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anyone with Medial Meniscus Knee experience?(8 posts)

anyone with Medial Meniscus Knee experience?dawgcatchr
Jul 10, 2003 10:44 PM
Hi. I just got fit on my bicycle by a very well-regarded podiatrist (his clients include riders from Saturn, Prime Alliance, and Navigators). I have had quite a bit of pain on the inside of my knee that stems from cycling (this leg is 1.5cm shorter than the other, and 3-degrees internally rotated-this is my first bike fit, although if I had known I had all of these problems, I would have gotten fit a couple of years ago).

Anyways, I was told that I may have a medial meniscus tear on this knee (based on the fact that pain was specific to the center of the meniscus and not the ends). I can still ride my bike and do daily activities, but definitely have some pain in this knee. The podiatrist was hoping that the bicycle fit would cure the knee problem. If, however, the pain does not go away, I will be seeing the knee doctor.

If I do have a medial mensicus tear, what can I expect? Is it a problem easily fixed, either by surgery or PT? What are the vascular properties of that area of the knee? What is typical recovery time if surgery is involved, and is recovery usually complete? It is hard to believe that I was able to tear something by riding a bike-my knees must have been way out of wack. Thanks in advance for your insight.
... yup...Akirasho
Jul 11, 2003 12:50 AM
... it's a fairly simple arthroscopic proceedure whose diagnosis is usually confirmed with an MRI (if you haven't had one... expect to spend about an hour per leg (many arthropods do both to compare and contrast) in the magnets) before any surgery. Surgery is the usual suggested treatment (PT and meds seem to mask the symptoms as opposed to "repairing" anything... and eventually, it would need surgery anyway).

Recovery times vary depending... you could find yourself weight bearing within a few days post op... though in my case, it took a bit of PT and stationary training to regain strength and mobility in the joint. You'll still need to follow your doctor's instructions with regard to amount of time on your feet. Post op pain is generally mild (aggravated by trying to do too much too soon) requiring little or no meds (had a round of the good stuff but over the counter worked on all but two nights). Swelling in the joint will persist for quite some time (fluid is injected into the joint to make it easier to visualize) but other than looking odd doesn't seem to effect recovery. My last surgery was in February of 2000 and I was happily pedalling away at near PB by mid August of the same year (had a sports med doc who specializes in and is himself a cyclist (as well as local pro and university team doc)).

In my case, recovery has been complete (both knees done approximately 11 years apart... though I now suffer from degenerative arthritis not directly related to the surgeries in one knee). Age wounds all heels...

As for causes... you'll get varied answers... sometimes there is an obvious trauma... but most often I heard... "you just got older..." There was no obvious trauma before either of my tears...

If it is a torn meniscus, I recommend that you do seek treatment... I suffered (and I do mean suffered) from my first tear for about a year before repair... like night and day (as soon as I was diagnosed with the second tear... I had them schedule me ASAP).

Be the bike.
Possible ACL tear?pitt83
Jul 11, 2003 4:20 AM
I had what was thought to be a meniscus tear. Had the arthroscopic done. The orthopedic surgeoun found an ACL tear; not complete so he didn't repair anything surgically. He was sure (second opinion too) it was likely a meniscus tear. He did "clean" the frayed edges of the meniscus while in there.

This was before MRI, so he only diagnosed based on symptoms, not imagery.

My healing time to walk was 4 days, to be comfortable: 1 month, to cycle: 4 months.

Go to an orthopedic surgeon and let an expert tell you. The podiatrist is likely guessing based on ???
Possible ACL tear?dawgcatchr
Jul 11, 2003 6:42 AM
The podiatrist was guessing based on the location of the pain. But, he cautioned that I would need to see a specialist in a few weeks if the pain did not clear up on it's own-he didn't try to make too much of a diagnosis, only that he could clear up my fit issues on the bike and that if that didn't solve my problems, I would be seeing a knee specialist.
Yup, ripped mine snowboarding...shrEd
Jul 11, 2003 6:56 AM
I have the pretty much same experience as the rest...

I had a fairly large tear of my meniscus from way too much fun hucking myself off things snowboarding at Vail 2 years ago - it made the loudest "pop" the doctor ever heard (funny to hear a surgeon say "yikes, please don't do that again")...

Anyway, I went to an good orthopedic surgeon who cut out the tear and cleaned up the rest of the fraying from wear-and-tear, and I was back in 2 weeks and back full-time within a month w/o any problems...

In fact, my reparied knee actually feels better than my other knee - I suspect I could have some fraying in that one as well...

Good Luck,
Ed
MRI both legs...smart thinkingseamus
Jul 11, 2003 8:00 AM
Wish I'd done that 2 years ago when I paid $1800 of my own cash for an MRI. They only did the knee/leg that's injured, and in the follow-up appointment, they told me nothing was wrong, even though it's pretty obvious to me due to my pain, discomfort, uneven pedal stroke and resulting muscle imbalance that there is in fact, something wrong. I wonder if they'd done both legs in the first place, they'd have found the problem?

I have a new appointment next week with a sports doc who rides and does tri's, who's going to go over my orignial MRI's and hopefully I'll get somewhere this time. Wish me luck, as I wish all of you luck with your knee ailments. It sucks to be injured!
re: Medial Meniscusbrurider
Jul 11, 2003 9:14 AM
All of the posts have given great advice. I've had orthroscopic surgury on both knees, about one year apart. My problems were none bicycling related and since having the first surgery 4 years ago I gave up runnng (definitly middle of the pack material here). The first doc said I could run, but that my chances of gettting more arthritis justincreased by 30%. Cycling is all I do now. Sometimes discression is the better part of valor.
The also doc said the initial injuries could have happened years ago, and combined with new trauma and age (45 years old then) the things just tore. You will definitely survive this and be able to cycle. Barring any physiological anamolies (which you appear to be addressing) you should do just fine. I've ridden centuries and even one 178 miler, not at the speed some of these animals at this site fly, but have done them nonetheless. And that is the best part, just getting out there.
Where are you located?DY
Jul 12, 2003 11:04 AM
I'd love to find someone in my area that was that good at fitting. I have the same problem as you. Medial Meniscus tears in both knees. I have been riding for about a year since the diagnosis.

Funny thing is that it doesn't really bother me on the bike. I am always careful of my form and have learned that by keeping my knees in close to the top tube I don't have a problem.

Still I'd love to find some medical/sport professional in Southern California that could really dial in my position (saddle height, saddle position, cleat position, etc).