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Torn Meniscus

Old 03-15-13, 09:44 AM
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Frankfast
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Torn Meniscus

An MRI recently showed that I had a torn meniscus in my left knee. I felt it months ago when I got off the treadmill. Funny how it doesn't bother me much bicycling or exercising on an elliptical. But it does bother me when I walk. Doc says it won't get better by itself and wants to perform arthroscopic. According to him it won't get worse and there is no hurry getting the surgery. I don't want to ruin the upcoming riding season but at the same time I want to get it over with. In the last three years I've had back, rotator cuff, and hernia surgeries and am tired of getting cut up. Think I'll let it go 'til the winter.
Anybody out there riding with a torn meniscus?
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Old 03-15-13, 09:50 AM
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Everyone has a torn meniscus to one extent or another. I wouldn't bother with it unless it really bothers you or your Dr. recommends fixing it. The surgery is pretty easy and straightforward. They do it orthoscopically so it's pretty non-invasive.
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Old 03-15-13, 09:55 AM
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I have a matching pair of torn meniscii ... one for each knee.

Maybe your tear is different than mine. My doc said that while there was no hurry, the tear might well get worse if not operated on. He said it was hard to tell how bad the tear was until they scope it.
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Old 03-15-13, 10:06 AM
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I tore mine unclipping from a bike (new pedals; hadn't checked the tension settings). I lived with it for 6 months+. But it started getting "caught" when I would kneel down on that knee. I sometimes would have to work my knee around just to straighten my leg again. I had the arthro and had an easy recovery. My orthopod even told me to skip the physical therapy recovery and just go back to regular riding --and everything would recover just fine. No problems since then.
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Old 03-15-13, 10:29 AM
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I've had medial meniscus tears in both knees since 2003/2004. Both tears are where there's little-to-no blood flow, so no repairs for me. I've had no surgery on them. I'll have them for life (I'm 51). Fortunately, so far, there isn't a whole lot of pain with mine. No swelling at all so far. Moderate discomfort? Yes. Many days I feel nothing. Other days, I definitely know they're there when walking but still not too painful. Been riding moderately twice a week for the last 5 yrs w/o too much problem. 99% of the time while riding at the brisk pace that I do, even standing up quite a bit on climbs, they don't bother me. Problem is, it limits me, so I can no longer ride flat-out/wide open. So, I'm happy just to ride twice a wk (about 50 - 70 miles total) at my 14-15 mph avg speed over my rolling-to-hilly loops. Other activites, such as yard work, shoveling snow, working out on the ball diamond w/ my 11 yr old son...then I wear neoprene braces with metal stays on both knees. The braces really work and allow me to stay active. Good luck!
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Old 03-15-13, 11:33 AM
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Yep. I was training for a marathon and in the best shape of my life 23 years ago. Went out for a quick 3 miles and suddenly it felt like a knife in the knee. As the OP mentioned, even walking hurt; however, I could ride without pain as long as I kept my rump in the saddle and the rpm's up.

I was able to ride in less than a month after getting the knee 'scoped without much pain. Couldn't really run anymore; however, the wife and I walk half marathons OK.

I can tell when I haven't been riding much as my knee starts hurting some. Riding must strengthen the muscles around the knee and help keep things in place.
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Old 03-15-13, 04:35 PM
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After meniscus surgery in my left knee in Feb, 2011, followed by a left foot injury in May, right rotator cuff surgery in Nov, and surgery on my injured left foot in Dec, 2011, I hear you loud and clear....

I'd listen to your Ortho and your knee...even a meniscus tear takes some time to heal and you might be able to enjoy another riding season and have the surgery in your off season.

I have similar decision to make....additional surgery on my left foot....if the foot can tolerate it and I can put up with the discomfort, I'm going to try for next November....if it doesn't and I can't, we'll do it sooner.

By the way, my knee feels pretty good now....took a while to heal, but after about three months, it felt normal again.
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Old 03-16-13, 07:42 AM
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I'd have a second opinion just to see if the otrhos both want to do the scoping then make my decision. One thing I keep in mind about these injuries is that they are not going to self heal and if I keep riding, running, etc. I am going to just cause more damage.

My brother had some serious scoping done to a knee he injured/tore the meniscus very seriously on duty as a deputy. He had the surgery, was doing rehab in a day and spent a few weeks with the required rehab to get a physicians return to duty release that was a correct and true release not a hurry back to work thing. He had had no pain since and did active, hard duty until he retired last October. Still running and working out now.

