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Walking with torn meniscus/swollen knee-any other ways to cope?



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Hey there,

I tore the left meniscus on my right knee roughly 1.5 yrs ago when I was stupidly trying to exercise by running 'down' stairs. Had a 'meniscus' trim surgery to remove the torn meniscus as it was 'dangling' and the ortho said he was concerned it would get caught in my knee and lock it up (this is actually a true possibility). Had MRI to diagnose tear and to check out both knees.

ALL I was told is that I had a nasty meniscus tear and that outpatient surgery to trim it was the recommendation. OK, so I had the surgery. To this day, I cannot kneel on my right knee as the pain is INTENSE. To this day, my right knee swells up like a balloon if I drive to far (a LOT of stop and go traffic in DFW area!). It swells so much I get almost what we have going on with our 'stomach/aprons', the swelling 'spills down' in an extra overhang of flesh over my knee.

I have to FIGHT to get knee injections as my company's pharma benefits were split off from our med coverage - CIGNA. CVS is the 'pharma' provider. You have to go through horrific process to get 'specialty' medications approved and the knee injections fall under that. Even though my 'benefit will let me have 1 every month which is actually a pretty GREAT amount of coverage', the process is so broken and involved that it takes me 2 to 3 months to jump through CVS Specialty hoops and have them ship the injection to my dr.

Long story short on that part, after waiting for 2 months AGAIN, I am supposed to get a Gel One injection and possibly a steroid injection to help with the swelling this Thursday.

Thanks to weight loss BEFORE surgery and the weight loss AFTER surgery, I've been able to start walking again. Weight loss did HELP knee, but after building up from barely 1/4 of a mile to now doing 2.2 - 2.5 miles, my knee just balloons up. I NEED to keep walking! Is there anything else outside of the injections that I can do to help my knee? Anyone in similar situation? When I was 390 lbs, there were no 'braces' that I could get on. I'm down to 281/282..but doubt there is a knee brace for my big size still..plus the dang thing stays swollen :(

Ironically, I've seen 2 new orthos since the one that did the surgery and they looked at SAME MRI I had done and both said I had EXTENSIVE arthritis all throughout both knees and I should have never had the meniscus surgery. That I need an actual knee replacement of right knee and when left starts bothering me, that one would need replacement as well. However, I'd have to get down to BMI of 40. I had BMI of 62.9, now am at 45 but don't want to rush into replacing my knee..but if it is going to continue to swell and hold me back from exercising..well, I don't know what to do to be honest.

I have more questions for these orthos..if extensive arthritis..why did knees NEVER hurt even at 390 lbs before meniscus tear on rt knee? If that extensive why does LEFT knee NOT hurt? If I continue to get injections to 'block pain' in rt knee, what damage am I doing to bones that now 'contact ea other' since meniscus support is torn & gone now from BOTH sides of rt knee?

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Disclaimer: I'm not a Doctor but I watched a lot of ER and House, M.D. 😂

Why not walk less or at least to the point before you swell up and are in pain. E.G.

RICE therapy: Rest (or reducing daily activities), Ice, Compression (as with bandage support) and Elevation. RICE is good initial therapy for many knee conditions.

As far as I know the muscles surrounding the knee can be built through exercise so continued damage is avoided but you may need to see a physical therapist

Weightloss may greatly improve the condition or oddly make it worse for a while. For some reason, anatomical/structural issues become more obvious with greater weightloss.

I was told by my physical therapist once that it may be because compression and insulation from weight and fat are no longer factors.

But according to the Arthritis Foundation "Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees"

Good Luck 💙

Edited by GreenTealael

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