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When will my husband's knee heal?

Q: My 30 years old husband slipped in the bathroom last year and hurt his knee. From then on, he is experiencing pain in his knee while sitting cross legged and if he puts any stress on his knee. He cannot fold his legs and sit for a long time as he feels his leg is locked and he can hear clicking sounds when he unfolds the legs. But he never had swelling or pain when this incident occurred. We consulted an orthopaedic surgeon who prescribed a tablet for a month and crepe bandage initially. Later, we showed to another doctor who advised physiotherapy sessions. Even after five months, my husband is getting pain in his knee. What should we do?

A:From your description it seems your husband could be having a Meniscal Injury. Menisci are cartilaginous washers between the thigh bone and the leg bone. These are vulnerable to injury and once they are damaged, they can cause persistent pain. Cartilages do not have blood supply except at the edges therefore they derive their nutrition from the joint fluid. As a result tears of these do not heal and if the patient is symptomatic the patient will need surgery. Your doctor would have meant this when he said there is no cure. At surgery, the torn cartilage is usually removed but at times may be repaired also. Before any such decisions are made, the diagnosis has to be confirmed by a good clinical examination. A reasonably competent Orthopaedic surgeon should be able to diagnose this easily. Sometimes, an MRI may help confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, the treatment is removal of the torn part of the meniscus. This is done using an Arthroscope, which is like a telescope to look inside the knee. This is usually sufficient to get the patient back on his feet. The recovery period is from 2 to 6 weeks. With good treatment your husband will be back on his feet and can be fully active. Do get him to a competent orthopaedic surgeon for that.

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