same injury in one person that causes them to have arthritis may not cause another person to have arthritis. The decision to have surgery can be a hard one since absolutely nobody knows what your exact outcome will be. But enough meniscus repairs have been done that you can be reasonably sure of the outcome. Ultimately it is your decision so do a lot of research. There are a few reasons to have surgery, aside from the usual major symptoms like locking of the joint when walking, They are:
Originally Posted by a2gtinut
1. Regular persistent pain that is hampering your activities
2. The knee constantly feels unstable usually accompanied by pain
3. The tear will grow larger with use, thereby causing new symptoms like locking. This will result in trimming a larger percentage of the meniscus if you eventually have surgery. This is bad because you want to remove as little meniscus as possible thereby reducing your chance of arthritis.
4. Eventual arthritis caused by the tear interfering with joint motion and constantly irritating the knee joint.
Definitely find a good sports doctor, and one that ONLY does knees. You can usually find those doctors near universities and colleges since they treat their sports teams
I have been having problems with my left knee for a few year. the last year it got pretty bad. I coach year around select basketball. this summer I was demonstrating (walking) an offensive play, simply planted my left leg, and WOW. knee was swollen like a canalope for weeks. then this fall I tweeked it mountain biking on the trails- it stayed swollen for 6 weeks.
Thanks to the pressure of my wife, I finally saw a local specialist (he does all of the Baylor University athletes). He said it has to be the meniscus, but wanted an MRI to see the extent and location. He explained that with a small tear, most people opt out of surgery. But active people (like us) get the surgery to prevent further damage. Got the MRI and it was pretty bad. About 2/3 of my medial meniscus was torn. Surgery was scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. After the surgery he confessed it worse than he expected- I also had lots of damaged cartilage and scar tissue to be cleaned up, including a large cyst. He warned me that my heal time would be much longer than we discussed. But my 10 day follow up I walked into his office with only a slight limp. I do not have all my strength and flexibility back, and it is still a little tender, but it is easier to walk than before the surgery! So hopefully after a few more weeks of PT, I can be released to hit the trails again.