Suspect Torn Meniscus

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Have just had a diagnosis of suspected torn meniscus which I think occurred whist playing football about 4 weeks ago. Felt something not quite right and a small pop from my knee joint. Had rested for weeks after, went running a short distance then a bit of hill cycling which resulted in some pain which subsided. Then walking along when there was a loud crack from my knee and instant pain on the inside which has kept up since. Have health insurance so am going for an MRI on it next week. Biggest worry is if I will be able to cycle or not as I'm heading to Majorca in 5 weeks.

Anybody had this corrected and did it affect your cycling after?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
You should be able to cycle assuming you can now? but it'll probably hurt especially on hills and there is a risk you'll make the tear worse, meaning it could be harder to fix if you need surgery. If you can't cycle at the moment, can the trip be postponed? It's unlikely to be operated on so quickly even privately. Can you walk on it? Can you bend and straighten the leg fully? Does it buckle or give way? If it's just painful, physio usually before surgery as having meniscus removed increases risk of athrtitis

If you do need an op, make sure it's an experienced knee surgeon who fixes meniscus, no a general orthopaedic guy who dabbles in knees and everything else!!
 
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Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
I have a lateral tear in my right meniscus, took about 2 years to be able to walk without pain.
Was not cycling at the time, can imagine cycling would be very painful for the first 6 months or so.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I've cycled on lateral meniscus tears in both knees, indeed while the left knee was locke, didn't have surgery for 5 months. Certainly cycled in gym then. I have another tear in there now, but mine are degenerate fraying more than the more disabling traumatic type now

The OPs pain on the inside of the knee suggests medial tear rather than lateral and laying football suggests a traumatic tear. I'm guessing he's a bit younger than me too!
 
OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
You should be able to cycle assuming you can now? but it'll probably hurt especially on hills and there is a risk you'll make the tear worse, meaning it could be harder to fix if you need surgery. If you can't cycle at the moment, can the trip be postponed? It's unlikely to be operated on so quickly even privately. Can you walk on it? Can you bend and straighten the leg fully? Does it buckle or give way? If it's just painful, physio usually before surgery as having meniscus removed increases risk of athrtitis

If you do need an op, make sure it's an experienced knee surgeon who fixes meniscus, no a general orthopaedic guy who dabbles in knees and everything else!!
It's an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in knees that looking after it so I'm not worried there. I can walk on it albeit with some pain especially when making certain movements such as getting out of a car or even moving from pedal to pedal. It also stiffens if I am sitting with the leg in one particular position for any period of time. Can straighten it and and bend it, doesn't buckle, was only when pressure was applied to the side that there was severe pain, just a dull pain the rest of the time.
I haven't tried to cycle since the loud crack and swelling from it as I thought it unwise until after the MRI and my next consultation to see exactly what I'm dealing with. Had spoken to another consultant off the record about it and when I asked "can I cycle?" He replied, "Now you're trying to bargain with me" which I assume meant he didn't want to say anything in case I did make it worse.

I've cycled on lateral meniscus tears in both knees, indeed while the left knee was locke, didn't have surgery for 5 months. Certainly cycled in gym then. I have another tear in there now, but mine are degenerate fraying more than the more disabling traumatic type now

The OPs pain on the inside of the knee suggests medial tear rather than lateral and laying football suggests a traumatic tear. I'm guessing he's a bit younger than me too!
It was a medial tear that was mentioned, it did happen when I crossed a ball and was my standing leg. I'm tempted to try the turbo but as I said above don't want to make it worse and jeopardise any possibility I might have to avoid surgery. I'm 37, 5'11 and 88 kgs which is slightly heavier than I'd like to be. Best case scenarios for me regarding the trip is that he says I can cycle but to avoid hills and I can choose some flat routes.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Sounds promising, if there are no biomechanical issues. Hopefully it'll settle with physio, have you started seeing someone already? Bit depends on what type of tear it is. Is this the first meniscus injury, hopefully if it does need surgery, they only need to trim a little. It might be stitchable although at 37 your meniscus is already ageing

This is quite good for info http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/primers/meniscus-primer

Medial tears are more common and better news relatively than lateral :smile:

Do you have travel insurance in case you have to cancel on medical advice after the MRI?
 
OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Sounds promising, if there are no biomechanical issues. Hopefully it'll settle with physio, have you started seeing someone already? Bit depends on what type of tear it is. Is this the first meniscus injury, hopefully if it does need surgery, they only need to trim a little. It might be stitchable although at 37 your meniscus is already ageing

This is quite good for info http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/primers/meniscus-primer

Medial tears are more common and better news relatively than lateral :smile:

Do you have travel insurance in case you have to cancel on medical advice after the MRI?
Some more knee reading for me there. Cheers. Have just visited the consultant so far who examined and referred me for the MRI. Will have the review within a week or so. This is the first issue I've had with my knees. He explained that if there is a blood supply to the part which is damaged then he will repair and the rehab is longer and involves physio than if it there is no supply when it will just be a partial removal/trim for which the rehab is relatively short at about 6-8 weeks.

