I just got back from my appointment with the orthopedist who reviewed my MRI. The bad news is that I have a lateral meniscus tear, and if I have surgery they will have to cut most of the meniscus out, since the lataral meniscus is much more complex than the medial or inner part.
The good news is that there is a blood supply to the part that is torn, so it is capable of healing without surgery.
I was glad that the orthopedist recommended not having surgery since I would be sacrificing long term health without most of my meniscus and the potential for early arthritis for short term improvement. He said to "baby" it for 3 weeks and then re-evaluate.
It's going to be very hard for me not training my legs, since I pitch for a non-varsity college baseball team and I'm a senior so its probably my last chance ever to play, but more importantly, I have a military commitment that begins May 26th (I won't say which branch because I haven't earned the title yet and don't deserve to be associated with them yet), so I'm really hoping this heals with 3 weeks of inactivity.
I don't know for sure yet, but there's a good chance the doctors at MEPS would disqualify me if I had to get most of my meniscus removed.
I do have a little bit of optimism as of yesterday, because yesterday I was sort of able to do a one-legged box squat on my right leg, since my knee was completely giving out when I tried that last week. I mostly using my glute and hamstrings, so it might be that those muscles are getting much stronger (since that's how I test my knee everyday), but hopefully its because my meniscus is healing.
I can rep out over 10 one legged squats without a box on my left leg, so that's going to be how I measure my recovery.
So I guess if you suspect you have a lateral meniscus tear, you should go get an MRI and see an orthopedist to see if the tear is capable of seeing on its own because operating on it could sacrifice the long term health of your knee. I'll keep everyone posted on how this process goes.