meniscus tear

hi all, i've just recieved my results from an MRI scan, and have been diagnosed with a "medial meniscus tear" basically- are my running days now over / coming to an end, or will i be as good as new? image


  • Towner - what has your GP/Physio said?? They will surely give you a recovery plan?? From what i know of tears they can take ages to heal but you'll need professional guidance, i've had a minor tear in my calf and was out for 6 weeks - very different i know but thats the only comparison I had. I would suggest getting back to whoever referred you and get them to get you on the road to recovery.

    Good luck

  • No your runninng days are not over, when you are fully recovered, Go and se a Podiatrist, that comes recommended
  • A medial meniscus tear is a tear to the cartilege in the knee. 

    Can be dealt with by an arthroscopy (keyhole surgery).  Typical recovery is around 6-8 weeks (I think).   Thereafter good as new.

    I've had it twice.  Very imporatnt to have proper physio after (and possibly even before as would help recovery).  If necessary go private.

  • Go and se a Good Qualified Clinical sports therapist or a good sports Physiotherapist,

    Both need to come with recomendations, With  this An Arthroscopy  it will need pre & post treatment, 

    The reason i  say visit Podiatrist after recovery is,  In my clinical experience many  lateral & medial meniscus tears are due to poor biomechanics. Hope this helps if you are unsure Give me a ring &  i will give you some practical advice 01229 480422

  • No, don't waste your money on a sports therapist of fizzio.  Get it sorted by a surgeon asap as cartilage tears in your knee joint don't heal.  Once the repair has been done you should be back to running without any trouble after about 6 weeks.


    When I had it done I had no pre or post treatment.  I simply ran as much as I could up to the op, to keep my leg muscles strong.  Then afterwards I did the exercises given to me by the fizz and didn't run for 6 weeks.  I should add that the exercises were sinple movements to keep the knee moving while it healed and were given to me straight after the op.  I had no other treatment and didn't see the fizz again.

  • all encouraging stuff, have to see my GP next week to "discuss where we go from here" presumably some form of surgery! thanks for your replies, was just concerned i may have to give up running!!
  • Cartilage Tears do not heal but its not a waste of money to get some  Pre & Post operation work done.

  • I think certain small tears CAN heal without surgery - I had one 3 years ago, finally diagnosed on MRI, after months of failed resting/ physio/ ultrasound/ massage etc

    I assumed I would need arthroscopy etc, but the orthopaedic surgeon thought otherwise and recommended an incredibly slow build up back to running - starting with about 1 mile 2-3 times a week - to stimulate remodelling of the cartilage - and building up over 6+ months.

    It worked....

    I am now however laid up with another injury but that's another story

  • I had a medial meniscus tear on my right knee about 6 years ago, it was pretty bad at the time and I could hardly walk some days. I did it doing Karate and twisting on the joint in a funny position.

    Luckily I got a good physio who suffered from knee problems himself so knew what to advise. He had me doing specific stretches and strengthening exercises. I'm not sure exactly when the pain finally went away but all I can say is that I've been symptom free for years now and even after a tough run it never plays up so either it did heal or someone swapped legs with me whilst I was asleep image

  • It would have been a complete waste of money for me to have any pre or post op work done. As I said, I ran as much as I was able to before the op to make sure my legs muscles were in good shape then didn't try and run too soon afterwards. I ran a marathon 7 months later so it worked.
  • Hello Towner

     I too had surgery for medial meniscus tear to my left knee.  This was just over 5 weeks ago.  And today I managed to complete my first 3 mile run again since tearing my knee.  (Although I have to say I was running up until I had my surgery).   As the second consultant advised me that the fitter you are before surgery, the quicker you will get back to your physical activities after your surgery.

     I was also told by the first consultant  that my running days were numbered. I have been running for nearly 7 years.  Well as you can imagine this was just such a blow.   But then on going back to the hospital to have the results of my MRI scan and I saw a second consulant  (who was a keen runner also).  He told me that there really would be no reason at all why I would not be able to run again. In approximately 4/6 weeks after surgery.  And he was correct. 

    I actually found the surgery no problem at all.  I had a spinal block, came out the same day.  Did not use a walking stick or crutches.  The first 48 hours I did take it easy.  Making sure I elevated and iced my leg.  But also religiously made sure I did all the strengthening exercises I was asked too.  Had some physio.  After 10 days slowly used the stationery bike, cross trainer all with no resistance.  Walked a lot on the treadmil.  On the fourth week slowly started a programme to walk, jog and run on the treadmill.

    My knee feels absolutely fine (in fact more comfortable than it ever did before). 

