Elite 40-year-old Golfer with 4 Lateral Meniscus Surgeries
An elite 40-year-old golfer was told about Dr. Lox, and Knee Stem Cell Therapy by several friends for years. He kept putting off consulting with Dr. Lox and having more knee surgeries.
Finally, after the fourth knee surgery, he realized he was heading in the direction of a total knee replacement surgery, this was his epiphany. He wasn’t told the difference in medial versus lateral meniscus surgery over time, and the consequences of multiple surgeries over time. He also had no appreciation of degenerative knee arthritis.
He made the call and went in to see Dr. Lox. His initial comment was a mutual doctor friend told him Dr. Lox was brilliant. That started a great rapport on sports injuries, athletes, and Regenerative Medicine.
It was a lengthy consultation. The science of degenerative arthritis, knee surgeries, trauma, and lateral meniscus surgery was discussed at great length.
Why Knee Surgeries are not all the Same
There is often tremendous confusion over knee surgery. Patients often have very little understanding of what type of knee surgery they had, and more importantly what it actually means. So often they say after further questioning it was an arthroscopic knee procedure. As to what type, that is where the many generic responses are given. Often the surgeon gives laymen’s rough generalizations which due little to help the patient long term or really guide in the treatment process, both at the time of surgery and at future dates. There are vague answers like a cleanup procedure, remove bone spurs, and fix tears. Often this gives the impression that the knee arthroscopic surgery was a complete fix for their problem. If they are older, they are often shocked to here if it doesn’t work and they are still in pain, they are told well, I guess it’s time for a knee replacement surgery. Unfortunately, this scenario is too often heard by Dr. Lox from disgruntled failed knee surgery patients. No one would sign up for the first surgery if they knew it had a great chance of being a two for one surgery.
Lateral Meniscus Surgery versus Medial Meniscus Surgery
Some patients are unaware of the type of knee surgery, much less the anatomy of the knee medial and lateral meniscus. Dr. Lox is an adamant believer in patients who should understand their knee problem, so they can make informed decisions about their treatment. Nothing is more distressing to hear a patient tell a tale of their surgeon coming into the exam room telling them they need surgery before sitting down, examine them, or explaining what is wrong with them. It really does happen.
The medial meniscus is the cartilage in between the inner aspect of the knee joint. It is the most commonly injured meniscus, and the most frequently arthroscopic surgery aspect of the knee. The outer aspect of the knee is where the lateral meniscus lies. Surgery on the lateral meniscus has a worse long term outcome as far as degenerative arthritis progression compared to the medial meniscus. Often when patients are told they are going to have meniscus surgery, they are actually going to have a debridement. This is actually resection or surgical cutting away portions of the meniscus. Because the meniscus has poor blood flow it is often not amenable to sutures or fixing tears in ways we traditionally think of as a lasting solution. This is why arthroscopic surgery on the knee is associated with an accelerated progression of knee degenerative arthritis. It literally grinds away with time. Lateral meniscus does this on an even greater accelerated curve. Think of it as aging your knee faster than you do. This elite golfer in his 40’s had 3 lateral meniscus surgery arthroscopic surgery procedures. That is 3 times as difficult. Add to these sports which load the knee, and aging weight over time and the problem is significantly magnified. Why are patients told this? They should be. That is why the good doctors stay busy explaining anatomy, degenerative arthritis and do there best to help good patients deal with the current situation, not make it any worse, and with Dr. Lox, an expert in Sports and Regenerative Medicine utilize his expertise and experience to keep patients as functional as possible. Often, as in this case, it is keeping them golfing and avoiding total knee replacement surgery.
Things Can Always Be Worse
This patient despite having 3 lateral knee meniscal surgeries, he still had joint space. He had gained 15 pounds, but this is not unsurmountable. Diet and appropriate exercise are often prescribed for each patient. Personalized to their needs. This patient is 40 with 3 lateral knee surgeries. After the age of 50, it dramatically escalates, as if things were not bad enough. Add a 50-pound weight gain and you get the idea. The problem with being an expert in Sports and Regenerative Medicine is you have seen all the scenarios, so it is easier to look on the bright side and be positive. Being an elite golfer you can always still be better than most people even on your bad.
About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.
Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.
Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.