Should I get knee surgery for my meniscus tear? What questions should I go back to the doctor with?

I’ve had four years of knee pain, getting better, getting worse, when it suddenly got much worse after I did a weird speedy side step to get past some people in a crowd. Had an MRI last week, saw the doctor today. He told me I have a meniscus tear (also some osteoarthritis) and we could do injections for pain or a 20 minute arthroscopic surgery that would trim the torn flap, drain some fluid, and “clean up” some of the arthritis, with about a week of recovery to

I’m leaning towards the surgery, but I’m always terrible in the moment of thinking what I should ask a doctor. I asked him what he would do if it was his knee and he said “it’s so hard to know”. Very helpful, thanks man. I told him I would have to think about it. Help me think about it.

What should I ask?

did anyone have a similar knee surgery and regret it? what’s the worst that could happen? I won’t have to go under general anesthesia, just twilight sleep.

I had a similar meniscus tear surgically repaired 3 years ago. It was a simple surgery, one of the easiest tears to fix. Things I would ask about:

[li]PT - my MD didn’t think it was needed for such a simple repair. He was wrong. Make sure you’re going to get a script for PT and then follow it religiously.[/li][li]Recovery - I didn’t get instructions for recovery that were detailed enough. My wife has had several knee surgeries and got me through it but it would have been nice to have more detail from the MD[/li][li]Cryo-Cuff - My wife had a Cryo-Cuff which really helped the first few days after the surgery. See if the Dr recommends one and arrange it beforehand[/li][/ul]

There are studies that show limited pain reduction from surgery in some cases. I am not pain free, but it’s much better than before the surgery. But not as good as before I had the tear. I can run again now without 3 days of debilitating pain, but I can’t run as far or completely pain free. But I can run 2-3 times a week with no problems. I would ask specific questions about how much pain reduction you should expect and what activities would be still affected after the surgery.

What happens if you don’t get the surgery? Will this heal on its own?

What happens if you try the injections first? Could you make things worse by postponing?

What percentage of people have a complete recovery with the injections? With the surgery?

How often has the doctor done this procedure?