    I belong  to a running club.  There are a long or runners there that have had this surgery.  They are all running again.  I am also proof that it is a success. 

    Take care of yourself and if you do have surgery I wish you all the very best.

  • Jackie.

    Greta post thank you.

    to tonwer...

    If it helps I spent the last 6 months trying to work out what was causing the pain inside my left knee (medial side). Eventually I went for an MRI scan and it revealed a lateral tear.

    To cut a long story short, I had a meniscus op on Monday this week - 60% of my left meniscus was removed following problems since October last year. I just to run 20-30 miles a week and have done for 5-8 years. I'm 38 now.

    I'm sat here now 3 days later with a knee that is improving all the time. I did a shed load of cycling before the op to improve the strength of my knee muscles.

    If I'm honest I just believe I will run again. The consultant has said so, though another marathon is out of the question.

    Keep thinking positive -


  • Hi

    This is my 1st post so go easy on me.

    I was diagnosed with a tear to the meniscus by MRI at the end of last year. Coincidentally this was a few days after I received my confirmed entry to the 2012 London Marathon. After much deliberation I have decided to postpone the proposed surgery for the end of this month and continue with my training plan for London.

    The way I look at it is, if I had the surgery (scheduled for 30th Jan) then I would have no chance of running London this year as I would need too much r&r. Without the surgery I can continue the training and, should it start causing me too much pain, I will defer the Marathon unril 2013 and have the surgery whenever I can next get it booked in.

    The wierd thing is, the more I run the less the injury seems to affect me. Am I stupid to be doing this or does it seem like the sensible option?

  • Hey Ross,

    Has your GP/Consultant said you can carry on running? I've been diagnosed with tears to both meniscus in my right knee and both my Consultant and GP told me to stop running. Like you, I found running on it didn't cause as much pain as say walking or cross trainer, having said that the max I was running on it was 20/30mins after I received the injury. I've been told I need to keep my quads strong and that I can keep exercising using low impact, swimming etc.

    You have to realise, the more you are running on it, the more you are increasing the risk of making the tear worse, causing other tears, damaging other parts of your knee which in the long run can leave you worse off.

    I feel your pain mate, my injury happened to me 2 weeks before I was due to run my first marathon. I'd been training for 5 months and to say I was gutted was an understatement.

  • """"The wierd thing is, the more I run the less the injury seems to affect me. Am I stupid to be doing this or does it seem like the sensible option?""""

    I did that for about six months with my (undiagnosed) meniscus tear. It hurt at rest but went away when running, so I continued to run! (Bad move!).

    Eventually the day after a 10k race I couldn't bend or put any weight on my leg.  After GP referral to Orthopaedic consultant and an MRI scan I had a medial meniscus tear.

    Had an Arthroscopy four weeks ago to repair it.  Knee still a bit stiff and slightly swollen, but just returned to running on treadmill, but only 5 - 10 mins.

    Missed Great North and South runs due to it, which was gutting, but GP said absolutely NOT to run them pre-surgery. 

  • Thanks for the responses.

    Weird thing is, my GP has not told me to stop running. He said if it's not hurting then don't worry too much but, if it starts causing pain, then I should stop. Like I say, I'm pretty determined to do this marathon but, if it does start to hurt too much, then I'll defer to next year. At the moment I'm doing between 20 and 30 miles per week without too much trouble.

    I'll see how the next few weeks go as the training schedule ramps up a bit. The advantage I have is that, as this is my 1st marathon, I'm not bothered about a time, I just want to finish so there's no fear of me pushing too hard in training or on the day. Basically, whenever I feel a bit knackered I walk for a minute or two.

  • Agree with pasty66 - meniscus injuries can lay dorment for a while, and sometimes the pain can disappear during training which may feel like you're doing the right thing by continuing to exercise. I was diagnosed with a meniscus tear around 6 months ago and my advice is to stop running as I learnt the hard way that this can make the tear worse. I would advise going to see a Physio because they have much more experience when it comes to dealing with these kinds of issues - which is why I think there's a mixture of GP recommendations! 

    I'd try the SportsinjuryClinic website for more advice, they have some pretty good info regarding Meniscus Tears


  • I have a meniscus tear also, which was suspected by two physios. I have had an mri scan to confirm thats what it is. I have also been told by more than one physio that it will repair itself if I don't run or do anything high impact or twists to the knee. I've been advised to strengthen my muscles around the knee with squats and lunges. I have not run since feb this year by the way and have been told that it will be another 2-3 months before I can even start running so it is a long and slow process. There is an operation you can have to repair it but the cartillage is there to protect your joints and once you start hacking away at it it will leave you susceptible to early onset of arthritis, so be patient, hope this helps

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