About three years ago, I had a fluke, but horrific biking accident. I tore my ACL, MCL, Meniscus and had a hairline fracture in one of the bones behind the patella. I made an appointment with one of Dallas’ finest orthopedic surgeons, who happens to be the team doctor for a pro team in the city. He explained what my surgical options were, what the surgery would be like, recovery time, etc.
I chose not to have surgery. I had been doing energy work on the knee and had some of the best osteopathic work done within an hour of the accident. This went on for months and months and months.
Bottom line: I never had surgery. I do proprioception work before I train or exercise. I get osteopathic treatments periodically. I squat. I deadlift. I gave up tennis…the only thing I have not gone back to after the accident. Oh, I don’t ride the bike, but that’s just because I’m no good at off-road trail riding!
The point is that surgery is not the only option for knee injury recovery. You just need to be in skilled hands as you work to rehab the knee. I was very lucky on that score: my business partner is a highly skilled SomaTherapist.
This article in The New England Journal of Medicine might be of interest if you or anyone you know is debating a meniscus operation: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1305189