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Old 03-16-13, 08:13 AM
  #9  
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I've had both knees done -- one in 2008 and the other in 2010. I went to a sports med doc. With arthroscopic surgery there is no cutting, only small holes about the size of a knitting needle.
For my pt the doc had me on the trainer for 5 minutes the afternoon of the surgery. I was up to 45 minutes after 2 weeks and back out of the road in 3-4 weeks.
Either do it NOW so you be back at it before summer or wait until late fall.
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Old 03-16-13, 09:53 AM
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+1 on second opinion.I also have a torn meniscus AND ACL!First doctor wanted to operate right away despite the fact there was no swelling or discomfort.He saw dollar signs.ACL surgery is quite a story and he gave me no indication of that.2nd doctor fitted me for a brace and told me to ride my bike.Nothing better for the knees.I don't doubt though arthroscopic surgery could be helpful in some cases.
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Old 03-16-13, 10:50 AM
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I have had a couple meniscus "trims" and would recommend that you get it done. Yours sounds like it would be easily fixable with minimal recovery time, at least by the symptoms you have mentioned. My symptoms were comparable to yours and by a weeks time I was mostly back to normal, without the pain and grinding etc. that I had before. Get a second opinion if you think it is wise. I did not, as the Dr. had performed many procedures on athletes I have coached through the years. So the trust level was high.
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Old 03-16-13, 04:24 PM
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I went out for a 25 mile ride today and the knee didn't bother me at all. It felt normal. As a matter of fact my right knee felt worse than the left, the one with the tear. That's because, after having an initial x-ray, the doctor said the right knee is more arthritic than the left. It's a different story when I walk. That is when I feel the tear.
This seems to be a common problem especially as we age. It doesn't take much and I'm convinced I did it on the treadmill. Have to stay low impact.
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Old 03-16-13, 05:31 PM
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I had a knee 'scoped for a torn meniscus. Three weeks later I climbed Mt. Lafayette. It's no big deal if the tear isn't too bad. I was told I should have it done so it wouldn't get worse, but there was no huge rush.
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Old 03-18-13, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg View Post
I tore mine unclipping from a bike (new pedals; hadn't checked the tension settings). I lived with it for 6 months+. But it started getting "caught" when I would kneel down on that knee. I sometimes would have to work my knee around just to straighten my leg again. I had the arthro and had an easy recovery. My orthopod even told me to skip the physical therapy recovery and just go back to regular riding --and everything would recover just fine. No problems since then.
depends on how it's torn and where. There are different kinds and where it's torn matters. Rely on your doctor. This is not complicated surgery.

I had an edge tear on the one in my left knee - about a 10% tear. My tear was such that the rough edges irritated the soft tissue around the knee. Surgery took less than 15 minutes, I did it under local anesthesia and watched the whole thing on the TV. Really interesting. No additional risk for arthritis etc.. in other words, no big deal.

Only restriction was to let the knee settle down for three days and then to stay out of the water (I live on a river) until the incisions (4 little incisions about 1/2" long) healed and sealed up or about 2 weeks. Other than that, no restrictions and I was full at it in 3 days. On crutches a total of two hours and walking normally after that.

J.
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Old 03-18-13, 09:38 PM
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I've had both my knees worked on, and they would hurt from time to time, either one or the other. I had some pain when I first returned to riding, but after a while I've had no pain at all.
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Old 03-19-13, 02:04 PM
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everyone's knee is different. you probably know that from your other work. for me, my torn meniscus was a flap that folded over and I couldn't bear my wegiht on that knee going up or down stairs. I could walk fine. I wasn't exercising at the time so I have no idea if cycling would have been an option. my Mom is in her 80s and was told she needed knee work and she's just not doing it.
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Old 03-19-13, 04:07 PM
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I had a "Buckethandle" tear in my left knee. It hurt to walk, but i could ride my bike all day. Get it fixed, it is all good.
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Old 03-19-13, 08:03 PM
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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-...ry-says-study/
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Old 03-19-13, 08:05 PM
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The above link is just six hours old. (Could only do a one-line posting because all of a sudden my carriage-return key doesn't work in Bikeforums).

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Old 03-19-13, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
Everyone has a torn meniscus to one extent or another. I wouldn't bother with it unless it really bothers you or your Dr. recommends fixing it. The surgery is pretty easy and straightforward. They do it orthoscopically so it's pretty non-invasive.
Maybe, maybe not.

You will never heal faster than you do now.

Pretty non-invasive is an oxymoron. Minor surgery is when they do it to someone else.

Living with a bad knee can adversely affect the other one. Get it fixed and move on.
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Old 03-20-13, 05:27 AM
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Doctor told me that a tear can't heal itself so I can't understand how therapy is a solution. It doesn't heal the tear.
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Old 03-20-13, 07:21 AM
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my surgeon was very reluctant to work on my and had me wait and wait and wait and wait and we used lots of ibuprofin, and then increased the ibuprofin and waited some more. finally when nothing improved it they did the MRI and it was clear what they had to do and so we scheduled the surgery. 17 minutes in and out. I asked if I could get it on tape and the surgeon instead og laughing said, "sure, bring a VHS" which I did. very interesting to watch, no blood, they made 2 holes 1 for the camera and 1 for the tools. I think he used 3or4 different tools to cut and scrape and flush. I've got screen captures and video clips I can share but I would have to dig them up
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Old 03-20-13, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Frankfast View Post
Doctor told me that a tear can't heal itself so I can't understand how therapy is a solution. It doesn't heal the tear.
Torn cartilage WILL NOT heal. It might stay the same. Or it might get worse while dancing with your wife and lock up your knee in a bent position while you are on the other side of the world on vacation.

Don't ask me how I know this.
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Old 03-20-13, 06:11 PM
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The therapy is used to ease the cartilage back into the ability to stretch out in movement after the surgery where the tissue is trimmed to eliminate the fraying. The surgery basically smooths out the edges around the torn section so they don't get caught and damage the torn area any worse. I am simplifying from what I have been told and I am not a physician by any definition, and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night either. Maybe one of the docs here in 50+ that is familiar could educate those like me that are slow and of lesser intelligence about what a typical arthroscopic surgery entails.

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Old 03-20-13, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
The therapy is used to ease the cartilage back into the ability to stretch out in movement after the surgery where the tissue is trimmed to eliminate the fraying. The surgery basically smooths out the edges around the torn section so they don't get caught and damage the torn area any worse.
When I had my knee done part of the re-hab I was prescribed was leg presses, something pretty heavy, repeated until I had to stop. Plus each leg by itself 30 times at less weight. It was an intense workout. Anyway, it did no harm and sure kept my quads in shape!
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