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Meniscus Tear

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Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:14 am

At the start of a 10K I ran with my daughter on Mother's Day, I felt a strange sharp pain in my right knee. It subsided adequately in the first mile of the race that I was able to finish the race with her, but it persisted, on and off, for a couple of weeks. I completely laid off running, went to a very good knee doc the week after Memorial Day, and had an MRI last week.

What I know so far is that there is a tear in my meniscus. I have a consult with the knee guy tomorrow early. I expect they'll want to scope it and clip off the torn part. I've read that recovery is typically pretty quick.

Hoping to start training for MCM, but expect at least a short delay of that, assuming they scope it.

Anybody deal with this before? Interested in prior experiences, what to do, what not to do, etc.

Just looking to finish MCM (running it with a college buddy), so not worried about a slow or delayed start to a training schedule...
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:08 pm

If it makes you feel better Joan Benoit had the same done to her knee a week before winning the Olympic trials and about 5 mos before winning gold.

Any way I have known several running friends that have had solar done. They were off a few weeks but came back fine. I was out after surgery the last week of Novembet and ran a marathon in Aoril, May and June. None were stellar in time but you are fine with that
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Diego on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:14 pm

Michael, if it's a small meniscus tear, especially in the back of the knee, I would let it heal and do some PT. Check out this New England Journal abstract. Granted, it is for folks with some DJD(arthritis), but I would give the same advice to those in their teens, 20's and 30's, 40's and 50's. The outer 2/3d's of the meniscus has a decent blood supply that can allow tears to heal.

I would give it another month or two, unless you are in a hurry. Surgery always has some risks, even if they may be only 1/100. Many folks have small meniscus tears that may not necessarily be the source of their discomfort.


http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301408


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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:42 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:If it makes you feel better Joan Benoit had the same done to her knee a week before winning the Olympic trials and about 5 mos before winning gold.

Any way I have known several running friends that have had solar done. They were off a few weeks but came back fine. I was out after surgery the last week of Novembet and ran a marathon in Aoril, May and June. None were stellar in time but you are fine with that

So, I should be able to run like Joan Benoit if I get this done? Very Happy

Thanks Michele! That's reassuring.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:43 pm

Diego wrote:Michael, if it's a small meniscus tear, especially in the back of the knee, I would let it heal and do some PT. Check out this New England Journal abstract. Granted, it is for folks with some DJD(arthritis), but I would give the same advice to those in their teens, 20's and 30's, 40's and 50's. The outer 2/3d's of the meniscus has a decent blood supply that can allow tears to heal.

I would give it another month or two, unless you are in a hurry. Surgery always has some risks, even if they may be only 1/100. Many folks have small meniscus tears that may not necessarily be the source of their discomfort.


http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1301408



Thanks Diego. I was able to read the synopsis and some other articles that reported on it. I will hear what the ortho has to say, and if he presents alternatives, we'll see whether I have any patience or not!
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Chris M on Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:09 pm

I know this topic all too well now. I tore my meniscus in late 2012 and it was bugging me but not totally shutting me down running-wise. Pain any time I ran back to back days on the inside (medial) of my right knee and really noticeable sharp pain on any kind of downhill running. It got no better with rest so I went it for supposedly simple cleanup surgery and a planned 2 week recovery. Nope. Much more extensive cartilage damage was found so I had to have microfracture surgery to do a more complete repair and they drilled holes in my kneecap and created some fake "fibrocartilage" with the cutting. Big time difference in recovery timetable for that and I'm still on the road back to normal marathon training after the February surgery. The meniscus was fully torn and now repaired but that was the small part of the problem I had. Still, my only regret was not going under the knife back in December when this really became a problem and instead trying to nurse it along with rest until February. Wish I could have those months back. Hope your situation is the more minor one but my own advice is go under the knife if you are even 50/50 on it.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:42 pm

Thanks Chris. Mine is the right knee as well, and medial.

I was talking to a friend about this just before I had the MRI. He was a gifted distance runner - I used to see him out running frequently. I knew he'd stopped running a little over a year ago. And I knew he'd had the scope due to a torn meniscus. I asked him what happened.

He told me that when they scoped it, they could see from the scope that he had some major articular cartilage problems that weren't apparent on the MRI. They told him that he will be getting a new knee, either in a year or in 10 years, depending on whether he continues running. He decided to stop and hold off on the new knee as long as he can.

