Re: MCL, meniscus, mmmmm!
Just FWIW. Sample of two anecdote.
Same problem here a few years ago. It wasn't bad enough to cause me any real problems, but it was annoying. One good thing for me is that my wife is in diagnostic imaging. So I was able to get pretty much any exam the orthopod wanted. But even with all that the Orthopod suggested "give it time and reassess". Over a period of a year I kept getting better, slowly but surely. Then fine. So a lot of RICE, PT and being careful about the knee for a year. And that injury seems mostly a thing of the past for me now and I avoided more holes in my knees.
Another friend of mine did the exact same thing. Seemed about same level of intensity in terms of injury level as mine. His got better for a few weeks then stopped getting better. Finally he went in for scoping/cutting/cleaning/etc., did the whole 10 yards of after care (PT, etc.) and today is just fine.
So... I think the takeaway from me is that it is complicated at best. I've had a series of knee injuries but that one seemed to heal on its own in my case. In my friend's situation, exactly the opposite. So while all symptoms/diagnoses, etc. were identical, the end results were completely different. So... Shrug. I guess I'm saying if I were in your shoes I'd probably do the RICE routine for a while, work it in PT, etc., but if it doesn't get better or seems to be taking too long to get better I'd pull the trigger with the orthopod. My experience has been that these things are so individual that there's really no way to give any definitive advice. It really comes down to how it does as time goes by. And your comfort level. And your patience. And how much you want to put up with in order to avoid surgery vs. the possibility that delaying surgery may make things worse.
All that said, I feel for you and I hope you get better quickly. I spent much of the year I was recovering wondering if I did the right thing, if surgery would have gotten me back faster and stronger. I still don't know if I made the right decision.