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torn meniscus -- any advice?

Moderator: King Boonen

torn meniscus -- any advice?

06 Apr 2009 22:04

I was just diagnosed with a torn meniscus -- supposedly fairly severe, although I don't know all the details yet (radial tear vs. other type of tear, etc.). Unfortunately, from what I know so far, it sounds like the docs don't think they can repair the tear. I'm probably supposed to have surgery to have part of the meniscus removed to deal with the tear.

Ugh. Up until I got hurt, this was probably my best winter of training in five years (I'm in the northern hemisphere).

Anyone else out there who's gone through something similar? Any advice?

Kent
kent.wenger
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Location: Madison, WI, USA

15 Apr 2009 03:07

I used to play soccer but a serious tackle at knee height ruined my knee. My cruciate ligament was semi-torn and part of the inside meniscus came loose. The CL was the most serious problem in terms of recovery, surgery and rehab.

After an epidural, they examine the knee with arthroscopic surgery (three small incisions are made in the knee where the camera, and the tools enter the knee) and what seems to resemble a caterpillar, they dig away at the affected meniscus. When the disconnected cartilage is removed they close the incisions, and you are done. It takes half a day or a day in the hospital. You'll leave on crutches with a very swollen knee, wrapped up, and which you can barely bend or extend.

The downside: you won't be able to bike for a couple of weeks till the swelling had disappeared.

The upside: since you are a cyclist, I doubt you will have a lot of problems later on in life/sports. The meniscus basically protects the bones against degeneration from pounding ie walking and running. Since your CL is still in good shape (?), you might not have any problems, otherwise at worst, perhaps swelling of the knee after extensive walks/runs/hikes.

Some rehab may be required such as strenght training (quads, hamstrings) to strenghten the leg and absorb shocks and prevent/remedy forward or lateral movements of the upper leg over the lower leg where the gap of the removed meniscus is situated.

good luck
User avatar Bala Verde
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC

15 Apr 2009 03:36

I have gone through it a couple of times. First time was in the late eighties and they went with the repair option. The leg had to be immobilized for 6 weeks after the surgery and I had to endure quite a bit of painful rehab to get the knee mobile again. A few months after all of that was said and done, I stepped in an unseen hole while hiking and re-tore the cartilage. After the subsequent swelling went down, the pain went away and would only show itself whenever I tore the cartilage a bit more. The small, short-lived pain was a better alternative to going through the repair process again so I didn't bother a doctor with it for 14 years. Finally, I went to see an orthopod after the knee would "randomly "go out" on me. The doc took a look and told me a simple removal of the torn meniscus was in order and that I'd be up and going in no time. I asked him about the repair and he said it was a process not worth the time and pain involved. He said the previous surgery was rather dubious. I had the surgery followed with some quad strengthening exercises on the bicycle-which got me into cycling and I've had no problems ever since.

jackson
jackson
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Location: Reno,Nevada

16 Apr 2009 02:19

I had the procedure done to both of my knees about 6 monthes apart, was down for 2 days, then on crutches for a week and then PT for a few weeks. Best thing I ever did, I dealt with pain and weakness in the knees for about 2 years prior to that. I have been MTBing and power walking ever since, just find a GOOD Ortho and have it done.
Boyntonrider
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16 Apr 2009 15:39

Everyone above has great advise. I have been through it several times...currently have a blown ACL (blew it 2 ski seasons ago) and most likely more meniscus dammage. I do not plan on having it fixed; at least for now. Let pain be your guide and know that cycling is probably the best exercise you can do. Good luck!
Ski good or eat wood!
User avatar SnoSaw
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