Quantcast
    MAIN INDEX RULES & LEGEND LOG IN  

Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like?

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All  


Keyser_Soze

Nov 7, 06 10:25

Post #1 of 32 (14051 views)
What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? Quote | Reply

MRI's (2) have come back inconclusive. I only have pain while running (after about a 90 seconds) and hard hilly biking. Swimming and Elliptical do not affect it as much. 5 weeks of no running has not help. Stretching and weights have not helped. The pain is - of course in the middle and inside of the knee. It sometimes feels like a blunt pain...other times it just feels tight. When I did run on it - I was sore for 3 days and I could hardly bend my knee. The pain is not a pain I can run through. I currently don't feel it during the day unless I sit for an extended period of time at the computer. There is no "clicking" sound.

I am faced with:

a) Surgery (scope)

b) Corto shot

c) PT

d) Second opinion...which would add at least 4 weeks in my region...

If I knew this was "fixable" over time and weeks of PT - I would wait on the surgery, but would hate to see another 4-6 weeks lost if it was really a tear. Anyone had similar problems??? Thanks in advance!


******************************************************
Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze


jedi_tri_guy

Nov 7, 06 10:29

Post #2 of 32 (14038 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Refer to the symptoms section on this link:

http://www.orthogate.com/patient-education/knee/meniscal-injuries.html

=====================================
"Yeah you point a finger back far enough and some germ gets blamed for splitting in two."

Colonel Saul Tigh from Battlestar Galactica


h2ofun

Nov 7, 06 10:34

Post #3 of 32 (14028 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My neighbor is an othropod and does this stuff all the time. I just took my daughter to see him last night since she has another knee problem. His bottom line comments. MRI's are a waste of money. He told us if her knee stays swollen, and or locks, that she needs to come see him. I done see scoped as surgury like the past. This guy did a scope on her other knee a year ago, and found out it was not as bad as he thought.

So, whats your othropod recommending?

Dave
http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


tenacious_b

Nov 7, 06 10:35

Post #4 of 32 (14022 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have a meniscus tear that used to hurt whenever I put torque on it and sometimes moving laterally. The doc said he could scope it but I decided to see what would happen. This was before I started training for triathlons. Now I don't have any pain and I'm thinking it might have healed on its own. Of course, I haven't been doing any hard cuts like in volleyball or football, but hopefully it fixed itself. Losing weight might have helped a little too.

Until they have a definitive answer as to what the problem is I would avoid surgery. If I were you I would get a 2nd opinion and in the meantime start on PT. Even if you do have a tear you probably also have some flexibility/muscle imbalances that can be addressed. I would not run at all or do anything that might make it worse until after you get the 2nd opinion.

Good luck,
Tenny_:b


tenacious_b

Nov 7, 06 10:37

Post #5 of 32 (14018 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [h2ofun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Yeah, I would have it scoped if it was swelling. I had a knee locking up on me a few years back and that just went away.

I just read that medical website and it appears I wasn't suffering from "locking up". I was just having pain when bending my knee. Locking up means you can't extend your leg.


(This post was edited by tenacious_b on Nov 7, 06 10:41)


Boomer's Dad

Nov 7, 06 10:41

Post #6 of 32 (14011 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had pain inside and to side of my knee after my first IM in 2002. Ortho says small miniscus tear, recommends (what a shock) that I 'scope it. Ortho admits that (1) many athletic men at age 40 are walking around with similar tears and never complain, (2) he doesn't know how long I've had the tear and (3) doesn't know whether in fact it is causing the pain. I ask that he order me up some PT, which I do for 8 weeks with no running. PT makes it feel better, but as soon as I return to running, pain comes back. Just before trying surgery, a friend recommends I see a very experieced massage therapists. In 5 minutes, she finds the issue in my bursa. After two treatments, pain is gone forever.

Now, I've got other issues with that knee, but the lesson is try some less drastic stuff before you go the surgery route.


