• Patient Satisfaction
  • Minimizing Recovery

    #1 Patient Lesson – Don’t Underestimate Recovery

       What was good or bad?

    Q: What positive and the negative aspects of your meniscus surgery experience led to your satisfaction rating? Please describe things that made your meniscectomy experience easier or harder than you thought it would be. What benefits or shortfalls led you to decide that the procedure was worth it or not? What if anything do you know now about this meniscus tear treatment that you wish you had known before you had it?

    “Needed a caution from doctor about recovery”

    PO (female), 55, Washington
    “After I injured my knee and went for a consult, surgery was recommended. Post-surgery nausea and vomiting were MUCH worse than expected. I had been discharged and was at home with a friend, fortunately, who called into the doctor’s office and arranged for anti-nausea medication to be prescribed. She then went out and brought back the medication. I don’t read moreknow what I would have done without her! Also, my full recovery time was more extended than I expected. I feel the doctor did what he could; I have confidence in his abilities. But I am disappointed that some pain still lingers. Looking back, I would be prepared for the post-surgery nausea. Afterwards I remembered similar issues after my hysterectomy a few years before. I would have requested medication to take home with me. Also, I would have been a little less optimistic about my ability to recover completely in a relatively short time. Also, perhaps I really needed a caution from the doctor regarding the recovery timeline.”
    Key Points

    Over half of former meniscectomy patients said future patients should not underestimate challenges of recovery from knee meniscus surgery.  It’s just not easy for everyone.

    • More than three-quarters of patients interviewed shared experiences from their own surgeries that highlighted lessons for prospective patients. These lessons learned are “watch-outs” from those who’ve had had meniscus tear surgery previously.
    • Most frequent patient watch-out was underestimating the difficulty of meniscus surgery recovery. This was cited by 55% of former patients. Even in the highly satisfied and partly satisfied groups, past patients felt it was too easy to minimize potential challenges, particularly underestimating how long it could take to recover from meniscus surgery.
    • 2 out of 5 meniscectomy patients actually found their surgeries easier than they expected. However, an equal 40% said the opposite. They felt their meniscus tear surgery experiences were more difficult than they expected them to be. They often felt their surgeons had said or implied it would be easier than it actually was.
      (see surgeon opinions on realistic expectations for meniscus surgery recovery)
      (see surgeon opinions on duration of recovery in meniscus surgery)

    Meniscectomy Recovery Average 6-7 Weeks But Wide Variations

    More Patient Quotes

    “Better result than ever expected…recovery part difficult”

    GG (male), 26, PennsylvaniaSatisfied patients
    “I injured my knee while falling on the tennis court during a tournament. I could not move my knee as a result of the meniscus tear. A couple years later, I can now move freely with my knee not giving me any problems. Although I can still feel sore in my knee from time to time, it’s a much better result than I ever expected. But the recovery part was difficult because I could not place a lot of weight on the leg. I think the surgery was a success and took less time than I anticipated. I don’t think I would have been able to heal my knee the same way without this procedure.”

    “Thought the recovery time would be much faster”

    JS (female), 49, IllinoisPartly Satisfied patients
    “I had severe pain and swelling and was not able to walk or stand for any period of time. After the surgery the doctor said the tears were worse than he had originally thought. When he got into the knee, he said he had more work repairing the meniscus tears than normal. That’s why I had a harder time with pain and recovery. Also the arthritis didn’t help either. The doctor, the hospital, the nurses were all great, and the surgical experience was fine. But the pain and discomfort were awful the first and second nights after surgery. No pain medicine helped. I could not get comfortable at all. I had thought the recovery time would be much faster. It took a decent amount of time to really feel better and walk normal after physical therapy. Stairs were especially hard. I still have pain and discomfort, but it could be the arthritis. The pain and swelling from the tears is pretty much gone. Stairs are still hard sometimes too.”

    “I was able to get information…what I expected”

    PM (female), 48, CaliforniaSatisfied patients
    “As a hairstylist I was able to get information from clients who had same surgery, or worse (knee replacement). Several clients also had the same surgeon perform their surgery, and they were also very pleased. This gave me added confidence in my surgeon even though he exudes confidence. My experience is what I expected post surgery. I have other issues with my knees that cause pain. But the surgery to repair the torn meniscus was a success. After the surgery I no longer had the pain caused from the tears but I still have other knee pains that prevent me from putting too much pressure on my knees, e.g. carrying heavy groceries, etc. I can now walk again without crutches or being pushed in a wheelchair, making me very grateful to my surgeon and grateful that I have affordable medical insurance (thus far) to have the procedure done.”

    “Don’t like thinking too much about surgeries”

    MR (male), 32, PennsylvaniaSatisfied patients
    “I was having severe pain in my right knee, and it would swell up at night time. The problem was that I had knee locking up and I just needed to be off of it. I don’t like thinking too much about surgeries. I had a total belief that it would heal accordingly to what the doctor had to tell me. On a 1 to 6 scale with one being easy and six hard, expected a 2, actual was 4.”