He told me running would be better than riding. I didn't believe him and rode my bike to his office in my last visit. I was still playing lots of full court basketball at the time and had psychological issues with playing all out. Jumping was okay but quick lateral stuff was tough. Eventually I got my game back and also realized that running/jogging was better for my knees.
He showed my wife and me x-rays of my arthritic knees but they're fine as long as I stay active. Oh yeah, I tore my meniscus by doing jumping squats with 135 lbs. Bad move and a stupid one too.
Lastly I think my recovery was quick due to the fitness level I had then plus my gym work in addition to biking, basketball and running.
I had a compound tear in my miniscus about 6 years ago. The doc recommended surgery but I decided to do nothing and let it heal by itself.
The funny thing is that at the time, I wasn't really into running as much as I am now. I was basically just a weekend runner doing about 5 miles a week, so it didn't really bother me to stop running for about 9 months to just let it heal. I think that I would have a real problem now...
I take 1500MG of Glucosamine every day and my knee has never felt better and I've never had a problem since.
Good luck with whatever course of treatment you decide on.
PS. I am super cautious about this now and any time I sense any possible problem with my knee, I back off and NEVER try to run through a knee problem.
Last year, I was diagnosed with a tear in the left medial meniscus. I was missing up to a week of running at a time and had a lot of pain. I was disappointed and figured I would need surgery. A running friend told me she had a meniscus tear treated with cortisone over a year ago and was still pain free. I had this in mind when I visited a surgeon recommended by me internist (a runner and cyclist). The surgeon said I needed surgery, no other options. He added that I was at risk of further damage if I didn't get surgery. I asked about cortisone, and was told no way - cortisone is bad.
For a second opinion, I went to see my friend's doctor at the state medical school. She said the best first option is a cortisone shot, and that this is the protocol that insurance companies now recommend because the tears often resolve. She said this is due to the fact that in many instances once the pain is gone, the meniscus tear will smooth itself out and surgery can be avoided. I went with this option. She inserted the cortisone in the lateral side. She did not insert cortisone into the tissue, but instead filled the area around the meniscus with a cortisone solution. For 2 days I felt like I had water on the knee and laid off running. For a week, I kept running to about 1/4 normal. Then I resumed running. For a month, I still had pain, but it was less than before the shot. The pain got less and less. Right now, I am about 3 months out and I am running pain free.
There's my story.
So sorry to read about your injury. But. I am happy to read about these three success stories. I am especially happy to read about the non-surgical options... because I listened to This American Life (podcast) today and it was all about healthcare and... sometimes less is more....
Good luck! You have a lot to consider.
is only AFTER we do things,,,
,,,,it probably seems like a Good Idea at the time......
...this has become a common surgery, and so should be pretty Surprise Fee....
just let it Rest and Heal afterwards....hang in there
.....nothing takes the place of persistence.....
For the immediate short tern it's going to give you relief but long term I think that you risk greater chance of arthritis down the road with the bone to bone contact from the loss of material that they are cutting out?
Someone correct me if I'm misinformed...This was the reason I opted not to do anything.
I thought the same thing but I'm 61 now with arthritic knees (by looking at my X-rays) but I have no discomfort whatsoever. My theory is that the human body somehow compensates in miraculous ways? But the key is to stay active. If I were to do nothing for a month, my knee would probably start bothering me. And you're right - they do snip out a little piece but there's enough left so one doesn't have bone to bone contact.
Best wishes, whatever you decide for treatment,
ETA I'm scheduled to do the arthroscopic deal on Friday. Doc said "NO impact (running, hard walking) for 4 weeks. Setting up trainer in the den.
Just keep thinking of that moment and you will get through this
"It's totally okay for you to be less of an ass than you thought you were" Big Gahoona
And yes, the lady on the left is Mrs Labduck.