Mike Plumb

Nov 7, 06 11:01

Post #7 of 32 (13980 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I can see from reading the other posts that a lot of people don't really understand what a mensicus tear is. If you have a torn meniscus and that is what is causing you pain, no amount of rest, PT or massage therapy is going to make it better. The meniscus does not repair itself. That is why with surgery they remove the torn part and that's it. If any of the above cured you, then a meniscus tear was not what was causing your pain. Depending on the type of tear in the meniscus, it will only get worse over time if you keep on running on it. The surgery is not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. I know, I have had both knees done, my right 6 years ago, and my left last Friday. The first one, I kept on running for 2 months after it was diagnosed and it went from just being a mild tear to having to have 70% of the meniscus removed. My left one I stopped training as soon as I felt it and got it taken care of, result was only a 30% removal. As far as an MRI, there are a lot of factors involved there. Unless it is a real obvious tear, it might be hard to find on an MRI and it depends on the type of MRI done also. My last MRI a couple of years ago was just a series of photos, but my MRI from a couple of weeks ago was pretty amazing to see on the computer and even though it was a minor tear it was easy to find/see. Most doctors will tell you the only way to know for sure is to go in and see first hand. If it is minor as my last one was, you'll be back very quickly. I already have the go ahead to start doing easy rides for short distances (less then 20 miles) this week, only 4 days after surgery. Running can start for me in two weeks. Every case is different though.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching
http://www.tripower.org
Sponsored By: Trek, Moment Cyclesport, The Running Center


tenacious_b

Nov 7, 06 11:07

Post #8 of 32 (13970 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Mike Plumb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Well, unless I was misdiagnosed (MRI confirmed the tear) then it is clearly possible for a meniscus to heal or at least get back all mobility without any pain. Additionally, the link someone posted mentions that a small meniscus tear "might" not heal itself and could require surgery. This implies that a meniscus tear CAN heal itself. Maybe it's less likely, but from my experience and the info in the link I'm thinking it's possible a meniscus can heal itself.

Granted, the doctor did tell me it probably wouldn't heal on it's own and I haven't confirmed that it healed. Just no more pain.


(This post was edited by tenacious_b on Nov 7, 06 11:15)


Keyser_Soze

Nov 7, 06 11:18

Post #9 of 32 (13952 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [tenacious_b] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks for the responses so far.

On the healing issue - my ortho has said that most tears are not self healing (no blood flow)...except in the rare case you grind down the tear by ignoring it - thus "removing" the sharp edges.

I have not had any locking of the knee. Just a dull/sharp pain due to high impact activities. I guess if I were a coach potato - I would just ignore it. It really doesn't affect my daily life outside of exercise.

The MRI's have indicated a "possible" tear and my doc says "it smells like tear, but only a scope would confirm." He is open to surgery but also says there is a chance he could get into the knee and see nothing. Rehab from surgery would be similar if nothing was found.

Mike - since your tear seemed to be along the same "severity" as mine...what did it "feel" like? Tight? Sharp pain? Any pain doing squats/leg extensions?

Thanks


******************************************************
Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze


Mike Plumb

Nov 7, 06 11:22

Post #10 of 32 (13944 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [tenacious_b] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I guess the main thing is that you are running pain free and that is what counts. The possibility is that maybe there was a small tear and it seperated itself and you have a small piece of meniscus floating around with in the knee joint. But since the meniscus does not actually have blood flow to it, it can not regenerate itself and repair itself. I'm not a doctor though, this is just how it was explained to me by my othro. I gambled with my right knee and lost so I am on the cautious side. Because I delayed in getting it taken care of it resulted in a much bigger removal which resulted in bone on bone contact, which then resulted in a torn cartlege on the medial horn of the femur. Now I feel pain from that every time I run. So now I don't take chances. Once you go through crap like that it changes your perspective on things a bit.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching
http://www.tripower.org
Sponsored By: Trek, Moment Cyclesport, The Running Center


tenacious_b

Nov 7, 06 11:22

Post #11 of 32 (13944 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Guess I must have ground my Meniscus down then. Your situation definitely sounds worse than mine as I only had pain when twisting and not when running.


Jim Mishler

Nov 7, 06 11:28

Post #12 of 32 (13939 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

disclaimer one: i am not a physician

disclaimer two: Mike Plumb offers some pointed and accurate comments

disclaimer three: i had a complex tear scoped about two years ago and recovered fine but that is material for a different thread unless you want to hear more about that.

make sure exactly what is damaged and to what extent. if the MRI's are not clear enough, it may simply be you need someone more qualified to look at the plates.

torn menisci (cartilage) typically are very difficult to repair. that prognosis "worsens" with age. if you have someone telling you that a shot will cure all...go get some more opinions. if you have someone telling you that scoping the cartilage will "repair" the damage....go get more opinions. same with PT.

