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Medial Meniscus Tear ??? (Read 2800 times)

    SadSad Angry Just found out I have a tear in my medial meniscus, according to the very chipper person who did not under stand that I could no longer run. Several questions, (first the log is not up to date, but I was running approx 30 miles/wk long of 12): 1. Are there non-surgical options that would actually work? 2.Assuming there are only surgical options, what is the collective groups wisdom of recovery time? 3. I was hoping to run the full Country Music Marathon in April and then transition to my triathalon season:2 olympic distances planned with 1/2 iron at the end of the year: Are any of these feasable now? thanks in advance.


    Certifiably Insane

      Oh, boy, where do I want to start on this one... I had the same thing, and had my knee scoped. That was about 8 years ago, for a small tear, not even anything major. It was a long recovery, and I'm still not really able to run on it any better than before. I have to be very careful with everything I do with that knee. I can't run every day on it, only about 3 or 4 times a week. Yeah, I'm being polite, but it's a sore spot with me. My other knee has some of the same symptoms at times, but I'm not letting anybody touch it. I don't think it improved my overall ability to run at all. Now, I could be all wet about this. Maybe my knee would be worse right now if I hadn't had it done. I guess I'll find out if my other one gets really bad some day. Oh, and watch out if he says something like "You may have to reduce your mileage slightly." Grrr. And that knee will be more prone to arthritis, if they didn't mention that. My advice...get a second (and third?) opinion from someone who understands runners. Strengthening your quads and hamstrings may help, also. Look up knee rehab exercises on the net. You'll probably find a ton of them. Do them consistently. They can't hurt anything, and may help a lot.
      On the road since 1978! "To be good is not enough when you dream of being great." I am not obsessed! I'm just INTENSE! "Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool." Why? Because race results stay on Google forever! (Reasonably recent) PR's: 5K - 16:40 10K - 35:04 HM - 1:18:30


      A Dance with Monkeys

        Why can you not run? Go talk to Paul Rummo down in Franklin. He is a sports med doc who does not operate and so he is not biased to push you towards the operating room if you don't need it. He is very good.


        Think Whirled Peas

          Left knee, two scopes (torn meniscus), Right knee three scopes and an ACL reconstruction. I'm familiar with knee problems. You can still run post-op. Lots. I promise. My knees are stronger now than they've ever been. And I'm not exactly what the masses call "lithe and runnerly".

          Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

            Why can you not run? Go talk to Paul Rummo down in Franklin. He is a sports med doc who does not operate and so he is not biased to push you towards the operating room if you don't need it. He is very good.
            Why can I not run? Pain, Pain and more Pain. I ran my "long" run of 7.5 miles last wk, (I had previously been up to 12.5) and had to stop. This is not the normal pain that I associated with increased mileage, but a persistent low level, with extreme spikes in pain about every other step. Power of Q, Question: general or local anesthesia?


            Think Whirled Peas

              Power of Q, Question: general or local anesthesia?
              General for all. FWIW, each scope got easier to recover from the previous one. The last one (right knee) I never used crutches and was walking, though slowly, the next day. The non-invasiveness of the procedures makes for a pretty darn quick recovery. I would recommend strengthening the quads as much as possible beforehand. My point, more than anything, is that you can recover from this type of procedure (and pretty quickly), and you can continue to run. Obviously, your results will vary from mine, but it is possible to get back into the swing of things w/in a few months. CMM might not be possible, but the tri's sure do. Good luck! Q

              Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

                Thanks Power of Q
                  From what I've been told, it depends on where the tear is. The way my doc explained to me, if the tear is in a location of the meniscus that will not heal b/c of lack of blood flow, they just cut that part of the meniscus out. So that is basically an arthoscopic surgery. If the tear was in an area that could heal, they try to repair it (i.e. stitch is closed). The recovery from this one is longer, at least 6 weeks on crutches. But it is a better option for the long run because you aren't losing any of the cartilage. If you search on here for 'meniscus tear' or 'meniscus repair' there some more recovery stories. I had arthoscopy on my right knee in May for what we thought was a medial meniscus tear and the surgeon told me he wouldn't know which of the options it would be until he physically got inside my knee and was looking at the tear. It turned out to not be a tear at all, just a deteriorating meniscus, so the recovery from surgery wasn't awful. I was on crutches for a few days, back on the stationary bike (albeit at a slow pace) in 10 days, and fast walking 3-4 miles in 3 weeks. I think the suggestions to make sure your quads are as strong as possible before the surgery is a good one. My biggest challenges in the recovery were from my knee giving out. I took the return to activity pretty slow, and was back to run/walk intervals within 6 weeks. It did take almost 6 months to get back to 100% range of motion in that knee (being able to squat to floor or kneel without pain). I also hadn't really run in the 4.5 months before my surgery because of knee pain, so that may have played a role in slowing down my recovery.


