Knee injury - 'Medial MeniscusTear'

3 months since the warning signs started (a slight knee niggle) and now just over 2 months of no running or cycling.  Has anyone else ran properly again after suffering this type of injury?  I'm now a month into a leg strengthening and rehab programme but still getting symptons, although admittedly nothing that can be described as 'pain'.  Physio told me I won't run another marathon and doctor recommends not to.  But they aren't runners and don't get it!  Surely people recover from this type of injury and carry on, I read about a lot worse.  I need some positive stories if you have any!!  


  • is your physio used to treating runners? There can be a world of difference between physios and what they recommend. I have an ongoing knee issue but my physio was very insistent about me cycling to keep up muscle tone when I couldn't run. Not really back to running properly, but I am waiting for the result of an mri, so until I really know what is going on I don't want to risk aggravating it. 

    what are the drs doing about the meniscal tear?

  • Think mathschick is right - what is the plan for the torn mensicus. Has this been confimred by MRI?

    If it's a big tear you may need it being removed, if it's small then crack on (with a few caveats!)

  • I was told cylcing was irritating it as I could feel it burning inside the knee after sessions, so am on purely strengthening now.  Yes it's been confirmed by MRI as a 'minor' tear.  Physio advice was not to have it 'trimmed' if it can be avoided on the basis that the more of it that's left the better in the long term?  The only plan is to build up the muscles around it to protect it more in the hope I get back to running.  This makes me think it will always be torn, but will it actualy heal and be as good as before.  At the moment I've no idea if it's possible for anyone to run as fast or as far as pre-torn meniscus!  What would you see as the 'caveats'?  Thanks for the input, everything helps!

  • Great news. Tears, unfortunately, never heal as they don't have a blood supply (unless its very deep and right on the edge then it may....just....fingers crossed!)

    Strength, stability and control are all super important - in all directions, not just straight line. If it's painful (which the cartilage won't be) then it most likely related to your knee cap sitting in the wrong position, which causes the pain. Burning is very different and is very nerve, not meniscus related. Get your physio to have a squizz at the infrapatella branch of your saphenous nerve - often forgotten but very real.

    Caveats are don't load too much too soon. Add more interval work rather than just distance. If it swells, ice it (or run with a sleeve). Add swimming into your profile. You can cycle but don't use out for back posture as it's related to the nervey bit above.

  • Thanks Six Physio.  The MRI also showed something called prepatellar bursitis?  So could this be what is burning after I cycle or x-train?  I cut out both anyway and the only time I feel something like pain now is if I flex the knee too much, especially whilst doing the squats I have been prescribed.  The whole area just kind of feels like it's grumbling most of the time, but more so down stairs and if I kick a ball around with my little boy.

  • The prepat bursa won't burn, but will not like being knelt on and can mimic issues (above) with you knee cap.

    Get stronger, get better control BUT not too much too soon.

  • Many thanks Six Physio, think I've got so much going on in this knee it'll take ages.  Just revisted my MRI report and there is something about Chondromalacia (?) too!  Have looked this all up on the internet and the exercises all look the same for each complaint.  I'll do them every day as prescribed as not being able to run is really getting me down.  Could be months more out though by the looks of it.

  • I tore mensicus in my right knee in June last year. It didn't cause me too many problems to run, but it did catch and lock every now and again if I bent my knee too far, and I would have to manipulate the joint to loosen it off. I had surgery at the end of November, as it was sufficiently torn to warrant it.

    After the surgery, the consultant told me my knee was buggered, basically, and I should cease all impact sports. He suggested swimming and yoga as an alternative. However, my physio, who is a runner and triathlete, said that while I should probably avoid anything that involves twisting and jumping-like impact (i.e. British Military Fitness which I used to do and loved), the straight motion of running and cycling should be fine. She did say I probably shouldn't do a marathon, but I did a half last weekend and apart from a bit of swelling afterwards, I was fine (and got a PB!)

    I spent a month follwoing the surgery hammering the strengthening exercises the physio gave me - it was mainly building my quads back up and working my glute medius to keep my hips and pelvis stable when I run. I can massively feel the benefit of the glute strength and it has ultimately made me a stronger runner.

    Don't get too down about it, this isn't a complete roadblock, just a small obstacle image

    SixPhysio - my physio has never mentioned any supports for use while running, however, my knee does swell when I run further than about 8 miles. Would you recommend using some sort of compression on it?

  • I had meiniscus trimmed many years ago and have never suffered any knee issues since, I was back running in a couple of weeks totally pain free.

    Before the op any sudden movements or turns would have me on the floor in pain sometimes, so the op was a godsend.

  • Lauren, was there anything else going on in your knee apart from the tear?  I initially thought the tear had probably caused the swelling that was also reported on the MRI but I'm not so sure now.  Do you think your swelling after the half is related to the surgery?  (Congrats on the PB by the way!).  So far I'm thinking that surgery may not be required, but it doesn't seem to impact anyone once it's done.  I guess as I'm still in the rehab stage then maybe the rest of my knee is still getting aggravated and not settled down yet depsite the marathon being back on Jan 13th!  Just wish I'd been given a plan to move forward a lot sooner.  What sort of exercises were you doing to strengthen?

    Thanks Rossy, I too nearly collapsed in a heap when I first did it but thankfully it hasn't locked at all.

  • Sorry, I meant to reply to this ages ago but forgot. I have had problems with my right knee for several years - way back, I tore my ACL and about 10 years ago, I had surgery to fix that, but was back on my feet as normal after 6 months of physio. I wasn't a runner then, so the question of whether I should run and how far never came up. That knee has always swelled when I do longer distances, although it rarely hurts, just feels tight and slightly uncomfotable. It usually goes down after a few days of rest and ice. Before the surgery, I could comfortably run without any pain, but I couldn't really bend my knee very well and I certainly couldn't stretch my quads! I feel much more comfortable now and glad I had the surgery (the surgeon tried very hard to talk me out of it, but I am glad hat I now know the extent of the damage and how I should avoid pushing it i.e. by giving up BMF, which I probably wouldn't have done otherwise, and I would probably have caused further injury).

    Strength exercises I was doing were clams, bridges and side leg lifts to strengthen glutes, very basic quad strengthening (sitting on floor with leg stretched out in front and pressing the back of the knee into the floor as hard as possible - then checking it's even with the "good" leg), and then getting more advanced with weight bearing doing things like hopping and jumping (hopping in particular makes me very scared because I have minimal trust in my knee, but I am physically capable of it!).

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