View Full Version : Should Chuckie have surgery for her torn meniscus

August 29th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Last week Chuckie had an MRI done on her right knee. It sometime clicks, locks up and causes lots of pain.

We just got back from the knee surgeon, he said she has a torn meniscus. He wants to get in there and explore and clean up the tear. Can it be healed any other way??

Should Chuckie have surgery for her torn meniscus???

He says if we go to his clinic it will cost $600 we just have to pay the nurses the Government pays him.

Of course in Canada if we go to the hospital it is free. He can do it in the clinic this week or we can go on the waiting list for the Hospital it is about six months.

We can have about 150 Margaritas in Mexico for the $600 and Chuckie says wait til we get back in about six months and have it done in the Hospital day surgery. I don't want to rush her but should we do it now?

August 29th, 2007, 08:36 PM
Tore mine running track and it resloved on its own in several months. Some tears do, some don't and depend on what type of tear it is. Mine did not click or lock up, just felt some discomfort for a while.

Can't give you much advice here.

August 29th, 2007, 10:42 PM
Your first mistake was doing the MRI. Now the murderer (I mean the surgeon) has an excuse to cut your wife up. Okay, here is the deal: is this knee thing bothering Chuckie, is it impeding her movement, is it making her quality of life less than what it use to be? Go by the clinical status. Get a second opinion if it doesn't cost you. I work at an MRI place. I see plenty of exams done without much of a clinical evidence or need. People want to get pictures of their bones and innards and some think the darn thing might cure them! My son who is 20 had a little piece of torn something in his knee. I gave him an epidural and the orthopedic guy went in with his scopes and cut up a tiny piece and rinsed it out. It was like removing a piece of gravel from your shoe. The surgery was at 9 and by 12 I took my son home. By 16:00 he was off to see his girl friend, driving his car. BUT when you are talking older patients everything is different. Remember, surgeons want to operate, they are trained for that and don't think consevatively. If the darn thing ain't hurting or getting in the way of normal movement, just let it be....billy fanstone

Ian Smith
August 29th, 2007, 11:05 PM
I had a torn knee meniscus 'trimmed' (loose tears fold under the meniscus causing clicking and loss of movement) Mine did not cause locking though.

It was an out-patient thing at a hospital and took an afternoon. After watching the whole thing on TV, the longest part was waiting for the local anesthetic wear off.

No pain at all involved and no real recovery time needed. I never felt my knee was THAT bad but the surgeon seemed keen to fix it before the tear got bigger. Like in your case, mine was "free" - but the wait far less.

The wait vs. the $600 decision should be a lifestyle impact (pain, inconvenience, etc) issue during the wait period. 150 margaritas could help with the wait.


PS: mine was a squash injury and not due to bad swim kicking technique.

August 30th, 2007, 12:04 AM
Chuckie had a slip and fall accident. Stepped on blue berries in the grocery store and put her knee and shoulder out about 4 years ago. She had the probe and clean then. It is again getting to give her major locking problems.

When we walk she has trouble staying with me and my 2 new knees. I had trouble keeping up to her but she is now in great pain and slowing down.

August 30th, 2007, 07:49 AM
Doctors told me mine was torn when I was 12. I refised the surgery and after a bit of rest and some exercises, it resolved itself. I'd see if she can wait a bit. Did they give her any exersices to do? Make sure she ices a bit, too.


August 30th, 2007, 09:56 AM
I had a a tear shaved last October. I watched it on TV too. Ran my first post surgery 10K last February. I've completed a couple of TRIs to include an Olympic Distance.

I'm glad I did it because my knee would swell so badly even after a short run. Spinning on a bike has been great therapy.

Good luck and shop around for a sports specialist.

Blackbeard's Peg
August 30th, 2007, 11:16 PM
GP - having a similar/related issue myself, my vote may be somewhat skewed. I think the knees are pretty important, and would vote for getting it taken care off sooner rather than later. However, it sounds like Chuckie has been getting around ok... so if she can be careful until February, why not wait. Most of these injuries they don't send you to surgery right away anyways.

August 31st, 2007, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the replies. The surgeon said if she can carry on without the procedure to do it that way. He said her problem will not heal on its own. Chuckie has decided we will go to Mexico in October do lots of swimming and walking. If it persists with the locking and severe pain she will have the operation when we get back in 4 or 5 months.

The wait for the operation fully paid for is about 6 months. As I said it could be done right away for $600. which is a drop in the bucket. But Chuckie prefers to wait.

September 1st, 2007, 11:17 PM
The "locking" symptom is the symptom that is most likely to be helped by an arthroscopic procedure. Her knee will never be normal. There will be a period of recovery even after an uncomplicated procedure. I think waiting is very reasonable; she's not likely to do anything to worsen her condition, but she may endure more pain and disability. If the locking episodes ( or another mechanical symptom usually termed "giving way") don't resolve, then on balance I'd guess she'll be better off having it done. Before anything is done, be sure the surgeon explains the risks and recovery in terms that she can understand.

September 2nd, 2007, 05:09 PM
I agree with your final decision. I have been involved in this sort of work for 20 years. Bottom line if the locking continues get it fixed. If you don't you risk damaging the bones surfaces and accelerate joint damage. I am curious about one thing. The $600.00 option. Does the surgeon run a private clinic off the radar from your national health system. I thought that sort of thing was against the law in your country. I am interested mostly because we struggle with privatization vs social access systems here in the states. It is a popular topic. Frankly you could not touch that procedure here in the states for $600.00. It would be considerably more here. I have done cost analysis on that particular operation and your price is a deal.........if the Surgeon is above board. If it sounds too good to be true........
Best Regards

September 2nd, 2007, 05:24 PM
Private clinics are quite all right - his clinic is a good one the only difference is that there are some clinics associated with our medical plan and the medical plan covers all the costs including the nurses.

The government approved clinics are payoffs I am sure.

His clinic is private, he is one of the leading surgeons in the country. He treats all the football players and he is highly regarded. But the government will not pay for the nurses in his clinic but pays his fees. He also operates at the Hospitals, there is a waiting list to get into the hospital operating rooms.

September 2nd, 2007, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the info. It is an option that I was not aware of under your system. I had the impression that Canada had a one choice fits all system. This hybridized approach is one that I think would be workable perhaps in the states. Good luck with the knee.

September 2nd, 2007, 06:47 PM
The problem is of course if you have something like a heart transplant that is not critical you would have to wait for a hospital bed. If critical there is not a waitlist. But they say some people do not get treated in time.

Our medical system even flys critical people to other jurisdictions even to the USA and pays.

Our fees are here http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoben/premium.html

When I lived in Ontario there were no service fees. Each province has different fees or no fees for medical coverage. BC is the most costly.