The trip is a family holiday so if I can't cycle I'll just leave the bike behind, drink normal beer rather than the isotonic stuff and rest it as much as I can.:tongue:
 

MrGrumpy

Huge Member
Location
Fly Fifer
Rest it, would be my advice, enjoy the holiday then do the rehab when you get back, Tore my meniscus over 10 yrs ago, was about 3 -4 months before pain subsided but used the bike as my rehab and just spun easy gears on it. The biggest issue with recovery is confidence in the knee so need to work on it, I did a bit of gym work and cycling and was back playing football with in 4 months. However all depends on how bad the tear is ? I had to go for surgery within the week as I could not bend my knee so now have very little meniscus left in the right side. Also its not uncommon to do ligament damage at the same time, sounds like you were lucky like me ?
 
OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Rest it, would be my advice, enjoy the holiday then do the rehab when you get back, Tore my meniscus over 10 yrs ago, was about 3 -4 months before pain subsided but used the bike as my rehab and just spun easy gears on it. The biggest issue with recovery is confidence in the knee so need to work on it, I did a bit of gym work and cycling and was back playing football with in 4 months. However all depends on how bad the tear is ? I had to go for surgery within the week as I could not bend my knee so now have very little meniscus left in the right side. Also its not uncommon to do ligament damage at the same time, sounds like you were lucky like me ?
Will find out how lucky I was tomorrow but I am reasonably hopeful. Have been able to walk on it without too much pain over the weekend. Going to avoid the football though, give me the best chance. Gym work to strengthen the leg muscles during rehab if possible would be the plan.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Work with a physio on the rehab. I was back on the static bike within 2 weeks following my recent arthroscopy
 
OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Work with a physio on the rehab. I was back on the static bike within 2 weeks following my recent arthroscopy
Well results are in and unfortunately confirmed "radial tear at posterior aspect of anterior horn of medial meniscus". Being told that the surgery is inevitable.

Still planning on some cycling in Majorca but will avoid the mountains :sad: stick to the flat and take it easy, get the op when I return. Consultant says the worst that would probably happen is my knee will lock out. Have no pain in at the moment, just an odd sensation when bending and more clicking than usually expected. He also reckons 2 weeks recovery if everything goes smoothly so that's good. Light swimming and cycling recommended for recovery period.

I know its no major procedure but nobody likes any op :sad::angry: In the words of a Baz Luhrman song "Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone" Must be more kind to mine in future.
 
OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Work with a physio on the rehab. I was back on the static bike within 2 weeks following my recent arthroscopy
@vickster I've had many different stories about this now from work colleagues who have had the procedure done but there is something common in them all. My consultant says that I will be back to normal after 2 weeks and some people return to work within a few days. Everyone I have spoken to says that i have the most optimistic consultant surgeon in the world and that it will be at least 2 months before my knee is back to normal after the op. How long before you would have considered your knee 'back to normal'?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
A couple of months after the most recent op in terms of the knee. BUT I have another issue with that leg which means that I still have pain

After surgery, your knee will never be normal. If meniscus is removed, you open yourself up to arthritis sooner or later so that's something to consider if you can avoid an op

If you do have the op, tell them you'll be off work for at least 2 or 3 weeks. I was back working from home after a week as I had no choice, and I had lots of pain because I couldn't elevate at the desk

It'll depend how you react to the op, how much meniscus is removed, whether any other work is done etc. it's hard to say for sure. I doubt you'd be back to football and the like to any level before 3 months, gentle cycling maybe a month

I had my op, lateral meniscus tidy and fat pad excision on 5 Feb. in addition to whatever I did on the exercise bike, I cycled around 70 miles in March, around 350 in April (oops) and around 450 in May
 
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OP
middleman

middleman

Regular
Location
On the Pedals
Have learned my lesson with regard to football. Not going to be risking doing any more damage to my knees. Cycling and swimming for me from now on. I enjoy both and I wasn't very good at football anyway so that won't be that much of a hardship.

Thanks I think, looks like I was a bit too keen to get back to things :sad: and the consultant didn't want to burst my bubble.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I think I missed what you are actually expecting and hoping to be able to do and when

Despite the small incisions, keyhole knee surgery does hurt afterwards, the poor joint goes through quite a trauma. Don't overdo it, assuming you're not 90, your knees need to last you a while yet
 
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