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  1. #1
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    Riding with torn meniscus

    Well it looks like I have a torn medial meniscus in my knee, from a dirt biking accident. I have surgery scheduled for March but I've been riding my bike. Aside from some mild pain in the first half hour of riding, it feels okay.

    My doc says that riding is not too bad and is good for the muscles. Don't do anything really strenuous, whatever that means.

    I'm afraid that I might be damaging my cartilage somewhat by riding on it. Admittedly I've been riding my single speed.

    Does it sound like I might be screwing my knee up some more? Or is a little pain ok? Anyone have experience with a torn medial meniscus?

  2. #2
    bro not pro
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    I had that ... rode on a torn minicus for like a year ... knee gradually felt better and better ... then I went and got surgery - basically they cut away the looose fragments - now my knee is more sensitive than ever. really have to baby it.
    G O N Z

  3. #3
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    Bummer, hope my surgery goes ok! How long has it been since your surgery Gonz?

  4. #4
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    I had the same thing

    only I didn't know it. The knee would swell but I'd just ride through it. Then, in a five day stretch I hiked three Colorado fourteeners then went to Telluride and rode all the tough trails. When I got home the swelling got worse and worse till my knee locked up at a 45 degree angle. Ouch. I had it scoped the next day--the doc laughed at what he found in there "meniscus torn and shredded!" The swelling after that "minor" surgery took forever to go down but I finally started taking glucosamine sulfate and that helped a lot.

    After about a year I stopped having to wrap my knee after every ride but I still take the glucosamine sulfate every day at minimal dosage. I'm surprised you haven't had some torn pieces get inside your knee and locking it up. That's very alarming and painful as you already know or will find out.

  5. #5
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    No locking of the knee.. Just kind of unstable, I guess the meniscus is moving around. Also when the doc bends it a certain way it pops, and also when I tried squatting in the docs office it hurt a lot. He said "Ok, now don't ever do that again!"

    I've been taking those glucosamine pills for a while now, they sure can't hurt.

    Thanks for your comments.

  6. #6
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    torn meniscus

    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    No locking of the knee.. Just kind of unstable, I guess the meniscus is moving around. Also when the doc bends it a certain way it pops, and also when I tried squatting in the docs office it hurt a lot. He said "Ok, now don't ever do that again!"

    I've been taking those glucosamine pills for a while now, they sure can't hurt.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Mine had been torn for so long it had moved all around down there and shredded when it got between bones, irritating the pee out of the surfaces. Finally, I guess, one piece broke loose and lodged in there (picture a chunk of gravel inbetween two surfaces that basically touch while moving--ouch!) The glucosamine seemed to build back the cartilage covering the ends of the knee bones so it wasn't just bone-on-bone which is the pain that drives folks to get knee replacements. I don't think it built back any meniscus and that would not be a solution to a torn meniscus, IMHO. In fact, most doctors think glucosamine doing anything beneficial is just an urban myth but I can say that: one week I was wrapping my left knee, taking ibuprofen and listening to it popping popping popping. Two weeks later I was in Canyonlands hiking (having taken glucosamine the previous two weeks) and I never wrapped my knee and never heard it pop--hey, just like I was normal! It doesn't seem to work for everyone and some can't take it because it's shellfish based but it worked for me.

    Getting that torn meniscus taken out of there is probably a good idea. It's not doing you any good now and it'll just get in the way. But I'm no doctor--follow his advice.

    A lot of formulations have chondroitin in it. This works in a completely different way than glucosamine. A guy who worked for me with an arthritic hip started taking glucosamine on my advice and thanked me for the tip months later. He then tried chondroitin but he said it didn't relieve his pain and made him gain weight! It never did anything for me, either, but, again, each individual is different. And, no, I don't work for any drug companies, I'm a contractor building houses. I need my knees!

  7. #7
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    Try HydraJoint Liquid

    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    No locking of the knee.. Just kind of unstable, I guess the meniscus is moving around. Also when the doc bends it a certain way it pops, and also when I tried squatting in the docs office it hurt a lot. He said "Ok, now don't ever do that again!"

    I've been taking those glucosamine pills for a while now, they sure can't hurt.

    Thanks for your comments.
    The torn part of the meniscus can be "flapping" around. The pain is probably due to joint swelling that usually accompanies a torn meniscus. The "flapper" can eventually wedge itself in the joint space and lock the knee. It happened to me and it wasn't fun.

