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Cortisone shots for meniscal tears
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mjwunde


May 13, 2009, 8:43 PM
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Cortisone shots for meniscal tears
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Just diagnosed with a medial meniscal tear. MRI was positive for tear. Doc wants to try a cortisone shot prior to seeing a surgeon.

Anyone had one for a knee injury? If so, did it help?
I know it won't fix the tear but taking hydrocodone isn't a fix either. Unsure

I just want to climb again, sitting around 'trying' to heal isn't for me.


billl7


May 13, 2009, 9:28 PM
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Re: [mjwunde] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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Of course, it depends on the type of tear. Can't really know for sure the significance of the tear until they get in there. Also, I'm no doctor. But ...

I had a tear in the middle third of my meniscus. Could still hike and climb without too much of a problem but more than one day a week caused irritation and swelling.

I had arthroscopic surgery last February. A flapper was removed from the underside of the meniscus (video taken).

Climbed at the gym early Friday morning. Surgery later that morning. Less than two days on crutches. Back to work on Monday (desk job). Four or so weeks of building up time on a stationary bicycle; climbing at the gym plus easy bicycle commuting at about two weeks.

My perception was that most of the recovery had to do with the surgery itself as opposed to removal of the flapper. Frequently, what felt stiff or out of sorts was the location of the entry points (three total). Still, it all seemed quite tolerable and worthwhile (edit: okay, there was one or two days at a week or so out whether I wondered if it were worthwhile; however, I hiked daily at Red Rock for a full week in late March and felt great!).

The doctor never once mentioned cortisone. If you haven't already, get a second opinion from a sports specialist. Knee issues have benefited a lot from research motivated by the desire to get professional athletes back in the game ASAP.

Bill


(This post was edited by billl7 on May 13, 2009, 9:34 PM)


moose_droppings


May 13, 2009, 9:54 PM
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Re: [mjwunde] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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mjwunde wrote:
Just diagnosed with a medial meniscal tear. MRI was positive for tear. Doc wants to try a cortisone shot prior to seeing a surgeon.

Anyone had one for a knee injury? If so, did it help?
I know it won't fix the tear but taking hydrocodone isn't a fix either. Unsure

I just want to climb again, sitting around 'trying' to heal isn't for me.

I had a cortisone shot for one of my knees once. It felt better for a couple of days and didn't fix anything. On to surgery I went. I was offered the shot each time thereafter before my next 4 surgeries on my knees. I turned them down.
Get on with the scoped surgery and remove the torn piece, you'll be back in the game in a week.
Cortisone is nothing but a steroid.


mjwunde


May 14, 2009, 6:48 PM
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Re: [billl7] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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The problem is that I am seeing a sports med doc and well in order to get to see one of the orthopods in our town, I have to go through the doc I am seeing.
I know as a patient I have rights and can see who I choose. Unfortunately most orthopods won't take you without a reference.
I worked in the OR and have been in on plenty of meniscal repairs to know I need surgery. But I guess I need to follow the right steps to get there. I just need some relief. I can barely walk and well hydrocodone doesn't allow me to function.

Now my question is, anyone had the meniscus repaired as opposed to shaved down? Or shaved down instead of repaired?


k.l.k


May 14, 2009, 7:44 PM
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Re: [mjwunde] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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Well, it takes up to a year to recover from the surgery, if it's going to help.

You'll know within weeks-- or possibly minutes --you'll know if the shot works.

If your Doc has experience and specializes in sports med, why not? If it doesn't work, do some research, pick yer doc, and get a 2nd. Knees are weird-- enervation is minimal, referred pain is common, and you don't really know what's going to work. It's not yr spine, so a bad shot won't put you in a wheelchair. If I trusted my doc, I'd party.

Full disclosure-- I've hard four or five shots over the years into various joints.


moose_droppings


May 14, 2009, 8:26 PM
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Re: [k.l.k] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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k.l.k wrote:
Well, it takes up to a year to recover from the surgery, if it's going to help.

Wow, what kind of surgery is that. Just wondering.
The last surgery on my knee they opened it up all the way, flipped my kneecap over to the side, scraped what little cartilage was left out, then smoothed the bone out where there had been bone on bone rubbing rough spots into it. Recovery on that one was about three weeks. All of the prior arthroscopic (sp?) surgeries before that (4) took about a week and my knee was good to go even though the tiny incision wasn't totally healed yet.


k.l.k


May 15, 2009, 9:28 AM
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moose_droppings wrote:
k.l.k wrote:
Well, it takes up to a year to recover from the surgery, if it's going to help.

