Retired Merchant Marine Receives a Diagnosis for Complex Knee Pain and Relief through Arthroscopic Medial Plica Excision and Partial Lateral Meniscectomy Surgeries

patient who had arthroscopic knee surgery for knee pain

Patient Denis Hil 

Denis is and enjoys a career as a merchant marine in Alaska, before moving to Arizona just over a year ago. He’s been happily married to his wife Nancy for over 25 years, with whom he shares two step-children. His interests include “fixing up” his house and weight lifting.  

After experiencing pain in his knees for several years, Denis decided to reach out to Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, at Integrated Orthopedics. Over the course of the last six months, he’s had two arthroscopic knee surgeries with Dr. Gruber – one on each knee. Each of these surgeries included a medial plica excision and a partial lateral meniscectomy.  

Life Before Arthroscopic Medial Plica Excision and Partial Lateral Meniscectomy Surgeries 

Prior to meeting Dr. Gruber, Denis had experienced knee pain for many years. This pain slowly increased over time, making it difficult for him to walk and ride a bike. Fed up with knee pain, Denis reached out to a few orthopedic surgeons. He had x-rays and an MRI done on his knees, but these images were inconclusive and did not provide him a solid diagnosis. 

“Previous doctors just told me that the tendons in my knees were loose, but provided no real solution,” said Denis. 

For the next few months, he continued to live with knee pain. Coincidently, Nancy fell and injured her knee not long after and was treated by Dr. Gruber. Because of her excellent experience with Dr. Gruber, Denis decided to schedule an appointment with him to discuss his knee pain and share with his previous doctors’ diagnoses.  

“Dr. Gruber listened to me and told me that he thought he might know what the problem was,” said Denis. “That’s when Dr. Gruber recommended we scope my knees and perform arthroscopic knee surgery to find and correct the problem.” 

Denis’s Arthroscopic Medial Plica Excision and Partial Lateral Meniscectomy Surgeries with Dr. Brian Gruber 

In January of 2019, Denis had his first arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. Less than two months later, he had his second operation on his right knee.  

 “Going into both surgeries, we didn’t know for sure what the cause of my pain was. But Dr. Gruber went in, found it and corrected it,” said Denis with enthusiasm.  

During both surgeries, it was discovered that Denis had damaged his plica tissue or tissue in the knees, which was removed through a medial plica excision surgery. Additionally, Dr. Gruber discovered that Denis had suffered meniscus tears or tears in the cartilage in both of his knees. These tears also led Denis to have parts of his knees removed through partial lateral meniscectomy surgeries.  

Denis’s Arthroscopic Medial Plica Excisions and Partial Lateral Meniscectomies Recoveries  

Following both of his operations, Denis participated in physical therapy at Integrated Orthopedics. At the recommendation of Dr. Gruber, he also performed at-home cryotherapy sessions.  

Denis stated, “I used the cryotherapy machine several times a day, especially at night.” He added, “The sessions were very effective in reducing the swelling in both of my knees.”  

Denis has now completed his physical therapy and has slowly begun to get his mobility back, which he is thrilled about.  

He is very thankful for the care he received from Dr. Gruber and his team and highly recommends them to anyone needing orthopedic care 

“I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else,” concluded Denis.