Reasons to have the surgery...
Surgical repair may result in less pain and the return of normal function to the knee.
If you don't have surgery, you may have more pain or your pain may recur, making it harder to do your daily activities.
You may be able to prevent long-term complications, such as joint degeneration (osteoarthritis), with successful surgical repair of your tear.
Reasons to delay the surgery or opt out of surgery...
The meniscus could possibly heal on its own, making surgery unnecessary.
All surgery, including meniscus surgery, has risks. Meniscus surgery poses a risk of infection, damage to nerves or blood vessels around the knee, and blood clots in the leg.
You must follow your health professionals rehabilitation plan for the best level of healing. Afterwards, you may still continue to have pain and require more physical therapy or, sometimes, additional surgery.
Taking some time to see if a meniscus tear heals on its own before having surgery does not necessarily mean that a surgical repair, if needed later, will not heal as well.
Ditto what Sandee said. You won't know what's going on for certain until you get that MRI done, but your ortho is probably on the right track. Try not to panic until you get a firm diagnosis and treatment plan worked out.
Do you work in the baggage area of the airport? Surely there is something else you could IF you have to have surgery. Could they put you to work driving the carts from the terminal to the planes maybe? Any kind of administration work a possibility? Just some ideas to get you thinking outside the box. If the time comes, sometimes it helps to make suggestions to your boss instead of just saying, "Sorry guy, I can't work for X weeks."
Orthopedic surgery has improved a great deal in the past 30 years with the advent of arthroscopic procedures. If your doctor recommends surgery, hopefully he'll use the scope instead of diving right into an open procedure - but it all depends on the severity of the injury.
Welcome to the Pain Management Forum of MedHelp. I am sorry you have a meniscus tear. They are very painful until you have a surgical repair or until it heals. Knee pain is horrid. If you have tiny tears with fragments of cartilage in the joint area it is usually best to have the tear trimmed neatly rather than to leave it ragged and/or leave any fragments. Your surgeon can advise you as to the best route.
Usually these are done with Arthroscopic surgery. It is a procedure that is used to look inside a joint. Through one small incision (about 1 centimeter) a small camera, about the size of a pencil, is inserted into the joint. Then using one or more other small incisions, the surgeon places other instruments inside the knee to remove the torn cartilage.
If you undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery for treatment of a meniscus (cartilage) tear you can usually return to normal activities quite quickly. Most ppl take a few days or a long weekend off work. If the meniscus is removed (partial meniscectomy) then there are usually few activity restrictions. Patients can walk and move normally, so long as they don't have pain.
This should not require you to be off for weeks but if so remember your good health is the more important than anything else. I wish you the very best. Please let us know how you are doing. Take Care, Tuck