Wow, what kind of surgery is that. Just wondering.
The last surgery on my knee they opened it up all the way, flipped my kneecap over to the side, scraped what little cartilage was left out, then smoothed the bone out where there had been bone on bone rubbing rough spots into it. Recovery on that one was about three weeks.

Three weeks would be drastically shorter than what I would expect for that procedure. That's remarkable. I've seen folks get over minor scope work really fast. And I've seen good athletes need forever to get back from more serious procedures.

If you're down to bone on bone, you've got my sympathy. I know several folks in that stage, and it looks like no fun at all.


onceahardman


May 15, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
k.l.k wrote:
Well, it takes up to a year to recover from the surgery, if it's going to help.

Wow, what kind of surgery is that. Just wondering.
The last surgery on my knee they opened it up all the way, flipped my kneecap over to the side, scraped what little cartilage was left out, then smoothed the bone out where there had been bone on bone rubbing rough spots into it. Recovery on that one was about three weeks. All of the prior arthroscopic (sp?) surgeries before that (4) took about a week and my knee was good to go even though the tiny incision wasn't totally healed yet.

The difference is meniscus repair versus meniscectomy.

Several years ago, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham had an arthroscopic meniscectomy on a Tuesday, and played NFL football the following Sunday.

Meniscal repair involves teeny little stitches in weak material. (picture trying to sew wet spagetti together). Patients are commonly non-weightbearing for 6 weeks or so. 6 months to a year for full recovery is not unusual.


moose_droppings


May 15, 2009, 11:34 AM
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Thanks Hardman and KLK for your answers. Glad I didn't have that procedure.

Hardman, the procedure your talking about, is that to try and preserve the cartilage intact in the knee as opposed to just removing the small torn pieces?


altelis


May 15, 2009, 11:48 AM
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mjwunde wrote:
Just diagnosed with a medial meniscal tear. MRI was positive for tear. Doc wants to try a cortisone shot prior to seeing a surgeon.

Anyone had one for a knee injury? If so, did it help?
I know it won't fix the tear but taking hydrocodone isn't a fix either. Unsure

I just want to climb again, sitting around 'trying' to heal isn't for me.

you work in an or, so i'm not really sure why you are looking at or comparing hydrocodone to a cortisone injection. they are two very different procedures looking to do two very different things via two very different mechanisms.....


onceahardman


May 15, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
Thanks Hardman and KLK for your answers. Glad I didn't have that procedure.

Hardman, the procedure your talking about, is that to try and preserve the cartilage intact in the knee as opposed to just removing the small torn pieces?

Yes, that's exactly right. The theory goes, intact meniscus keeps arthritis at bay.

Most professional athletes opt for meniscectomy, probably because they have a brief window to make millions of dollars. 12 years is a long NFL career. 3-4 is more average. Losing a year to injury is expensive.

For those of us interested in amateur athletic pursuits, though, the repair, when appropriate, probably deserves a look.


Partner climboard


May 15, 2009, 12:34 PM
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I managed to get a bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus. My orthopedist recommended attempting a repair due to my age (27 at the time) and level of activity. He told me it had the better long term prognosis, although he only gave it a 50% chance of success.

I was on crutches for 6 weeks, then no strenuous activity for 6 months. I slowly got back into climbing and other activities and was back to normal after a year.

I participated in a bike ride that was 330 miles over 4 days a little more than a year later. I was experiencing some pain during training shortly before the ride so my doctor gave me a cortisone shot and I made it through the rest of training and the entire ride without any more issues.

It has now been almost ten years since the surgery and the only issue I experience is slight pain after several days of snowboarding from the weight of the board hanging off my leg on the lift.

I personally recommend trying the repair if it is an option and taking advantage of the cortisone shot until you can get it done.


onceahardman


May 15, 2009, 1:21 PM
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In reply to:
the only issue I experience is slight pain after several days of snowboarding from the weight of the board hanging off my leg on the lift.

I have the same issue when my knee gets inflamed. (except I use telemark skis- I'm no knuckle-dragging board hippieWink)

I attribute it to mild synovitis (inflammation of the joint capsule, which goes on a bit of stretch when tractioned on a chairlift.

I look for chairs with footrests when available.


mjwunde


May 15, 2009, 2:34 PM
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Re: [altelis] Cortisone shots for meniscal tears [In reply to]
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I wasn't comparing the two.

I just wanted to know if the coritsone shot would bring any relief to a tear.

But, I guess I can answer this question myself now. I went ahead with the shot, desperate for relief and as of now I am in excruciating pain because of the shot.
Let's hope this wears off with some time.


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