Another meniscus tear ….

Back in 2008 I noticed a funny thing going on with my left knee. Every time I would kneel on it and put pressure on it it felt as if I was kneeling in and grinding my knee in broken glass. It would also burn and hurt when I worked the barn forklift by the end of the day. After delaying for months, hoping it would get better on its own, I went to a fantastic local Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. John Juliano.

He had an MRI done and sure enough, I had a meniscus tear. In late December, when Eve started her break from work, I had arthroscopic surgery done on my knee and within a couple of months, well before the start of the new growing season, I was totally back to normal … or as normal as I typically get.

Fast forward to this year … I’m chasing our one cat around, Bauer, and I go to my knees to try and catch him under the bed and …. YOW!

Once again, once I kneel on it it feels as if I’m kneeling in broken glass.

In October I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Juliano again

(I brought him two red onions)


and he ordered another MRI. In my follow-up visit (which this Thursday will be 2 weeks ago) he said that the MRI was not 100% definitive but it appears I have another tear. He suggested I try a steroid shot in my knee and see how that worked. If after the shot the pain is reduced I could skip the surgery but if not I could get the surgery.

Ever see the size of those needles they use to inject the steroid into your knee? I never had either, until like an idiot I made the mistake of glancing at it as he thrust it into my knee.


Holy crap, that was a needle! I’m not one that gets squeamish around needles, but did I mention, that’s a huge friggen needle?

And my knee actually hurt for 4 days afterward. Even after the shot discomfort subsided my knee still felt weird. So much so I reduced the weight I placed on it all week as I worked the forklift and bundled the boxes as we graded onions.

(like you see demonstrated here)


That compensation, favoring my right leg and side over my left, led to me horribly screwing up my back this week. So much so I had to see my friend at a local therapeutic massage establishment to work on my back and neck this Saturday. She is a wonderful healer, and her work on my back Saturday helped, but it’s still messed up.

So, what do I do? Do I get the surgery or not?

I can stand the pain. That doesn’t bother me. And it isn’t often I am on my knees while doing my various farm tasks over the season.

One exception, when I sit on the back of the planter, as demonstrated this spring when Caleb and I were on the back of the planter as we planted a field of my dad’s onions.

As I told Dr. Juliano, I don’t mind the pain. My concern is this, what happens if I do nothing and then in the middle of my growing next season my knee tears even worse, requiring surgery then? What do I do then? I can’t afford to not be able to work April-October.

It’s now a week and a half after getting the steroid shot and I still feel the “kneeling in glass” sensation when I kneel and put pressure on it. The shot didn’t change that at all. Also now there are times during the day it throbs or I have minor discomfort that I didn’t notice before. And it hurts pretty significantly at the end of the day when I operate the forklift all day.

So what say you? What should I do? Get the surgery or not?

Here are some interesting links on this:


14 thoughts on “Another meniscus tear ….

  1. Pingback: My arthroscopic knee surgery on my meniscus tear! | Mucking it up in Muckville

  2. Pingback: Stitches removed … OUCH! | Mucking it up in Muckville

  3. So glad I found this post. I have had the broken glass sensation for a few weeks following a sporting incident. Like most things I have waited to see if its going to get better before seeking medical advice. Ive looked on the internet for help and found nothing of any sense until today and this article. Your link to orthogate is just what I needed to read.
    I appreciate your post is over 12 months old now, but thank you.

    • My pleasure.

      I’ve had 2 tears in the same knee since 2010 and both felt exactly the same, like kneeling in broken glass. I could not put pressure on that knee. As you see from my blog I’m a farmer and at times the tear was making things a bit difficult, forcing me to eventually get the surgeries.

      Hope your situation works out. Have an MRI done. But, keep in mind it may not accurately show the tear. My last tear the MRI indicated a tear but was not definitive. When I got out of surgery my surgeon said “good news, bad news … good news you don’t have arthritis … bad news, the tear was worse than indicated and had to spend an extra hour in surgery fixing it.”

      I knew I had a tear based on that sensation. If you are feeling that same sensation I would definitely urge you to see an orthopedic doctor asap!

      And thx for reading the blog!

  4. Three years ago this month I had arthroscopic surgery for what the MRI showed as a meniscal tear, but when the doctor was actually “scoping”, turned out to be “shredded wheat” — he probably should have closed it back up and recommended a knee replacement, because just cleaning it out didn’t help at all. I missed a lot of work, and haven’t been able to hardly do anything I used to (such as take long walks and hiking, exercise other than PT, gardening; I’ve had to modify work habits–so grateful for my employer and fellow staff valuing my skills beyond physical ability). I haven’t gone back for the other knee. Why is it no one warns us when we’re young enough to take better care of joint tissue? Oh, which brings me to another topic: it turns out that saturated fat keeps bones and cartilage healthy , among other things — yet, we’ve been told to cut out saturated fat to prevent CVD, with no real evidence of that being the case . So, a lifetime of no butter or coconut oil means, that now I have OA. I’m doing my best to keep it from worsening, and am merely hopeful that it will reverse.

  5. Hello,
    Your post on the Meniscus Pain was very helpful, as I recently felt something similar during my personal yoga practice session; it was not anything hard or rigorous, just fell onto my right knee and felt this sharp pain…which is now persistent at certain moments when kneeling.Yes feels like a bit of glass in there.

    From your posts, sounds like it will be something I’ll have to live with after visiting an Orthopedic?
    I’m so used to great health, I suppose this will keep me humble?
    Thank you for clarifying the situation and does it not heal on its own?

  6. I too am experiencing this sensation of glass grinding into my knee only when I kneel. I am 46 years old and first experienced this in both my knees about 5 years ago. I would say it lasted about a year, and I just learned to not kneel. Then one day I had forgotten to not kneel and it was gone just like that. Now 5 years later it is back in my right knee. I have to say it is a horrible feeling that makes me fall off the knee and roll to the ground to make it stop. I haven’t been to see a doctor in 15 years, and don’t see myself going in for this. But would certainly like to know more about it.

    Kindest regards,


    • My pleasure!

      I’d strongly recommend seeing an orthopedic surgeon. It’s not going to improve or get better on its own if it is a meniscus tear. The Doctor will probably order an MRI which will tell a lot but is not definitive. When I had my second tear my Doctor, who is not inclined to cut, said that when he went in to do the repair my tear was much worse than what the MRI showed. Whether surgery is done obviously is entirely up to you either way but I’d see a Doctor either way so whatever decision you make is the most informed.

  7. Thanks so much for putting your experience so we can read . I’ve had same for 3 months now with felling glass in my knee. Know I know what I need to do ho to doctor ASAP. Thanks from single inTexas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s