I'm discouraged. Met with the surgeon today.
The problem is that my knee issues aren't all consistent with meniscal damage. In part, the most-currently-aggravated pain moves around; sometimes it seems to on the upper side of the kneecap, sometimes to the right, sometimes below--very occasionally, to the left. That's not consistent with meniscus damage, apparently, which usually stays very unambiguously put.
Probably the most-commonly aggravated is the right side, which also happens to be where I've been experiencing the very painful catch/pop syndrome for the last week. That IS consistent with meniscus damage...but it's only been doing that for a week; where has it been for the last year while the pain has gradually grown?
When the doc held my knee in such a way as to try to isolate the problem, the greatest pain was when he pressed straight on the kneecap--jumping out of my seat pain--which is also not consistent with meniscal damage. And there was some pressure-related pain on the top/right side of the kneecap and the below side of the kneecap, ALSO not meniscal related.
But some of my symptoms ARE consistent with meniscal damage, and the MRI report is very clear that there are notable tears.
So I have at least three issues with my knee, he says:
He feels that there's a very good chance that he can fix most or maybe even all of my pain. But not a complete guarantee because of the other known issues from the MRI and my various symptoms. In fact, maybe he's just being conservative, but it seems that the odds are worse than normal that he will, in fact, be able to make all the pain go away. So I don't know what I'll be dealing with until we do the surgery and see whether the pain goes away. That sucks.
On the other hand, with Kaiser, it's an outpatient procedure and (they told me) should cost me only $5. I hope they're right.
This doctor won't do arthroscopy with local anaesthesia, but either spinal (where I stay conscious) or general anaesthesia (where I don't) are OK. He defers to the anaesthesiogist for that, whom I won't see until the day of the surgery.
I'm really tired of being in pain all the time and in being so limited in what I can physically do at the moment, I just want to do it and hope that things are much better then.
On the other hand, he says that (depending on many factors, including what he actually does when he goes in), I could be up and running in anywhere from 2 weeks to--well--4 months, but on average, he says about 4 weeks. That's promising. It sounds a bit ambitious, but we'll see.