I believe you will find that most scoping procecures are intended to snip or smooth out the flaps of cartilage created when the tear occured. those flaps rubbing on adjoining tissue are what is causing the discomfort. damage can occur if the flaps are big enough and rub on adjoining soft tissue, like the kneecap, essentially scoring that stuff...much like rubbing large grit sandpaper along a piece of balsa.

tears can hurt big time and once they occur...they generally don't go away.


Sponsored by:
Quintana Roo
Breakaway Bicycles & Fitness
Train hard...race well.
www.jimmishler.com
www.michigantri.com

"Jim, I happen to agree with you" DougStern


tenacious_b

Nov 7, 06 11:38

Post #13 of 32 (13922 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Mike Plumb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"In people under the age of 30, the meniscus is fairly tough and rubbery. Tears are not that common unless there is a fairly forceful twisting injury such as can occur in sports. In some instances, a tear can heal itself if it is small and is located on the edges of the meniscus. If the tear is closer to the middle, there is no blood supply, so healing will not occur."

From what I've read on the web, it seems that a meniscus can repair itself but it is not likely. I'll probably never know what happened in my case. If my doctor had said it could get worse I probably would have gotten it fixed.


Mike Plumb

Nov 7, 06 11:42

Post #14 of 32 (13918 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

<< Mike - since your tear seemed to be along the same "severity" as mine...what did it "feel" like? Tight? Sharp pain? Any pain doing squats/leg extensions?

with my most recent tear, it really only hurt when I ran. I didn't tear it running. I think it happened when I was golfing one day. I play golf a couple of times a month so it wasn't like it was a new activity. Anyhow, I think I just over rotated and didn't lift my heel enough to absorb the rotation. It didn't hurt doing squats but I did feel it a bit doing leg extensions. It also hurt a bit going up stairs, but not too bad. I didn't feel it at all standing or walking around. When it did hurt, it was just a dull ache inside the knee.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching
http://www.tripower.org
Sponsored By: Trek, Moment Cyclesport, The Running Center


h2ofun

Nov 7, 06 11:48

Post #15 of 32 (13911 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [tenacious_b] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

No way can an MRI say with 100% certainty. Only way to know is to scope it.



Dave
http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Alpern

Nov 7, 06 11:56

Post #16 of 32 (13898 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Most of what I'm about to say has already been covered in this thread. I'll tell you anyway though.

1) The meniscus can in fact tear doing simple activities in younger, fit people. Mine tore turning left after crossing the street at age 19.

2) You can't tell from an MRI - it just gives a good ortho an idea about whether it's worth going in to look. A third MRI is a waste of everyone's money.

3) The surgery is fairly straightforward, and may or may not require PT afterwards. If it is torn, no amount of PT will fix it - you need to either repair or remove the section that's damaged.

4) If the meniscus rolled up on itself (as I understand is fairly common) it's unlikely to be repairable; the surgeon will remove as little as possible, but you will never again have a full meniscus. It will feel different for either (a) the rest of your life or (b) until they figure out how to create meniscus tissue through some process. I'm praying for B, as I'm about to turn 23 and I don't particularly want to deal with the effects of my tear forever.

5) I had about 60% of my medial meniscus removed. I had sharp pain for a few months. I can now run +/- 8 miles without pain in the area - it's been a few years, though. Swimming has never given me trouble. Strong vibrations are the only time I really notice it - road biking (occasional), skiing (occasional), mountain biking (more often), snowboarding (almost constant). The most discomfort comes from near-constant vibrations where there's not a lot of "give"... like snowboarding, where you're strapped in and your legs can't move independently to compensate.

6) I still have pain when I sit still too long. Airplanes are the worst, although desk time also stinks. Periodic movement helps. Just get up and walk around, and you'll feel a little better.

My recommendation - if you like your ortho, let him go in and see what the problem is. Let him fix it if he sees fit. If you don't like your ortho, go get a new one and bring your MRIs... and let him fix it if he sees fit. If it's already been 5 weeks you're not going to see further improvement by doing nothing.


PC

Nov 7, 06 11:57

Post #17 of 32 (13894 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

The pain I had with my tear was not a pain I could run through either(dull pain). It was medial as well. It also hurt walking up and down stairs (sharp pain). When I would squat it would hurt coming back up. Also after sitting for a while I dreaded getting up as the pain would be sharp. The big tip off to my ortho was swelling around my patella. My MRI was positive so I went in for my scope right away.

My husband had been dealing with the same sypmtoms since March. He also had pain at night. He had no swelling. His MRi was inconculsive. Finally a week after my surgery he went in for a scope. He did have a tear and now he's kicking himself he didn't go in sooner. A tear doesn't heal on it's own (like what MIke said).