    I tried all the different glucosamine tablets in the hopes of seeing some relief as recommended by my surgeon but came away feeling that the supplements were snake oil. They were expensive and I didn't notice any effect.

    After my second scope, I was improving for a while and riding more. One day I noticed that both knees ("good" one and twice scoped knee) were feeling a bit sharp pain wise and I decided to try a liquid call HydraJoint. I can find it at Walmart or the grocery store. After a week I noticed a big reduction in the joint pain sharpness. I guess my body was able to assimilate the liquid better that the tablets. Beware if you have a shellfish allergy though. Along with glucosamine, it has chondroitin, MSM, and vitamin C.

    Good luck with your surgery. Plan ahead. It'll be a pain in the ass for a while. It would definately help if you have a bathroom on all floors of your house. Nothing sucks worse than trying to make it up a set of stairs on crutches to answer the call of nature. It also helps to have a toilet with a little more leg room out in front of the bowl than what is recommended by most codes. You won't be able to bend the knee as much as you would like and may end up sitting sideways on the hopper.

    Don't ask me how I know, I just do...

  8. #8
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    Thanks Bob I'll give the HydraJoint a try. It sounds better than the three horse pills for the glucosamine I'm taking.

  9. #9
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    physical therapy worked for me!

    I was experiencing alot of tenderness and sharp pain, when I would squat to get the hair out of the shower drain, it darn near became impossible. Any kind of bending of the leg at the knee would generate more and more sharp pain behind the knee.

    The P.T. figured the miniscus was slightly torn and twisted or folded under, like a hangnail that was being pulled and twisted. She put my knee over a chinup bar type thing and pulled and kind of extended the leg to free the irritated tissue and get it back in place basically. The results were immediate, really good. We did that a couple of times over 2 weeks and I was OK.

    All I know is that it was a very painful knee injury that I was ready to go under the knife to fix! The P.T. didn't want to do that of course and really was reluctant to do much manipulation of the joint at all, but I insisted that she do something besides giving me strengthening excersises to do at home.

    It may work for you.

    Good luck

  10. #10
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    Well my knee is starting to 'lock up' now, a couple times I could only extend it 3/4 of the way and it would stop and hurt. I then bent it back and forth a few times and then I could straighten it.

    Sounds like the piece is starting to flap around in there...3 weeks to go 'till surgery. It's been about 4 months since the initial injury!

    Thanks for the comments and good luck wishes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by presslab

    Thanks for the comments and good luck wishes.
    You need to be careful. If the flapping piece is still attached at one end it could keep tearing. Usually, the pain will clue you in. I tore a huge chunk of meniscus and the doc was able to flip it over and sew it back down. I'm so glad that he was able to save it because when its gone, its gone for good. And, its the main shock absorber in the knee joint. With you being so far from the initial injury and with no comment on pain - just locking - its probably not still attached.

    Static exercise like putting your back to the wall and dropping to 45 degrees on the legs will give you some quad work without much risk. Also, laying flat on your back and doing straight leg lifts with ankle wts is good and will likely be your first rehab exercise after the scope job. Its good to do these now as pre-hab.

    Get good at using ice, ibu and glucosamine.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
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    What I found out today

    I as most know just had acl surgery last week, I blew out my knee in Oct. but decided to work to pad my bank account until Febalso that was the next day that my doc was available. The doc had no problem with that, I stupidly said no to the MRI, everyone was in agreement that the acl was blown but why spend more money right. At my post-op visit today I found out that I had signifigant tearing of both medial and lateral meniscus. This was attributed to my communting to work on my single speed to strengthen my knee prior to surgery. i never had a locking of the knee but it appears that my knees sloppyness hid the possiblity of locking.