                  A Dance with Monkeys


                  This is why I run

                    If the tear was in an area that could heal, they try to repair it (i.e. stitch is closed). The recovery from this one is longer, at least 6 weeks on crutches. But it is a better option for the long run because you aren't losing any of the cartilage. If you search on here for 'meniscus tear' or 'meniscus repair' there some more recovery stories.
                    I had this tear back in 2001. Sorry to say it took nearly 9 months before I felt comfortable to run on it. And as RunnerJohn said, I still can only run 3-4 days a week. I typically cannot run for more than 2 days straight Cry. On the bright side, I've learned to deal with the pain and last fall completed a marathon in the same time as my previous best (obviously older and 25 lbs heavier). My doc told me that I can expect Osteoarthritis in my future, which I believe is now. Other doctors I've seen have told me that I have it already at the age of 36 and the best thing to do is keep active. So I keep running, running on trails is definitely more comfortable than running on the road and my knees (and the rest of my body) recover much quicker. I've taken Glucosimine (sp) and still cannot tell if it works for me or not. Some swear by it, other say it does nothing for them. I've recently started taking Omega3 oils (fish/borax/flax) and it seems to be helping. I'd be VERY carefull about weight training and stretching. The military had me doing some aggressive stretching and weight training when I first started having knee problems and I think that doing the weights and aggressive stretching may have have worsened by condition. Best of luck with it and make sure you get an MRI and I second what a few others have said and find a doctor who runs and understand your needs.
                    Clydesdales shouldn't run in Five Fingers!
                      I had arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a flap tear on my left medial meniscus last December. I was mobile in a day or so, walking normally in about 2 weeks, running in 3 weeks, and back up to my previous weekly mileage of 30 Mi/week in 6 weeks. My knee feels a little different than before, but I am running pain free and completely satisfied with the surgery. To give you a bit more information about my injury, I hit my left knee hard in a fall years ago while skiing. It didn't hurt at the time, but afterward, I noticed that the knee was stiff, and wouldn't flex as far as my right knee. I believe that running on hard surfaces and attempting to stretch the knee aggravated the injury. In any case, one day as I was passing another runner at the track, I felt a sharp pain in the knee that forced me to stop immediately. From that point, I was unable to run more than a mile or 2 without getting that pain. I tried to rest it for a month, but it didn't get better. After a lot of Internet research, I diagnosed myself with a meniscus tear. I went to my GP, who referred me to a good orthopedic surgeon. They did an MRI, which confirmed that I had a flap tear of my left medial meniscus. I was anxious about having cartilage removed, but the surgeon explained that repair is really only an option for very young patients (like 20-somethings, I am 54) and only for tears in the "red zone" of the cartilage. I was able to schedule surgery within a week. I had general (IV) sedation. My recovery was quick, and I slowly returned to running. My first run was 1 mile on a track, and was kind of scary. After suffering the pains, I was very tentative and paid very close attention to my knee. It kept improving, and now, 3 months after surgery, I have upped my mileage to 40 Mi/week, with regular interval and tempo workouts. I believe my fitness level is back to where it was, or better, and have my first race this Sunday, a 5K. My goal is to break 21:00 and possibly 20:00.
                      pnklily84


                        I had a scope for a meniscus repair on my right knee, two on my left knee, a total joint reconstruction on my left knee, and then a second clean up including hardware removal on the second knee. I am running about 20-30 miles/week right now. I had the meniscus repairs done when I was swimming in college. I was off crutches the next day and swimming again within 48 hours. I was running without too much pain within a month. I tried to go non-surgical on the first meniscus repair, but after 6 months of rehab and rest, there was really no other option.
                        jck


                          I had the left knee meniscus cleaned out and while the doc was in there he also fused the cartledge on the femur and de-brided the patella. It took some time 4-6 weeks to walk normal again, i had 20 therapy visits and could have gone longer had my insurance not run out. I am still not back to running because in the process of rehab my IT band has flared up and will not improve strength and stretch does not seem to help. I am hoping riding my bike to work more will help leg strength to allow me to get back to running soon.
                          Clark 2008 Goals Run HM under 2hrs done-1:50 Run First Full Marathon Sept 14th 4:00 Finish all home projects---ya right
                            I had a pretty bad lateral meniscus tear in my right knee and had surgery in March 2008 to repair it. I never needed crutches. In fact, I was walking around that evening and wallking normally within a few days. I resumed exercising a week later (not running, but swimming and the dreaded elliptical). I was running again within a month. I now have the same tear in my left knee and am considering surgery again. I suppose March is just not my month! In the end, recovery is a personal thing. There are so many variables. It is likely, though, that your doc may advise against running for 6 weeks or so if you opt for surgery. You may not be able to run the April race. I did run a 10K yesterday with my new meniscus tear. My time sucked, but I did it with the help of my friends, ibuprofen and tylenol. Good luck with whatever you decide!