I have a tear of the lateral meniscus in my right knee, today i saw an Ortho surgeon to discuss the treatment. He seemed keen to go for arthroscope surgery. He did however, say that it would lead to premature arthritis in my 40's or 50's - im 19 which i kind of knew already.
I asked him about how much damage there was, if there was any chance of repair, as i brought the MRI images and he said that he wouldn't know much until the day, and through looking through the scope. He said the blood supply is bad so it's likely it'll be a general procedure of shaving off what they need to but keeping as much as they can. Here's the report from the MRI;
Clinical indication; Ligament damage
Technique; sagittal T1 and gradient-echo. Coronal STIR. Axial PD fat-sat.
Findings; there is a large bucket handle tear of the lateral meniscus and the flipped fragment lies within the intercondylar notch. The medical meniscus, cruciates, collaterals and extensor mechanism are normal. No significant articular cartilage abnormality. No significant joint effusion.
I was kind of surprised there was damage of the lateral meniscus as i have had knee pain since i was about 15, walking up stairs, riding a bike, that sort of thing, and always felt the pain on the opposite side of both knees, however, i did remember a time where i was getting up from a push up position, the feeling where i couldn't straighten my knee at all, and it was really painful. This was about 5months or so ago.
It doesn't really bother me too much now, occasionally it hurts, and i notice it if i were to squat with my knees pointing forward, having said that, if i were to squat as with weight lifting, it seems a little unstable, so i may just need to have the surgery.
I asked what would happen if i didn't have the surgery, would that stop the earlier osteoarthritis, he said not really and that it could likely cause mechanical problems down the lie, so im guessing i will need to have the surgery as expected, but was wondering thoughts and opinions, perhaps trying PT first or just getting it done? Or even trying to push for some sort of repair, or get a second opinion?
All in all im guessing i will just need to have it done, but of course wanted an idea of how much they would need to shave off, doesn't sound good though, as usual.