  13. #13
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    Anyone come back from arthroscope for damaged meniscus

    A few years ago my orthopedist found I had a crushed medial meniscus. He said he would have to scope it but I could do it whenever I wanted. The last couple of months I could not go up a step without pain. I am scheduled for the scope on April 13. My orthopedist says I will be riding on the road within a week. Wants me to avoid anything offroad till it heals.
    If anyone had their knee scoped how was the recovery?
    Thanks

  14. #14
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    I am an athletic trainer by trade and their are several kinds of menisci tears. The first is a partial tear. Thats when a piece tears away and causes the occassional "clicking and popping" sensation most feel and hear. Then you have a bucket handle tear. This tear is simular to a partial as it tears and "flaps" around under stress during activity. Extreme knee flexion and forceful extension can aggrevate this as well you may also get a locking of the knee as well if you move the knee beyond its active ROM. The last kind is a complete tear. This is where a piece is completely avulsed from the rest of the menisci and its 'floating' around in the joint. This can wreck the articular surfaces of the knee and really wear down the rest of the meniscus as well. Now depending on your situation you may have any of the above described but in any case a meniscectomy is likely in order. The thing about menisci injuries is they don't scar down like ligament injuries because they have poor blood flow. So a trip to the physician is in order to diagnosis a menisci injury properly. Here are the fast and dirty signs you might have a mensicus injury: If it swells after activity thats inflammation. If your knee clicks and or pops. If your knee feels unstable or 'locks out". If your knee hurts going up or down stairs.

    Treatment for an acute injury in this case would be
    P.rotect the injury from further damage (brace)
    R.est the injury (at least 2 weeks)
    I.ce the injury for 20 minutes then off for an hour as many times as you can(cryotherapy)
    C.ompress the injured area to keep swelling from accumilating when your not icing
    E.levate the injury above the level of the heart when resting, icing or when ever possible.
    NSAIDS or antinflammatory drugs like ibuprofen really can take the edge off and help with pain control, as well as theraputic modalities like interferential stimulation.
    Last edited by WarpDS-2; 03-20-2007 at 03:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    I just had my surgery today, it went very well. The lateral meniscus was torn, and he removed about 25% of it.

    He said that I could start bearing weight in 48 hours, and use it as much as I feel comfortable with. I'll post an update with my progress in a week or so.

  16. #16
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    good luck

    best wishes ... I hope your healing goes well.
    G O N Z

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarpDS-2
    I am an athletic trainer by trade and their are several kinds of menisci tears. The first is a partial tear. Thats when a piece tears away and causes the occassional "clicking and popping" sensation most feel and hear. Then you have a bucket handle tear. This tear is simular to a partial as it tears and "flaps" around under stress during activity. Extreme knee flexion and forceful extension can aggrevate this as well you may also get a locking of the knee as well if you move the knee beyond its active ROM. The last kind is a complete tear. This is where a piece is completely avulsed from the rest of the menisci and its 'floating' around in the joint. This can wreck the articular surfaces of the knee and really wear down the rest of the meniscus as well. Now depending on your situation you may have any of the above described but in any case a meniscectomy is likely in order. The thing about menisci injuries is they don't scar down like ligament injuries because they have poor blood flow. So a trip to the physician is in order to diagnosis a menisci injury properly. Here are the fast and dirty signs you might have a mensicus injury: If it swells after activity thats inflammation. If your knee clicks and or pops. If your knee feels unstable or 'locks out". If your knee hurts going up or down stairs.

    Treatment for an acute injury in this case would be
    P.rotect the injury from further damage (brace)
    R.est the injury (at least 2 weeks)
    I.ce the injury for 20 minutes then off for an hour as many times as you can(cryotherapy)
    C.ompress the injured area to keep swelling from accumilating when your not icing
    E.levate the injury above the level of the heart when resting, icing or when ever possible.
    NSAIDS or antinflammatory drugs like ibuprofen really can take the edge off and help with pain control, as well as theraputic modalities like interferential stimulation.

    Good luck with the recovery process presslab. I hope you don't mind me asking a related question in your thread.

    My knee started hurting after running way over my usual distance last week and feels a little weird and hurts going down stairs. From what I have read above miniscus injury is likely. Does this mean surgery for sure or might it 'clear up' just by resting? Is it the end of running? (doesn't realy hurt at all on the bike thank God).

    Again good luck with the recovery.
    Not much for a man to ask I dare say.. the simple maturity to ensure a limitless supply of clean socks.

  18. #18
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    From what the doctors told me, there are a lot of people who go through life with a torn meniscus without problems. Sometimes the tear can heal, sometimes you need surgery, and sometimes the tear is fine.

    You should go to the doc and have them look at it. They will bend and twist your knee in certain ways and get a better idea of what is going on. They had me wait a couple months to see if it would get better on it's own and it didn't, so I had the surgery. It was really easy, the hardest part was not eating/drinking for 18 hours.

