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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Torn Meniscus


Guest Medora

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Guest Medora

Hi everyone! You all know how I hurt my knee last June, and I went to the orthopedist after throwing it out the last time. I had an MRI done, and then hurricane Isabel came and shut down all of the doctor's offices for a week and a half, and now I've been back, and it turns out that I've torn the meniscus and he wants me to have arthoscopic surgery! B) Okay, so naturally, I'm completely freaking out here, and I'm wondering if anyone has ever been through this or knows anyone who's been through this and can help me keep my head on somewhat straight? The doctor said that I have a loose piece of meniscus (the torn piece) that is flipping up and has been causing my knee to lock, and he said that I can't hurt it anymore than it already is, unless I tear a new piece which anyone can do, but unless I have the loose piece removed, my knee is going to continue to lock from time to time forever. So, for the sake of ballet, I'm going to have it removed in three weeks. Luckily he said that it wouldn't take very long to recover from, that I'd be on crutches for a few days and then rest about two weeks. Then, depending on how I'm doing I could go back to pretty limited activity for the next two weeks and my knee would be normal again in a month. A month! :D How much strength am I going to lose in a month! I've worked so hard to gain strength and my alignment is getting so much better! I might die! Okay, just kidding, trying to not panic here. Actually, I'm not so much worried about how sore my knee will be as I am about the anethesia. I was sedated about six years ago for a different problem which sent the room spinning and leaving me seeing double for about two hours, possibly the worst experience of my life, and I really don' t want to repeat it! Like a horrible dream I couldnt get out of, and sick as a dog! Eek, like I said I'm trying not to freak out, but anything regarding hospitals sends me off the walls! :D

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Medora, relax! It's not even an overnight in the hospital, it's outpatient. I've had it done 3 times. I used the crutches only the first day. After that I could walk, and started PT soon after that. PT is important to help keep the strength in the quad. With just one piece loose, it should be a very simple surgery and heal quickly. It will not be comfortable the first day, but after that not so bad. ;)

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Yea, I have had friends have it done, and it is no big deal at all! Don't worry too much about it, it's a very minor surgery.

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Guest Medora

Hello again! I've calmed down now and gotten out of panic mode, haha. :angry: I was sort of, okay, very in panic mode through about Wednesday, but by Wednesday night after stuggling to concentrate in school or ballet or homework or even to sleep for two days I realized that I was exhausted and beginning to really not feel well and if I didn't get a grip I was probably going to make myself sick. I just want it over with so life can get back to normal. Luckily, it sounds like things will be normal again pretty soon. Thanks for reassuring me! About how long can I expect to be out of ballet completely? And how long will I be at the hospital? Luckily I'm having it done very early in the morning, so am I going to feel horrible the entire day, or good enough to do things like homework when I get home? Thanks again, it sounds like a common thing, and I feel much better now. :blushing:

P.S. Oh yeah, this is horrible, but when I went to see my chemistry teacher who I am very close to, and one of her students, a field hockey player, came hobbling into class not even being able to walk and saying that her knee had given a loud "pop" at the game the last night, I realized that I wasn't so bad off afterall. Poor girl.

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Medora, in my experience you are only in the hospital for part of a day. Then you go home. You will probably not feel much like doing anything that day, but should be okay by the next day. As to how long before class, that is hard to say, as it tends to vary a bit depending on exactly how much work they do on the knee, and then how it goes in PT. But it won't be that long, so nothing to panic about :angry:

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Guest Medora

Okay! :angry: At least I'll get a chance to watch lot's of ballet movies, hehe, or maybe let it go as an excuse for my parents to buy me some ballet books or more dance stuff I want! Or maybe, if I act pitiful enough, some money! Hmmm... haha :blushing:

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Relax, my sister is having the procedure done on Thursday, and this time she knows that she only gets the TLC treatment for one day. She had the other one done in April, and the inactivity about drove her crazy!

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Guest Medora

I'm sorry Major Mel, TLC treatment?

I think I'm okay; I'm not really that worried anymore. If this many people in the world have had it done, especially athletes and ballet dancers, and multiple times, then I guess it can't be too cruel and unusual. :)

Thank you all for you're encouragement! It's really helped! :shhh:

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It's really not a horrible procedure at all! I only stayed in the hospital about an hour after I woke up. Long enough for them to make sure I was stable and then talk to me and my parents about my care, and then I was good to go(in a wheelchair out to the car). I got a lot of TLC, cause we had houseguests and I had to stay hooked up to an icemachine to keep my leg iced. I would have felt ready to go back to school probably two days after my surgery. I don't know for you, but it will be quite quick I'm sure. And as for dancing, just listen to the Doctor and PT!

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Knock, knock? Parent here.

 

Medora, you can ask about different kinds of anesthesia. In fact, the anesthesiologist will probably want to know what reactions you have had in the past. It is fairly common these days to use a nerve block to deaden the pain, combined with a milder sedation so you are either calm or gently asleep. This is physiologically very different from the kind of deep anesthesia where they knock you out completely and have to insert breathing tubes and that sort of thing. Waking up is easier, and, while you might feel wiped out, people don't generally have the same kind of unpleasant sensations they sometimes report after general anesthesia. Check with your doctor to see what s/he recommends for you.

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Guest petiteanise

going under isn't that bad! I've had 2 endoscopies, and 3 laparoscopies. depending on what they give you, you'll feel a little groggy. The first surgery I ever had really made me nervous I threw up about 5 times just during the prep. Good luck

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone, a scary thought just ocurred to me. Am I going to lose my flexibility or hyperextension? My guess is no, since I'm still as flexible as now as I ever was, but I don't think the doctor could answer that one. And this is a childish question, but it's only going to be agony to walk right, it isn't going to horribly throb just lying around is it? Okay, I'll quit now. But thanks for all of your advice. I'm feeling pretty good, attitude is everything, right? :wallbash:

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Two questions, two answers, second question first.

 

1) You cannot lose your hyperextension unless you have a major skeletal remodeling.

 

2) With the length of time required to allow recovery from modern arthro surgery, you shouldn't lose much flexibility, and none that can't be recovered.

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