T Nation

Go Ahead w/ Surgery or Not? (Torn Meniscus)

Unfortunately last week I tore my medial meniscus. The doctor who evaluated my MRI said it looked like I had a torn posterior horn of the medial meniscus with a probable radial edge tear of the anterior horn of the meidal meniscus. My ortho suggested scoping my knee because I am so active. My question to everyone is should I have scope surgery (scheduled Monday) or not? I am very active in great shape (6’1" 220 9% BF%). I lift pretty heavy with squats and dead lifts. I am also in good cardiovascular shape and play semi-pro soccer.


What supplements should I be taking for a speedy recovery with or without the surgery? I am taking glucosomine chondrotin, protein, MRP’s, multi-vitamin, vit E, vit C, zinc, calcium-magnesium, fish oil and Advil. Thanks for your feedback!

had this done myself (the tear and the scope) did help me heal faster than someone i know who bypassed and “toughed it out”. his went on for years. try some joint care, keep protein high. i still hit upper body but with less frequency as to not overtrain. might end up with some extra upper body beef due to lack of stimulation to the CNS from squats/deads (ala ron harris’s article). better to get it done and get it over with. just be warned about the 1st 24 - 48 hours. hurts badly and anesthetic has anti-cholinergic side effect of constipation. first crap post-op i thought i had a child. good luck.

A torn medial meniscus will not heal by itself or with exercise. Have the surgery and get on with life. I’ve had both knees done, about 7 and 10 years ago, and they are still great now at age 56. The only change in supplementation I would make is to switch to Alleve from Advil. I have found that better for joint or arthritis type pain.

That’s right, the meniscus won’t heal on its own. Scope surgery isn’t bad at all – in fact, both of mine were outpatient surgeries. The first scope I had (in high school)was a similar situation to yours. I had the injury before the end of football, had the scope a week later, and was back to the 110% neccessary for wrestling in a top HS program within a month and a half. The other scope I had to repair cartilage I went back to work the next day. The physical therapy is extremely light for a scope too (unlike the ACL reconstruction, which is a horrific bitch all the way around). Bottom line – the injury won’t just go away like a muscle pull, the surgery helped, and it’s really not a bad procedure, so long as you’re not a weenie about some minor pain.

Thanks for the advise and your comments have solidified my decision. I have decided to go with the surgery. Hopefully since I am already in good shape my recovery time will be shortened.

My doctor can’t get me into surgery until the end of February. Can I do any kind of exercises since I have a month to go. My knee is not too bad and I did do some light extensions and curls one week after the injury. I know that wasn’t smart but since the swelling has subsided would you suggest anything?

I had a scope done on my right knee, very similar to what you are about to go in for. I would suggest avoiding any direct knee joint work until the rehab period. Anything else would be OK. This really is not a very long rehab usually back to working out fully in 3-4 weeks.

Cjack, glad to see that you actually read these responses. I wish I’d had this board to talk to about some of my injuries when I was younger. A little sage advice would have given me years more healthy training time.
Anyways, another great lesson I learned from all my surgeries was to talk to a doctor about what you can or can’t do, <> make sure you talk to a doctor who is a sports medicine person, who is used to dealing with athletic patients, and is willing to sit down with you and talk about your training needs personally. My first surgeon told me that after my ACL reconstruction just about the only thing that I would ever do again safely was to swim, which is obviously incorrect. Talk to a professional with your interests at heart AND with the proper knowledge to get specific answers about what you can or can’t do.

I’m in the exact same boat, except having the surgery was a no brainer. The pain goes away but every now and then if I inadvertently cross my leg the knee will pop when I straighten it out. I’m avoiding all work with that leg, as the pain much outweighs the risk and gains. Unfortunately I injured it on New Years Eve and I’m not getting into surgery until March 6. Crappy HMO.

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