The recovery from surgery itself is easy. I'm a PACU (recovery room) nurse and these are my favorite cases. You are in and out quick.


cheyou

Nov 7, 06 14:05

Post #18 of 32 (13866 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Mike Plumb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hi Mike
My wife had her meniscus tear repaired today
She is going to PT tomorrow
Hers did not heal in the many years she had some pain from it
A dog and bike combo was the last straw.
they removed 30%
She is doing well and hopes to be bikeing soon
I hope you are well and the weather is S Ca sucks ;-)

Thom
Slowtwitch bitchist place on planet earth


GearGrinder

Nov 7, 06 14:10

Post #19 of 32 (13862 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [PC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

What people have not mentioned is that an experienced PT or Orthopod can perform soft tissue tests via lower limb manipulation, which are great at isolating specific ligaments or menisci. For example, ACL and PCL tears are quite easy to diagnose via drawer tests. In a similar fashion, meniscal tears can be diagnosed via 2 methods, and combining the results can be extremely accurate in making a meniscal diagnosis.

Ask your PT to perform an Apley's compression test, and a McMurray's compression test. Both are extremely simple - so much so that they are often overlooked - and have a high degree of specificity. The tests try to replicate the pain through joint manipulation, and a positive test is a very accurate indicator of meniscal damage. They will not do harm to a healthy knee, but if the meniscus has been compromised, you will certainly be able to tell.


h2ofun

Nov 7, 06 14:20

Post #20 of 32 (13854 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Alpern] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Great thread. Looks like my 21 year old daughter hurt her good knee just walking at work. If she does exercise on it, it swells. So, just called her and said get the doc referal process going. Scope stuff is so easy now, not worth messing with. I know a doc she had on the first bad knee he asked if she was going to be active. If not he said, just do nothing. Pretty stupid. Took us 2 years, 3 MRI's, and multiple doctors before we finally got the scope she needed. We wont wait this long, and play the games the second time.

What great stuff one learns on ST!!


Dave
http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidedwardcampbell
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." – Mark Twain
"If you argue with an idiot, there are two idiots” – Robert Kiyosaki
VHS to DVD http://h2ofun.net/...eoConvert/index.html


Mike Plumb

Nov 7, 06 14:25

Post #21 of 32 (13843 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [cheyou] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Hey Thom,

tell your wife I hope she heals well. Does she do that ice racing thing too?

yeah and the weather sucks right now, darn Santa Ana's, 82 degrees and sunny right now on the coast. ;-)

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching
http://www.tripower.org
Sponsored By: Trek, Moment Cyclesport, The Running Center


MPB1950

Nov 7, 06 14:30

Post #22 of 32 (13834 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Keyser_Soze] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Medium to sharpish pain in the inside lower part of the knee. I waited from February to April hoping it would heal. It didn't, so I had an MRI which diagnosed it as a medial meniscus tear and had it scoped in May. So far so good. No pain, although my knee clicks audibly going up stairs. Good luck.


glbrum

Nov 7, 06 19:54

Post #23 of 32 (13767 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [Mike Plumb] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

A dull ache. That's exactly what I feel in my knee right now. It hurts after I do any sort of leg exercise in the gym, riding, running, it even hurt swimming. I go back to the doc thursday after 2 weeks of anti-inflammatories that didn't do anything to curb the pain.

Is 21 too early to have a torn meniscis?


GearGrinder

Nov 7, 06 20:47

Post #24 of 32 (13754 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [glbrum] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Is 21 too early to have a torn meniscis?


Alpern

Nov 8, 06 6:08

Post #25 of 32 (13733 views)
Re: What does a medial meniscus tear "feel" like? [glbrum] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I tore mine at 20; see my post in the thread above.

Admittedly I had some prior knee issues which made the protective surrounding ligaments weaker, but I wasn't exactly pushing myself when I tore mine - I turned left after crossing the street. I am Derek Zoolander, apparently.

The dull ache doesn't necessarily go away, although you'll get used to it and not notice any more. The locking feeling is worse, and at some point you'll probably get the strong desire to straighten your leg out and get the "pop" to come out. That happens a few times a day for me, and I had my surgery 3 years ago.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All  
 
 
 



USAT membership
If you're a USAT annual member, do you usually benefit financially in race registrations, versus buying just 1-day memberships? (meaning you enter on average at least 4 USAT races per year.)
Yes
No
Not USAT annual member
Not U.S. athlete