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Full thickness tear, medial meniscus(8 posts)

Full thickness tear, medial meniscusDY
Aug 9, 2002 4:55 PM
Can anyone with a similar injury share their experiences and give me an idea of what I can expect my level of cycling to be from now on. The doctor wants to go in and repair it. I know each person/case is different, but I was just wondering how it effected anyone else's cycling.

re: Full thickness tear, medial meniscusFrank121
Aug 9, 2002 9:08 PM
I had knee pain beginning the 1999 season, but attributed it to not getting to ride a trainer during the winter because of a move. The knee pain never kept me from riding, but after riding a couple of days in a row it would hurt more and I would have to ice and elevate it.

I rode all spring, summer, and early fall like that by just going to regular doctor using Celebrex and ice and elevation until the season was near an end. I then went and had an MRI before going to an orthopedic surgeon in
9/99. The MRI showed severely torn medial meniscus, but the good news was the surgery was easy (arthroscopic) and 10 days after the surgery I went for a 20 mile ride. It took a few months for the little occasional reminder of swelling and an occasional twinge to go away but that was long ago and all is well.

Suggestions? Get medical opinions outside of this forum ;-)...start rehab exercises early before surgery if it is required...find an orthopedic surgeon familiar with athletic and especially cycling injury and rehab. The
surgeon also said cycling is the best therapy and my damage wasn't caused by the bike. He said it was just over time (I am 45) and that some things to do to help prevent damage are don't have a too low saddle, cover the knees when
cold out, don't push big gears or climb big
hills early, and do exercises to strengthen the kneecap area.

Good luck,

re: Full thickness tear, medial meniscusAkirasho
Aug 10, 2002 2:43 AM
... have had two repairs done (1988 and 2000)... both knees... aside from the abovementioned... seek out a Sports Medicine specialist (preferrably one who cycles or sees lots of cyclists) who understands your specific goals.

Rehab for me was a bit protracted on the last surgery and it took a bit more than 10 days for a 20 miler (perhaps related to muscle atrophy cuz I waited a while before being scope'd... symptoms appeared six months prior (moderate to severe pain... inability to remain seated behind the wheel in a car for more than 45 minutes (too bad cuz many trips were more than an hour)... pain climbing stairs... and inability to stand while pedalling a bike)... worstening to the point of seeking medical help two months prior (also, tried to schedule surgery for winter months)).

I started my rehab about a week post op both with a physical therapist and at home (including a stationary bike). When I did return to the road... I avoided virtually anything but a flat route (worst ride was a bit over 2 miles in a bit over an hour) but with time, was able to make definite progress (overall, it was my best season from a psychological POV... won a trophy for "Most Improved" for my time trial series... and completed two long distance tours (one, moderately hilly) late in the season). I was also blessed with a few friends who'd ride with me on a flat 20 mile loop... and not drop me (often, average speeds were between 10-13 mph... thanks guys!!).

This is my personal experience... and of course, yours may vary... but the success rate with this type of surgery is high. Be patient. Good Luck!

We abide.

Remain In Light.
Thanks for the info,DY
Aug 10, 2002 8:45 AM
Thanks for letting me know your personal experiences. I have a good doctor that works at a sports medicine clinic and he also cycles too, so that is a plus. My doctor says it is a very common injury and the operation is not very difficult. I just wanted to get some real world feedback from people that have actually had the procedure. Sounds like both of you guys had good results. I hope I do too.

Thanks again.
Thanks for the info,fitzpb
Aug 10, 2002 12:07 PM
Be sure to have an MRI done before they go in and do the surgery. If they go in there blindly, you may run the risk of not having it repaired correctly and have to go do it a second time. That's what happened to me and it sucked. Once it was fixed, it never bothered me again. Definitely get it done.
... the MRI...Akirasho
Aug 10, 2002 12:50 PM
... I believe that the MRI is a standard diagonostic method (at least by Sports Med Specialists) for this type of injury (along with a history and physical exam).

Word of note... along with a series of x-rays of both joints... both knees were scanned by the MRI (for compare and contrast as well as history). This required approximately 1 hour per knee ("now, hold still, or we'll have to start all over") so opt for the ear plugs (some machines make an incredible racket), pillow and blankey (said equipment is chilled so the room is generally cold...) and prepare for nappy time....

We abide.

Remain In Light.
Yup, first x-rays then MRIDY
Aug 10, 2002 5:37 PM
Wow it is amazing how loud that machine is. At my doctor thay had these cool headphones with gel filled padding. That blocked out most of the noise and then you could pick which ever raido station you wanted to listen to. Well that at least made sitting still for so long a little better.
Strange Words of Wisdomhairywinston
Aug 11, 2002 4:48 AM
Let me first start by saying that I am thankful for all of the injuries that I have endured. The previous ppl have posted some very good advice as to what you should expect. The post abpout not pushing big gears and getting the saddle height dialed in is very accurate. Follow those words of wisdom. The surgery to have the meniscus redone is a piece of cake. I have had two of them, and one ACL reconstruction. The meniscus is a walk in the park, you will be walking without crutches within just a few days, and the cycling will actually help in your recovery efforts. Just make sure that you don't try to over do it at first. The ACL on the other hand will take the average person 6-12 months to recover from, so be glad its just the meniscus.
Back to being thankful for the injuries. I would have never experienced the pleasure of biking if it weren't for the knee surgeries. I lost my tennis scholarship in college due to the ACL tear, and I was an avid runner. However, three knee surgeries later, running just isn't very pleasant. The ACL was my first knee surgery and it wasn't much fun, but I thought nothing of it. When the second knee injury occured, I went into one of those deep dark funks. I sat around for weeks trying to get it all straight in my head. See, I had played 8 years of football, swam at the state level for two years, and had played tennis on a full-ride up until this point. The only thing that made sense to me as a long term sport was cycling. So I bought a bike. The thing that you benefit from with an injury is appreciation. You will aprreciate riding a bike like you never have before, and it will bring you much more joy than you ever thought possible. I used to take walking for granted, but after you have to learn to walk again(ACL rehab) you tend to look at it completely different. Sometimes I just feel happy knowing that nothing is hurting.
The point to my long-winded post, make this a victory. You can either be one of those ppl that never really recovers, or you can be like the guy above that won the most improved award. Good luck and happy trails.