    The doctor also said that some people have a tear and then never have it checked out. He sees a lot of people 5-10 years down the road who should have had surgery and didn't, now their cartilage is torn up with arthritis and the only solution is knee replacement.

  19. #19
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    Hope You Heal quickly

    Thanks. I am concerned with down the line. Mine was diagnosed 3 years ago in an MRI. My orthodpedist said he would have to scope it but it could wait. At that time it didn't hurt at all. Now I have pain every day. He said I should get it done now to eliminate problems down the line. I still think that I will need a knee replacement down the line but am hoping to avoid that.

  20. #20
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    Usually one or more of the symptoms i posted need to be in place in order to lead me to believe you have a menisci injury. It is possible that patellar tendonitis is the cause in your case alexandros. Usually with tendonitis the cause is overuse. Meniscus and or ACL, PCL, MCL or LCL injuries usually result from dynamic overload or valgus/varus force. Alexandros give it a few more days with consistant RICE technique and see if the pain stil persists. If it does something else might be going on in your knee. I have seen hundreds of knee injuries well after the acute phase of the injury and most have 'healed' to some extent. The ones that dont are well into a severe form of degeneration. The knee is a system and all the structures in the knee rely on each other to function properly. If one structure in the system fails or isnt working then all of them suffer.

  21. #21
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    Thanks WarpDS-2 & Presslab !
    Not much for a man to ask I dare say.. the simple maturity to ensure a limitless supply of clean socks.

  22. #22
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    Thanks again for the get well wishes.

    A quick update: I am walking around without pain, no crutches, the knee is still a little stiff but it is not bad. The pain I had before surgery when extending and partially bending the knee is gone. I only took pain medication the first night after surgery, I have not needed it since. The doctor also said that my femur cartilage was fantastic looking and I did not damage it by riding on the torn meniscus. He said I could lightly start riding my bike 8 days after surgery. I can't wait!

    I hope you guys have good luck with your knees. Be nice to them; I used to take them for granted before this all happened.

  23. #23
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    Been there...

    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    No locking of the knee.. Just kind of unstable, I guess the meniscus is moving around. Also when the doc bends it a certain way it pops, and also when I tried squatting in the docs office it hurt a lot. He said "Ok, now don't ever do that again!" :
    Tore mine about 10 years ago. Grade "2" tear on the border of rehab/surgery. chose rehab, gym work, leg machines, blah, blah, hated it. Still felt "unstable"

    Bought my mountain bike 2 years ago and have never felt better. A PT friend of mine who used to train for the S.D. Chargers likes to say "motion is lotion"

    this 47 y/o knee will never feel 20 again. but hey, if that's the worst thing in my life...I'm doing awesome...

  24. #24
    breathing helium
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    I may have a meniscal issue but the MRI's are clean. I'm having a tough time deciding if surgery is the correct avenue.

    from another post:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...10#post2869510

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarpDS-2
    I am an athletic trainer by trade and their are several kinds of menisci tears. The first is a partial tear. Thats when a piece tears away and causes the occassional "clicking and popping" sensation most feel and hear. Then you have a bucket handle tear. This tear is simular to a partial as it tears and "flaps" around under stress during activity. Extreme knee flexion and forceful extension can aggrevate this as well you may also get a locking of the knee as well if you move the knee beyond its active ROM. The last kind is a complete tear. This is where a piece is completely avulsed from the rest of the menisci and its 'floating' around in the joint. This can wreck the articular surfaces of the knee and really wear down the rest of the meniscus as well. Now depending on your situation you may have any of the above described but in any case a meniscectomy is likely in order. The thing about menisci injuries is they don't scar down like ligament injuries because they have poor blood flow. So a trip to the physician is in order to diagnosis a menisci injury properly. Here are the fast and dirty signs you might have a mensicus injury: If it swells after activity thats inflammation. If your knee clicks and or pops. If your knee feels unstable or 'locks out". If your knee hurts going up or down stairs.
    I ruptured my medial ligiment in my right knee about 15 yrs ago skiing, I had no Meniscis tears seemingly and the medial ligiment healed itself. I get a little kneecap pain now and again. Sometimes when I get up in the morning and stretch my quads by pulling my foot towards my butt the knee locks about 1/2 way back then theres a LOUD clunk that feels like its at the front of the knee near the kneecap. It free's up and is alright after that. Could that be pattela cartilege behind the kneecap? Or more likely in the knee joint itself?

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