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Knee surgery

I have a problem with my left knee giving away which it did in February, 2008.  I tried to stop myself from falling as I was walking down steps and my right knee twisted.  I ignored it and figured it was probably a soft tissue injury and would heal in 8 to 12 weeks.  Well, it did not!  It has been several months now and I finally went to an Orthopaedic Surgeon.  He took x-rays and noted that both of my knees were arthritic.  We did the MRI and results show:  medial and lateral tears in the meniscus as well as the osteoarthritis.  He feels that eventually I will need both knees replaced, however, due to pain, unsteady gait and turns of the knee causing breath taking pain, he wants to do arthroscopic surgery to remove the loose pieces of the cartilage, scrape the joint due to the arthritis and do a lateral ligament release which will require an approximate one inch surgical opening.  After that the plan is injection into the knee and physical therapy.  What are the success rates of such a surgery and is it worth contemplating?  Should I get another opinion?  

I am extremely reserved about surgery due to several surgeries from 4 MVA's where my car was rear-ended.  I have C4 through C7 fused, degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, carpal tunnel surgery resulting in numbness and tingling in the fingers, removal of scar tissue in the left thoracic outlet area which caused temporary  (months) left arm dislocation due to paralysis, right and left scalenectomies with first rib removal (the right side which was the second one resulted in diaphragmatic paralysis of the right side and TLE!  Wonder why I am hesitant about surgery?  That is it!

Thank you.

Carol, RN  
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello Dear,
Recovery from knee arthroscopy is much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery.
Potential postoperative problems with knee arthroscopy include infection, blood clots, and an accumulation of blood in the knee. These occur infrequently and are minor and treatable.
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00299
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