Cartilage/knee problems

Hi can anyone please tell me about their experiences with cartilage damage?

The history on this knee -

  • Fell off a horse 15 years ago and had knee pain but no swelling. Trip to doctor - referrred to phsio straight away who did utrasound on it which was aparently a kind of treatment for it? Think I may have been given some excercises to do at the time too.
  • Knee was fine after that.
  • Did London to Brighton bike ride last year. In the middle of my training schedule, my knee 'pinged' quit painfully once whilst at work (not doing anything strenuous) amnd was a bit sore for a few days, didn't think much of it and then it seemed to be ok.

The problem

I ran my first half marathon in October. I LOVED it and completed in 2hrs11. I rested for a week as I wanted to let my body recover etc, and then I went on holiday. As I was putting my suitcases down, with knees bent, something 'twinged' very sharply in the outside of my left knee, very painful but then went. Then as I took some steps forward, I found my knee felt sore and very uncomfortable. There was no swelling or heat at any time. I continued to hobble round on holiday but tried not to do too much.

Fast forward 2 weeks of doing nothing in the hope that it would heal, I'm still in pain, whilst walking, not at rest, but it is intermittant. I went to the doctor who just told me to rest and come back in 2 weeks. Great. I have an active job and normally run, cycle and horse ride every week. Stopped all of that and went bored out of my brain!

Went back to doc, they had no idea what it was and sent me a hospital referral.

Wait a few more weeks to get hospital appointment and see a physio who bends and twists my knee in all kinds of weird ways. When they compared it with my right knee, I could really see how kind of 'clunky', stiff and grindy my left knee was, like there was a lot of resistance

Conclusion: NHS Physio said it 'may' be cartilage damage or possibly damage/wear behind the knee cap. Treatment: rest. If not better in 6 months, come back, and they will do an MRI scan and see if it needs an op. At this moment in time, I sooo wish I had private medical insurance. They have not referred me for phsio or anything.

Fantastic. I have entered the Brighton marathon, wanted to raise loads of money for charity etc... very down.

Has anyone come back fighting from this kind of thing?


  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    You need an MRI to confirm, as theres a few things in the knee that could be the cause.  Have you got any way of speeding up the process?  Maybe hassling your GP to expedite it?

    I had a cartilage tear (also known as a meniscus tear), which I'd hope would heal with rest.  I gave it a few months before seeking medical opinion and in this period tried rest & then a few runs on a couple of occassions. However I ended up causing other injuries as I tried to compensate for my "weak" knee.

    I eventally sought medical advice, and had several optinions before the MRI identified the tear.  After the arthroscopy, it was about another three months until I was running again.  I was fortunate to have Private Medical insurance and the Op was only two weeks after the diagnosis.  In the NHS you are probably looking at a longer period.  So, if you do have a meniscus tear and need an Op, you are going to struggle to be back in training in time for Brighton.   

    I realise this isn't what you want to hear - but with hindsight I wish I'd not tried running when it was still "not right" and got the diagnosis earlier.

  • i would go back to doctors and see if you can get referred i fell off a horse knee was bad got told in a and e it was ligament sprain and to rest and take painkillers i had a week off work then went  to my doctor who sent me to a knee specialist after an x ray they sent me to have arthroscopy only a few weeks later i have damaged anterior cruciate ligament as well and will need rehab plus possible surgery to reconstruct ligament if rehab doesnt work, i had the best treatment all on the nhs but i would still have been limping around if i hadnt gone to my doctor who was great and really took me seriously and was very concerned that it wasnt getting better hope you get somewhere !!!


  • I have now been back to docs as I started getting stabbing pains in my knee. They said they would refer me again. Im on light duties at work and getting pretty fed up as I cant exercise. Im going to defer my marathon to next year. Sigh.
  • i know how you feel runny i am off work for a few weeks and there is no running for a long time but hopefully you will get somewhere now and you just have to think of how good it will be when you run again , thats all that is keeping me going at the moment as i cant run, ride horses and managed to walk down the end of the road today and then had to stop as knee too sore guess im trying to do too much too soon keep your chin up you will get there in the end !!!

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