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  1. #1
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    Meniscus Tear Questions

    Hi everyone. I have a meniscus tear that was identified via X-Ray, waiting on an MRI date, and the doc thinks there's more damage than just that. I'm in pretty much constant pain and itching for a ride. Is it ok to be biking right now, or should I wait for the MRI to see if there's more damage?

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    I can't believe you asked this question. Anyway, here's an answer from me, a random stranger on the internet who's not qualified in medicine unlike your doctor who is.

    Follow the doctors orders, rest well, wait for MRI and it's results and then follow up with a physiotherapist in the next few months to help you get back into cycling once the tear has healed and confirmed as such in follow up checkups. Start taking supplements like Glucosamine which can help with recovery. Do not ride the bike

  3. #3
    SMR
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    When I tore mine I was limping around until I had the surgery. Last thought was to ride. Yeah wait til after the surgury to ride. I'm surpised they could tell a soft tissue tear with a X-ray. Usually a Dr or good PT can wiggle your knee around and tell what type of damage u have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMR View Post
    I'm surpised they could tell a soft tissue tear with a X-ray. Usually a Dr or good PT can wiggle your knee around and tell what type of damage u have.
    I suspect his Xray did not show up any obvious bone alignment issues ( especially the patella ) which lead the Dr to suspect soft tissue damage and therefore suggested MRI. You are correct, Xray wont show up cartilage damage.

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    Usually I wouldn't ask on forums for medical help, but it's been a few months of really shitty medical treatment. First the doc sends me to PT without trying to figure out what was going on, because this pain flared up just over a year after the initial injury, and PT said that my patella was tracking wrong. Through me on the leg press and had me doing squats, which made the pain worse. Had to fight for an X-Ray, and now I'm doing the long wait for an MRI. I'm just at my wit's end here and this was my last resort. I figured some of you on here had experienced a torn meniscus before and would have some advice

  6. #6
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    I also have a mild patella tracking issue in one of my knees which has had me on and off the bike in recent months. After seeing a DR and getting Xrays/MRI and being educated by a PT on how to build up certain muscles in my legs to address the patella tilt, I have been able to ride again.

    One thing I have been wearing on my rides which you might want to try is shown below. It has prevented my patella problem coming back during my recovery and is not something I plan to wear much longer to avoid dependency.

    Goodluck with the Dr and MRI

    LP® SUPPORT

    Meniscus Tear Questions-knee.png

  7. #7
    SMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk19 View Post
    Usually I wouldn't ask on forums for medical help, but it's been a few months of really shitty medical treatment. First the doc sends me to PT without trying to figure out what was going on, because this pain flared up just over a year after the initial injury, and PT said that my patella was tracking wrong. Through me on the leg press and had me doing squats, which made the pain worse. Had to fight for an X-Ray, and now I'm doing the long wait for an MRI. I'm just at my wit's end here and this was my last resort. I figured some of you on here had experienced a torn meniscus before and would have some advice
    I was getting twinges on the inside of my knee for a little over a year. There wasn't a specific movement that caused it. A 1/2 dozen times a week i would get it, walking down a hall, getting out of bed, sometimes exercising, etc. It didn't hurt much but it got my attention. Then crossing a road one day I started jogging across and it just went out. It hurt pretty bad. The Dr thought I had had a small tear and then the one incident made a larger tear. He went in and trimmed it off and I've been fine since, coming up on 2 yrs. I had gone in before the larger tear happened and he figured it was the meniscus but there wasn't much to do to it since I could still do everything. Once it went PT wasn't going to make the pain go away. The surgery and recovery were pretty easy.

  8. #8
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    If the tear is bad enough to see in an x-ray then it's pretty bad. I'd highly recommed you follow your doc's instructions before you really mess up your meniscus. It doesn't grow back or repair itself, and a knee replacement doesn't sound fun at all.
    I had a meniscus tear from playing soccer long before I started cycling. For mine, only a MRI could show all the damage and it even though it was a minor tear it would flare up like hell and make my knee pop all the time whenever I tried to run.

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    I had ACL reconstruction in my right knee last summer. 3 months into rehab I got the green light to start running. Two weeks later my left knee hurt so bad I all but quit doing anything. The knee had gotten hurt in the same ski accident but no ligament damage was noticed so we concentrated on the right knee. 15 years ago I had an ACL done on the left knee, that over time had caused bone on bone, and the recent ski accident caused a tear in the meniscus. Had synovial fluid draining out of my knee making my calf cramp too.