I just hope I don't have something similar. I'll only know if they want to scope it and I decide to let them. I'll wait until I hear what they have to say, but all this feedback is helpful - I feel a lot more informed going into the appointment.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:22 pm

Michael, I really hope that it is a minor tear that will heal in a couple of weeks time.My fingers are crossed for a good outcome Exclamation Exclamation
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Chris M on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:02 pm

Michael Enright wrote:Thanks Chris. Mine is the right knee as well, and medial.

I was talking to a friend about this just before I had the MRI. He was a gifted distance runner - I used to see him out running frequently. I knew he'd stopped running a little over a year ago. And I knew he'd had the scope due to a torn meniscus. I asked him what happened.

He told me that when they scoped it, they could see from the scope that he had some major articular cartilage problems that weren't apparent on the MRI. They told him that he will be getting a new knee, either in a year or in 10 years, depending on whether he continues running. He decided to stop and hold off on the new knee as long as he can.

I just hope I don't have something similar. I'll only know if they want to scope it and I decide to let them. I'll wait until I hear what they have to say, but all this feedback is helpful - I feel a lot more informed going into the appointment.
Sounds just like what happened with me. My doc told me I already have arthritis in there so I've got that to look forward to! Too much damage over too many years of soccer, I guess. But the microfracture thing they did has gotten me back to running pain free so don't rule out surgery as a very viable option. My first start in running was in 2008 after I had ACL reconstruction in the left knee so now 2013 is Knee Surgery Comeback, Take II this time on the right knee. I'm a believer in the power of surgical fixes over rest as the cure!
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:32 pm

Nick Morris wrote:Michael, I really hope that it is a minor tear that will heal in a couple of weeks time.My fingers are crossed for a good outcome Exclamation Exclamation

From your lips to God's ear!
Thanks Nick.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Mark B on Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:27 pm

I've had knee surgery before but not for this particular problem. It's good that you're getting it addressed. Here's hoping it turns out to be far minor than thought and you're back out there in no time.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:31 pm

Thanks Mark - I'll know more tomorrow (I had the appointment wrong - it's tomorrow, not today.

Good news is that it's not bothering me currently. Bad news is that I'm not running...
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Tim C on Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:26 pm

I had surgery for a meniscus tear about 2-1/2 years ago.  I recall having to wait about 8 weeks after surgery before I could run and haven't had any serious issues since.

Good Luck,
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:27 pm

Thanks Tim. Should know more in the morning!
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:09 am

Hoping you got good news...
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:28 am

He cleared me to run, no scope (yet), so I will proceed!
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:41 am

Really?  That sounds like good news.  Are you still experiencing any pain?
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:49 am

I decided it was good news!

Has not been hurting much at all of late, so that's positive. We shall see...
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:10 am

Hopefully everything is healed/healing.  Take it easy and here's to hoping that everything will feel all right moving forward.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:28 am

Actually, no, he was quite clear that this will not (cannot) heal. Hopefully, it just won't bother me. If it does, it will get scoped
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Nick Morris on Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:51 am

If it was me, I would want to get it scoped.  That way I know that it will be better and not have to worry about when the ticking time bomb will go off.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michael Enright on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:16 am

That was my knee-jerk reaction (sorry!) as well, but he's the real deal, and I chose to take his advice.

Like I said somewhere - I hope this either goes away, or becomes problematic again in a hurry!

Sounds like he must have read the article Diego cited above...
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Mark B on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:34 am

Well, that's good news of a sort, at least. Be careful as you proceed, and let pain be your guide.
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:15 pm

Make sure you get to the gym and strengthen your quads. My hubby tore his and didn't get it scoped for 5 yrs. He did lots of strengthening to keep the area strong and even skied. Hope it continues to not be a bothet
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Re: Meniscus Tear

Post  Seth Harrison on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:02 pm

Michael, I'm coming to this late, but I've had been scoped three times for right knee lateral meniscus. Needless to say, after three surgeries, I don't have a lot of lateral meniscus left, and my knee is in pretty bad shape. I'm glad to see that at least for now, you're able to avoid surgery. That would have been my advice. From my experience, the knee is never the same after surgery. If the injury is so severe that there are no other options, then obviously the surgery is the better option, but I'm glad that you're trying to let it heal to the extent possible without surgery.
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