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Running After Meniscus Surgery (Read 112 times)

    Hi All--

    I've done five marathons and several halfs over the last 10 years. Early last fall, I had surgery for a torn meniscus in my left knee.  While the orthopod (a Seahawks team doc) didn';t seem to concerned about future running, my GP has been warning me about my increased risk of arthritis from running post partial meniscus removal.  I really want to do a few more marathons; does anyone have any experience or advice to share??

    Thanks!


    an amazing likeness

      I believe the arthritis warning is fairly standard and results from the arthroscopic knee surgery procedure.  We've had a few good discussions here on RA around meniscus surgery recovery, here's some links:

       

      Here's one

      Here's another

       

      Might be good reads for you, and worth resurrecting one of those threads with follow-on questions / information...

      I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day.

        Thanks; these threads are very helpful!

          I've now run a handful of marathons post-meniscus (and ACL) surgery, including my 4 all-time fastest ones.

          If you're like me, you'll ignore your GP and run because you love it.  If it costs me arthritis later in life, that's a price I'm willing to pay, but I'm also honestly not aware of any actual *science* that says that running after knee surgery increases arthritis risk any more than sitting on the couch and getting fat.

          - Joe

          We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

          valerienv


          Thread killer ..

            I'm at 6 months today and back up to my pre-surgery mileage . Everyone told me not to run anymore , I already have bad arthritis so I decided to keep running . I have a 50k in June , 50m in July and 100 in October . Do what feels right for you

            jfwmarathon


              Thanks for the posts and hopeful thoughts.  Just diagnosed with degenerative meniscal tear of a severe sort, surgery on Tuesday.  60 years old, frequent marathoner, running is a huge part of my life...

                Hi

                you should get a doctor that's a runner.

                Hoban


                  I've now run a handful of marathons post-meniscus (and ACL) surgery, including my 4 all-time fastest ones.

                  If you're like me, you'll ignore your GP and run because you love it.  If it costs me arthritis later in life, that's a price I'm willing to pay, but I'm also honestly not aware of any actual *science* that says that running after knee surgery increases arthritis risk any more than sitting on the couch and getting fat.

                   

                  I had meniscus and ACL surgery too...and Doc said I was begining to develop arthritis in both knees.  However, he said having strong quads, hams and calves will help keep the arthritis at bay.  It'll still develop, and I might end up bone on bone, but the strong muscles will help keep my knee in place and act as a shock absorber.

                  Happiness isn't happiness without a violin playing goat.            

                  phred_qz


                    I had meniscus surgery back in 2006.  Since then I have run 62 marathons/ultras. That includes a handfull of 50Ks, a couple 40Ms and just finished a 50M.

                     

                    My surgeon told me I could run a ton, or not run at all, and the arthritis thing would probably happen anyway - I am at higher risk for it.  But he said the running would not impact that happening one way or the other.

                     

                    I will say, doc told me I needed to do leg weights (the stuff they show you in PT post procedure) religiously. I did for years. Now, I admit, every now and then I get lazy and take a few months off the weight work.... that is never good.  Stuff starts to hurt, the knees hurt, and I have to go back to doing them.

                     

                    So although I am not perfect, I would suggest you focus on the leg weights as others have said here.... easy to say, hard to do, but better to  give it a solid try than not do it at all.

                    50 Miles - done

                    41.6 Miles - done

                    26.2 Miles - done

                    ...now it's time to get faster. 

                    jfwmarathon


                      Thanks, Phred...  doing the post-surgery rehab stuff (leg strengthening) now two weeks post-surgery...

                      phred_qz


                        The first few weeks of rehab still haunt me!  I did a TON of aqua jogging, and to be honest, the procedure was July, and my first race back was a turkey trot in Nov. I know many others healed faster than me and returned to the roads quicker and sooner...my tear was huge too - I'd ignored fixing it for 10 years b/c I was scared of the procedure.  So, don't be put off by folks who have small tears removed and bounce right back without missing a step.   Regardless of the timeframe that works for you,  if you follow the rehab plan you'll, get there  Smile   Happy healing!

                        50 Miles - done

                        41.6 Miles - done

                        26.2 Miles - done

                        ...now it's time to get faster. 

                        jfwmarathon


                          That is good for me to hear, Phred...  I had 30% removed, with the remainder looking pretty trashy -- really excellent runner/surgeon, who wanted to be cautious.  I can tell that rehab will take me a long time, as even now ,14 days out, I am barely walking, even though I can now spin gently.  Aqua-jogging, cycling and other elliptical (not quite ready for that, it seems) are fine for now, as long as I can get back out there with joy.  Phred, do you recall how long it was before you could walk normally without pain during or later?

                          KMB


                            I had mine done in May 2010 and started running about two weeks later.  If you look at my log for that month and onward, you will see.  5k and half in September, full in Oct.  Have had zero pain since.  (Well in that knee.)  Hope yours goeas as well.

                            jfwmarathon


                              Wow, KMB, I won't be ready nearly as quickly as you.  Not even walking normally yet...

                              KMB


                                You never know.  I was mentally hyper sensitive when I started back... felt like every pebble in the road, every tiny movement would result in pain.  Finally had a conversation with myself to convince me that sure maybe something feels a little different but it doesn't hurt, so stop being a wuss... if it hurts, thats one thing; if its not pain, then no reason to stop.

                                The surgeon had told me prior to, that if he repairs it, the recovery will be longer because you need to baby it to prevent re-injury; if he just cuts it out, you can start back as soon as you want.  When i woke after, I asked the nurse if he fixed it or cut it out, and she said he fixed it... so I did nothing for a week.  At my one week follow up with the surgeon, he asked if I was running yet and I told him no, that he said no running if he repairs it; he said, I didnt repair it, who told you that?  (The nurse.) No, I cut everything out, it was a mess. You have about half of it left and can run whenever you want.

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