    I am still holding off on surgery, it is in the side and not on top or bottom. They gave me a cortisone shot to get through. Then I did 3 shots of SynVisc into the knee. This was back in late Nov.-early Dec. 2015. By Christmas I was xc skiing without any pain, and been biking all spring. Yes I do need surgery at some point, but I can do what I want now. So there are options possibly depending on what the Doc finds.

    So basically I am in the same camp as everyone, wait to see what the doc says, then move forward with a plan to get back. It is better long term to lose a bit now and gain your life back later.

  10. #10
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    A torn meniscus will show up on an XRay with the dye they inject.

    To the OP, stop and think about what the meniscus does. It's a pad or cushion between your femur and your Tib/Fib. Given that the meniscus is always in contact with the bones, the constant rubbing back and forth while riding would NOT be a good idea. Been There, Done That.

    I had my left knee done almost 25 years ago and was back to riding within two weeks.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk19 View Post
    Hi everyone. I have a meniscus tear that was identified via X-Ray, waiting on an MRI date, and the doc thinks there's more damage than just that. I'm in pretty much constant pain and itching for a ride. Is it ok to be biking right now, or should I wait for the MRI to see if there's more damage?
    No, do not ride. If you are in constant pain from sitting, standing, walking, talking, typing, laying down under no circumstances, regardless of itches, go for a ride. Listen to your body and how it is limiting you. Take the time you need to heal, then you go for a ride.

    I just threw my back out a week ago, again, and will be going in next week to talk about options. I've been dealing with it on and off for 20 years after some poor form in the weight room for HS football. I go through periods of no issues and all it takes is some stiffness and an odd bend and I'm on the ground. Seriously, take care of yourself. Physical therapy and get into a routine once you're better.

    Joints are integral, don't push them past the pain. You may end up with a lifetime of issues for an hr of immediate pleasure.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  12. #12
    RTM
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    No, do not ride. If you are in constant pain from sitting, standing, walking, talking, typing, laying down under no circumstances, regardless of itches, go for a ride. Listen to your body and how it is limiting you. Take the time you need to heal, then you go for a ride.

    I just threw my back out a week ago, again, and will be going in next week to talk about options. I've been dealing with it on and off for 20 years after some poor form in the weight room for HS football. I go through periods of no issues and all it takes is some stiffness and an odd bend and I'm on the ground. Seriously, take care of yourself. Physical therapy and get into a routine once you're better.

    Joints are integral, don't push them past the pain. You may end up with a lifetime of issues for an hr of immediate pleasure.
    This resonated with me. Listen to this advice.

    By the way, I have had great success with epidural shots. Did one round of three shots in 2012 and another round of two in 2015. I'll never be 100% but I feel great and avoided surgery to date. It's likely your guy will mention it as an option so I figured I'd add my two cents.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk19 View Post
    Usually I wouldn't ask on forums for medical help, but it's been a few months of really shitty medical treatment. First the doc sends me to PT without trying to figure out what was going on, because this pain flared up just over a year after the initial injury, and PT said that my patella was tracking wrong. Through me on the leg press and had me doing squats, which made the pain worse. Had to fight for an X-Ray, and now I'm doing the long wait for an MRI. I'm just at my wit's end here and this was my last resort. I figured some of you on here had experienced a torn meniscus before and would have some advice
    Are you in Canada by chance? What you're going thru is one of the downfalls of socialized medicine....the waiting and waiting to get something done. It shouldn't take months to get an MRI. I know alot of Canadian dirt bikers on another website I frequent end up paying for their own because of all the waiting.

    If you're in that much pain, it *might* be worse than just a meniscus too. In July 2009, I had a dirt bike crash that broke my four at my knee which in turn tore every ligament but my PCL and my meniscus. It was "fixed" in July & again in November 2009. It's out again now and I can feel the bone on bone sometimes when walking but have no pain yet. I ride both mountain and road with no issues, riding is my life saver.
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  14. #14
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    so the initial injury is more than a year old, and your PT had you doing leg presses and squats? if that's the case and you've been riding all along then i don't see the harm so long as you don't do anything crazy and make it worse. a small tear isn't horrible, and if your not going to have it surgically repaired then you have to live with it and learn your limitations anyway.

    if it was severely torn your knee would probably be locked, and you'd be in surgery within a couple days tops.

    I've had my meniscus repaired twice on the same knee. it sucks because of how long the recovery takes (6 months). if there is only a small tear you can either leave it as is, or they can just trim off the dead part and you'll be back at it in a couple weeks like someone said above.
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