Torn Meniscus

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of theShiba theShiba 9 years, 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of theShiba

    Currently, I’m looking into what may be a torn medial meniscus (inside of the knee).

    Definitely not a happy day, and it means that I’ll have to take some time away from running. Don’t specifically know when I may have injured it, but it’s something that has been bothering me for a while now. I’ll be seeing an Orthopedist soon, and hope to know whether or not it’s going to require surgery :(

    Anyway, has anyone else experienced this? What can I expect? Any activities, pool workouts, etc. that you used to keep you from going out of your mind without running?

    Profile photo of watrbg2

    I’ve had five knee surgeries, two of which were for meniscus tears so I guess I’ve had some experience :)

    You will probably have a MRI to see what’s going on in the knee and depending what that shows your doctor my recommend PT and/or surgery. If you have a meniscus tear you’ll probably have surgery but the extent of that surgery will vary depending on where the tear is on the meniscus and how big the tear is.

    After one of my meniscus surgeries, I was walking the next day and was able to run within a month. It was a small tear. The other surgery was a little more involved as the tear was bigger and the doctor found and fixed another problem when he operated (a MRI doesn’t always show everything). I was on crutches two or three weeks and I was able to run in about three months.

    As far as rehab, I was water running as soon as they took out the stitches (I think it was 4 or 5 days after surgery). After a about a week, I progressed to the exercise bike. When I was able to walk up and down stairs without pain, I was allowed to run. Of course, your doctor may have a differnt plan for you.

    Lots of ice will help your knee recover faster, too.

    Good luck! I know it’s a pain to get it done but it’s better to get it done before it turns into a bigger problem.

    Profile photo of theShiba

    Thanks for sharing! It is encouraging to hear another person telling a story of a fairly reasonable recovery period.

    What do you think about biking during this time where I kind-of don’t know what’s going on officially? Were you able to bike before/after the op?

    Profile photo of lvs3574

    Watrbg2 knows his stuff!
    A few other things to consider:
    Did your knee swell? Swelling is bad. Many times swelling in the knee indicates a traumatic knee injury such as a meniscal tear. When you go to the orthopedic surgeon, he or she will probably draw fluid from your knee if it is swollen. The color of the fluid is an indicator for a traumatic injury…I think yellow is bad if I remember correctly. But if your knee never swelled, congrats! You probably don’t have a tear!
    Also, where does it hurt? If you have medial knee pain at the joint line, you may have a tear. If you have medial knee pain below the joint line (like I do), you may have pes tendonitis…a tendon attaches medially from the hamstring and the attachment could be inflamed. It’s an overuse/out-of-shape/lack-of-stretching thing and is corrected with PT. Also, you will probably not experience any swelling with this condition.

    As a medical sales professional who has stood in and watched hundreds of meniscus surgeries, the only other thing I would add is what I tell everyone about surgery: get more than one opinion, and BE CAREFUL IN CHOOSING YOUR SURGEON! I know many excellent surgeons, and many terrible ones.
    Meniscus surgery is an “easy” surgery to perform, but some surgeons are debrider-happy and take out more meniscus than is necessary. And some surgeons could botch any surgery. The skill level between surgeons varies much more than the lay public realizes.
    Remember…there is no replacing meniscus once you lose it and not having any leads to arthritis.
    I would ask the surgeon after he/she reads your MRI how big the tear is and how much meniscus he or she feels will need to come out. They will give you a percentage. If it’s a low percentage, ask if physcial therapy will suffice.
    All this said, watrbg2 is absolutely right: most meniscus tears require surgery and it is indeed better to take care of a substantial tear rather than let it go because it can indeed turn into a much bigger problem.
    And I also don’t mean to scare…it’s just that I’ve seen more in the OR than most and prior to being in the biz I assumed all surgeons were proficient…NOT TRUE! Find a nurse who works with the surgeons and ask which one he/she would let operate on a family number. They’ll point you in the right direction!

    PS apropos to the question about riding the bike…and this is an UNPROFESSIONAL opinion…I would think that if you don’t go hard you could still ride the bike…the bike is non-traumatic.

    Hope this helps.

    Profile photo of theShiba

    Thanks for sharing, lvs…

    I did not have any swelling, and I don’t experience any daily comfort. I am hoping to schedule with the Specialist the day after New Years’ to see what’s going on. Based on what you are telling me, I hope that I am looking at something that is less severe than a tear.

    I don’t know what you mean by above or below the joint line… I am guessing… but I can tell you that the greatest pain (to the touch) is right at the ridge of my Tibia. If it turns out that I need surgery, I am definitely going to seek a second opinion.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience… extremely informative, and helpful.

    Oh, and PS to the PS…. I rode the bike on Saturday, and did not experience any discomfort. I actually felt like the ride relaxed the area a bit, and hurt less than when I woke-up. I am going to continue riding my bike, and trying to swim a lot more (keeping the kicking to a minimum, of course).

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