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Minor Meniscus Tear

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01-14-2013, 08:57 AM
  #1
Stickchecked
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Minor Meniscus Tear

So I tweaked my knee last week and it sure feels like it's right on the medial meniscus. There's no swelling or issues with mobility, just general soreness with the occasional sharp pain right on the side of the knee. And, although I think I know when it happened, it didn't hurt at the time and I played a couple days of sports afterwards before I started to feel any pain.

I've read lots about it and I know to see a PT/doc, but the one question I have is this: Some of what I've read implies that a minor meniscus tear might not need surgery. That it won't heal but also won't get worse if you continue playing on it. It's just a question of dealing with the pain. And I know a couple guys who have been playing hockey leading up to their surgery.

What's up with that? How does a tear not get worse, even if you're about to get scoped? What level of pain is considered acceptable to play through and what level is not? Is anyone currently playing on a minor meniscus tear?

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01-16-2013, 09:15 AM
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Baggy Spandex
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About a year and a half ago I was put into the boards knee first, tearing my left medial meniscus and straining my MCL. Bar-none, worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I couldn't walk for a few weeks. Impact, such as up and down hopping on the leg didn't hurt at all, but bending it was out of the question for a while. Visited a great orthopedic doctor and had an MRI to confirm te tear. He recommended not scoping it yet and just working on strengthening the muscles in my leg once I was able to walk on it. Scoping was an option, but he said at my age (25 at the time) that the body is able to deal with it on its own in a way. I took his advice and waited it out. After around 4 months I was back on skates. It hurt with a general soreness for a while, but now I don't notice it much. The only time I feel soreness is with excessive sideways knee motion (the direction your knee doesn't hinge, left and right). Otherwise, I'm fine for the most part. I'd say take your orthopedics advice and see what they recommend. I had no swelling, bruising or any kind of indication of injury other than extreme pain and stiffness.

He also told me at the time of the injury that it wouldn't get worse unless I repeated what injured it originally for the most part. He said be cautious with it but don't compensate too much with the other leg, as it could lead to straining issues on that leg.

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01-16-2013, 09:23 AM
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Stickchecked
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I saw my PT last night and he characterized it as "meniscal irritation", no indication of an actual tear. Thankfully I immediately stopped any workouts once I started to feel pain and have been doing all of the RICE things so he thinks it will just be a few weeks til I'm back.

I was happy to hear that my previously injured MCL felt strong and solid to him. I'm sure that the compromised MCL set the stage for irritating the meniscus. I'm just hoping that some time off and targeted strengthening of my leg muscles (which are already pretty strong) makes this a one time injury.

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01-16-2013, 04:47 PM
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BmxHockey
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Did a slight tear one time. It took 4-6 weeks to get back. I'd imagine the more you take it easy the faster this strain you put on it will get better. For me, I did lots of leg extension and of course followed it with RICE. I also had access to cold laser therapy.

Take your time. Work on core and upper body to keep you sane.

Good luck.

G

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01-16-2013, 04:58 PM
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Stickchecked
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmxHockey View Post
Did a slight tear one time. It took 4-6 weeks to get back. I'd imagine the more you take it easy the faster this strain you put on it will get better. For me, I did lots of leg extension and of course followed it with RICE. I also had access to cold laser therapy.

Take your time. Work on core and upper body to keep you sane.

Good luck.

G
How long ago did you have it, i.e. - How long have you gone without any issues? Do you have any recurring soreness?

How bad was the injury originally? (Pain, swelling, mobility)

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01-24-2013, 10:20 AM
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esidebill
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I had a complete bucket handle tear of my lateral meniscus. I was out for at least 6-8 months. The surgery was relatively painless, but it took months of rehab. The knee was constantly having small tears from day to day activities and finally went kaput.

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