Bucket handle tear in my meniscus. Ideas?

So, I tore my knee up early this year. I have had it MRI’d, radiographed, etc., and met with my young and aggressive Ortho, who just loves doing surgery, numerous times. Thus far, I have had my knees injected with HA (which they call by a fancy name to get the big bucks) twice- six months apart. I do have some arthritis in both knees. I am on an oral anti-inflammatory. My pain level has improved dramatically.

So, I’ve been told by several people that arthroscopic surgery, which is what the ortho recommends, is a piece of cake. I have also been told I’ll be down for six weeks. I have two young active dogs that I walk three times a day, up to two miles each time. I am hobbling through this. I have a small farm, and I need to take care of my critters, and I do not want to impose on my friends.

So, the question is what other interesting approaches have you taken to this, if you have had one of these. Please, I’ve read everything on classic treatments, so I am looking for you folks who have tried other approaches, and been successful.

I do realize that I am probably just prolonging having arthroscopic, but if you have any great ideas, I’d love to hear them.

And yes, I did try some rehab.


Do the surgery. I hsd two complex tears in the meniscus and was back fox hunting in ten days.

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This is what friends are FOR!!! If you have good friends, they want to help. Tell them, set things up to make it as easy as possible, use something like Signup Genius to organize volunteers, and get your repair work done. :slight_smile:


I’m afraid there’s no substitute for having friends or family come out and help. Get the surgery and get off your feet. You do not need to walk 6 miles a day!

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What does the surgery entail? Does the surgeon think he can repair it, or will they need to remove it?

I am not sure I’d like a young and aggressive Ortho who loves doing surgery. Everyone I know who has had a meniscus removed has ended up with a total knee replacement soon afterwards.

I’d want to know the odds of repair versus removal before going into that surgery.

If you feel your surgeon is aggressive, get a second opinion from someone who is more conservative. There is absolutely nothing wrong with speaking to someone else.

The surgeries I regret the most are with the aggressive surgeons. Better to go with the ones who do AS LITTLE as possible to get you the result you need, rather than the hot shit guys who love to flex their surgical skills. More isn’t better.

You might also explore regenerative medicine. PRP has been very useful in my hip. The risks are very small.

This is how I feel. I had to push him to let me have the MRI, even after telling him that I could hear “crunchy” noises in that knee, because he’d already decided that I could do a knee replacement. I am not ready for that, and my left knee does fine.

He says that arthroscopic, which he is willing to do, will take 20 minutes, and he just needs to clean out the pieces. HA HA! He does seem to think that will work for now, but he seems to like selling total knee replacements.

I like your philosophy, and the same thing has happened to me. Somehow, the cowboy surgeons were the ones I have gotten, in the past. Now, I am much more circumspect.

Please tell me about the PRP. How did you find someone who was expert in that therapy?

Take a look at this article - I think the potential success of PRP for meniscus is based on where the tear is. I’m not sure where a bucket handle tear falls - https://www.caringmedical.com/prolotherapy-news/platelet-rich-plasma-therapy-meniscus-surgery/

How did you find your ortho? We have several ortho groups in my area and one of the doctors is a non-surgical specialist. It might be worth looking for either a non-surgical specialist or someone that is not known as an aggressive surgeon. The ortho I saw is a triathlete so many of my teammates have sought him out; if he thinks surgery is the best option he doesn’t try to talk you out of it - but he doesn’t perform surgery. He does a lot of other treatment - including PRP (one of my teammates had him do PRP treatment on her piriformis injury.)

That might be a good starting place to just make sure you’re not overlooking options.

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I’ve had physiatrists along the way that have recommended PRP or stem cell therapy, and have pointed me toward regenerative medicine specialists. Without someone like that to guide you, I recommend looking around for a Regenex practitioner–their process produces PRP that is more pure and more concentrated than your general tabletop machine that is generally found in other practices.

PRP isn’t covered by insurance, and will run from 500ish to 1500ish, depending what all is being done (I’d guess a knee to run on the lower end of that, but my knees are okay, so not sure.) If you can stomach the cost, it’s really worth a shot (hahaha) as there is really very little risk. If it doesn’t work, surgery is still an option.

Certainly take a look at the literature, but it’s a very rapidly evolving and advancing field. The published studies are a bit all over the map on effectiveness, but the actual product used study to study is not consistent–there are OFTEN differences in concentration and actual cell mix. Not to mention patient selection varies widely! So it can be pretty tough to pick out what actually applies to YOU.

And because it’s such a rapidly evolving field of medicine, you really do want to find someone who is super passionate about it, and who is taking the time to stay current. That’s not likely to be a surgeon who does a little PRP on the side.

That’s my little PRP soapbox, lol. Happy to answer any other questions! I’ve done quite a lot of PRP. And am even currently in the middle of a series on my really gawd awful hip right now. Last injection in a couple weeks!

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Thanks for the information! I appreciate it!

My friend had the same injury just a few weeks ago. She’s a runner so she opted for the surgery. When I talked to her a week or so after the surgery she was already walking without crutches and was going up/down steps (slowly and carefully)…and had gone with her kids to the ski resort (she was not skiing, but she was doing the cooking and driving to pick them up). Prior to the surgery she couldn’t put any weight on it and was throwing up from pain if she tried to move around too much. Usually the arthroscopic clean out procedures are not as much of a recovery as compared to say a partial or total knee replacement.

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I tore my miniscus and surgery just wasn’t an option at the time. Soon after, I started working as a Chiropractor Assistant and became certified in K-Laser. I used it on my knee 3 times a week and after a few months, it was back to normal.
I also did 10 treatments of K-Laser on my dog who was starting to tear her cruciate ligament. Healed her and she didn’t need surgery.

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Interesting. I wonder if Penn offers this at their facilities. I will check. Thanks!