Thanks to everyone for their replies and well wishes. On balance, it sounds like this is not an uncommon injury and that people do bounce back with relative ease. That’s somewhat reassuring I suppose.
I’ve done some more research on my own too. I’ve also consulted with another doc. It doesn’t look like I can avoid surgery, but the hospital I’m going to is the same one that treat the NY Mets, so I do feel confident that, since I have to have the surgery, this is a good place to have it done. They certainly have an orientation that leans toward rehabilitating athletes, so that probably bodes well for future hiking.
Also, my doctor said that I can put off surgery until after I get back from Glacier National Park, so I don’t have to cancel a hike I’ve been looking forward to all year.
A couple quick responses to specific things people said:
Ashley, downhills are the worst right now. Just *so* painful.
Erik, I could really do with a cortisone shot right about now. I might have to look into that before Glacier.
Sean, I share your general sentiments about quick fixes, but the area of the meniscus that I damaged doesn’t get enough blood flow to heal on its own. The surgery is needed to clip off the damaged flap so that it doesn’t interfere with the way my knee articulates. But PT and all the nutritional stuff you mentioned are still gonna be relevant to my recovery.
Jane, glad to hear that your injuries don’t keep you from hiking. Hope things work out the same for me!
Nathan, I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately about how easy and non-invasive the surgery is. Does a lot to put me at ease…
Tad: exactly. The scope actually let’s a doctor visualize the injury, so that’s a lot closer to a gold standard than an MRI. My surgeon says that, after visualizing my injury, he’ll do no more than is necessary to get he knee to the point where it is healing and evenly distributing pressure from weight bearing activities. If anything looks significantly different than the MRI, he’ll do nothing and we’ll talk about it when I wake up. All in all a pretty balanced approach I guess.
Thanks again for the info. The more I learn, the less worried I am that I’ll be too gimped up to hike. In fact, I should still be able to get in some good snowshoeing this winter!