The south shore of LI is very very flat. I don't ride there much because of it but I am sure there are some cue sheets I could reference. Weather is turning crappy though but let me know. I actually have a 4 day weekend next week coming up and no plans (except if it's riding weather Friday, meeting two buds)
"It's totally okay for you to be less of an ass than you thought you were" Big Gahoona
runbill, since we both live in Portland, could you PM me with the name of the doctor you saw at OHSU? Thanks.
If you go to a surgeon, he'll recommend surgery.
I prefer to try a physical therapist first. In particular see one who practices ART, Active Release Techniques.
ART is supposed to be very effective in treating meniscus tears and an ART therapist may recommend a return to running sooner than traditional physical therapists.
My last two physical therapists have scoffed at the idea that I should stop running to rest minor to moderate muscle or connective tissue injuries.
I hope that you recover quickly.
As for an update, I am seeing a second orthopedist on 10/20. The one recommended by runbill. Stay tuned.
I had a partial tear in my plantar facia and it totally resolved and is like it never happened.
Right now I have a knee issue too. It is a partial tear of the meniscus too (Dr guess w/o MRI). But my knee swelled up and got stiff after a couple months running with it. Saturday I finally saw the Dr who drained a bunch of liquid (90cc) out of the knee and gave a cortisone injection into the fluid area. He said a single cortisone treatment will not mess up the healing process. He said I am good to run a marathon in 2 weeks. The knee feels much better but I still have to watch running downhills. He said in a couple months we shoud get an MRI and go in and smooth it out. I like the comments here about letting running smooth it out. Like my PF fixed itself.
I hope you get this message, as I know the original thread is so old. Anyways, here goes: I'm a 45 yo recreational runner (not more than 18km per week). I an recuperating from chondromalacia patella. The MRI also showed an asymptomatic tear in the meniscus. So I ask the surgeon: "Can I run on this once the chondro is cleared up?" He says "If it doesn't hurt you can run on it." I go back in for my 6 week appointment and his nurse practitioner says "I WOULD NOT run on that knee if I were you".
So now I've got a surgeon who says one thing, and his colleague who works for him tells me another.... who to believe? I don't have information to asses the risk of the meniscus tear moving while I'm running. And the funny thing is, I wouldn't even have known that I had a tear if it hadn't been for the MRI.
My knee has a past history: I had a small flap of meniscus removed when I was 16, but never had any problems with the knee after that until the chondromalacia.
Your experience is heartening however.
I've also found Dr. Howard Luks' video blog about meniscus tears very helpful. He essentially says the same thing as my surgeon: "If it isn't hurting you I don't want to operate on it". There seems to be a whole mini-controversy about 'treating the patient and not the MRI'. One article I read says that as many as 40 percent of knees have asymptomatic meniscus tears.
I found your dialogue with Peter interesting. I was curious as to why the Dr recommended running over cycling? Is it the compression-release on the meniscus allowing more nutrients into the cartilage?
As you can read from my earlier post: I'm 45 with an asymptomatic mensicus tear. I'm not really sure if I should seek a second opinion or not. The nurse practitioner wasn't a runner (I could tell) and it kind of scared me what she said "if the meniscus moves you could permanently damage your articular cartilage and then osteoarthritis etc"
I have s running friend with similar circumstances. He's still running 100 mile races even after his surgeon questioned if he'd run again. If he gets any discomfort in his knees (rarely) he takes a few days off. We are experiments of one. Good luck
Hey thanks KS! I was wondering if I'd ever hear back. Your friend's experience is interesting. It can be a bit worrisome (at least for me) having an asymptomatic meniscus tear, because I don't have a clear way of judging the risks. The nurse practitioner and the surgeon giving me two different answers doesn't help much. (And the same nurse practitioner did the same thing to my friend -- told her something different from the surgeon, with regards to her shoulder). So it must be peculiar to that doctor's office or something...
My plan is to give it a good 6 months of intensive quad and VMO strengthening to pull the kneecap back into alignment and fix the chondromalacia, AND THEN start into the Furman FIRST program of 3 + 2 (3 quality training runs and 2 cross training sessions per week).