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Old 02-13-11, 09:48 AM   #1
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Location: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
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Meniscus Tear???

First, thing, first. I am seeing my physician, but it won't be for a few days. In the meantime I'm seeking to learn from the experience of others.

I believe I may have a meniscus tear in my right knee. While sitting, if I cross my right leg over my left I get a sharp acute pain in the soft tissue area in the inside of my knee that feels like it radiates into the joint slightly. Any other time I have the same dynamics (what could be seen as any pressure on the lower part of the leg toward the inside of the center line of my body, while the upper leg is stationary - think slight lever action) I get the sharp pain. So, I'm guessing it's most likely a meniscus tear.

I'm torn between riding between now and the visit with my physician. It tends not to hurt while riding, except when my pedal stroke gets sloppy. Then I get an immediate quick shot of pain, that tells me to pedal more smoothly. As long as the motion is straight up and down, I seem good.

Any other have experience with this?
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Old 02-13-11, 10:18 AM   #2
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The only thing I know is through Nora, my wife, who has had 3 meniscus tears, and now 2 TKR's. One of the cautions she received is that the knee might "lock up" and become immovable. I have no clue whether or not that really happens - it never did with her. She rode for about 3 years after her first meniscus tear - no repair - on her right knee. Then the terrible tear she had a few months back led to the TKR.

Sorry, wish I had more info.
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Old 02-13-11, 10:26 AM   #3
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In 1992 I had a flap tear in my left knee. In 1975 I had torn the knee up in an industrial accident that required ACL repair. By 1990 the knee joint had gone degenerative. Initially the flap tear was just annoying. But then the knee would lock up if the flap moved any amount. So the orthopedic surgeon went in and cleaned the joint up. Snipped the flap without taking tissue away from the remaining portion of the meniscus. Since then there have been no problems with it. The operating surgeon was a sports medicine specialist and was the one who suggested I take up bicycle riding as a way of preserving the joint. Pedaling strengthens the muscle groups that give the knee joint support without the damaging effects of extensive walking or running impact.
The orthopedic doc told me to limit and standing pedaling as this will increase pressure on the joint.

From what I was able to understand looking at the knee joint surgery and rehab text books the joint's sliding surfaces are put under a great deal of pressure in the last few degrees of rotation as the leg straightens. I take this into account when I set up the seat height on the bikes.

There are also ligaments on either sides of the joint that can give you problems.

I should point out that I was told that crossing one's knees when sitting is not the best thing for the joint.

Just hang on until you see the orthopedic folks. Expect to have them do a bit of pulling, pushing and bending of the leg. Where the pain is gives them a fairly accurate idea of just what the problem is.

Something else I quickly learned with my knee. Don't get sucked into taking a lot of over the counter pain killers. I found that if you take enough to dull the pain and limit swelling you begin to see internal bleeding. Ice and elevation was the route to go.

You have a number of really good orthopedic specialists where you live. I don't know if he is still practicing but I had dealings with a Dr. Alexander A. Sapega, MD at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in Philly. He wrote extensively on knee surgery and rehab.

E. Ogre
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Old 02-13-11, 10:43 AM   #4
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Forgot to mention.

With you "Ivory Tower" (chuckle) connections you might want to try to locate a copy of "Knee Ligament Rehabilitation Edited by Robert P. Engle" in one of the medical libraries.

I purchased my copy from Amazon dot come back around 1993. The book was originally written around ACL repairs and rehab but it is a good guide on how to deal with other knee problems. So once the orthopedic doc tells you what the problem is one of these rehab books would make a good guide in how to deal with it and your normal activities such as bike riding. With some knee injuries and repairs the rehab processing becomes a life long ongoing thing if you want to stay mobile and relatively pain free. That was not explained to me after the original 1977 ACL repair surgery. One of those things where had I known then what I know now.

E. Ogre
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