Health & Fitness
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Talk to me about meniscus tears

Apparently I tore my meniscus.  Right now it doesn't need surgery and I have been doing RICE but how long should I expect it to take to heal?  Can anyone recommend a brace to help with things.  Instead of running I am walking (to me that is take it easy and resting) and know I can swim but what else can I do while I am healing?  The last time I tore my meniscus (other knee) I also tore my MCL and ACL and needed surgery so I couldn't do anything until after rehab but this time it is just the meniscus so I not sure what my liimitations really are or should be.

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Re: Talk to me about meniscus tears

  • I am so sorry to hear about that. I tore my meniscus last year, along with rupturing my ACL graft, and it has not been pretty. I had a complete menicus tear (think like a handle of a bucket) and it required my medial meniscus to be completely removed. Thankfully, yours does not sound nearly as bad. Ask your ortho aout a brace and about what exercises you can do. You don't want to make it worse.
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  • I agree- talk with your doctor about everything- limitations, braces, treatment options, healing process, etc. I just had my 3rd surgery for a meniscus tear 2 weeks ago, so every tear is different and requires different treatment. I tore my ACL when I was 16 with a complete reconstruction. I had my first meniscus tear in 2003 and it was random shooting pain down my leg for a week or 2 before I got it checked. My doc decided after an MRI that it was worth doing surgery to try to repair it by placing a pin in the tear to tack it down. That repair failed and I had my medial meniscus completely removed in 2004. I just had more of my posterior and lateral meniscus removed along with holes drilled into my knee cap because I have no cartilage there either. Unfortunately,meniscus tears can be a progressive injuries that will require long term or multiple treatments. I hope you can avoid surgery. My ortho does not treat with braces, so I have no advice for you there. Good luck!!
  • Definitely talk to your doctor!!!  I had a torn meniscus which I never knew about until an MRI for a different problem.  With no pain, there was no need to surgerize.  However, I recently had IT band surgery and the doc cleaned up the meniscus (cut out about 10% of it) while he was in there. 

    So, my experience is one of no pain, but it would never have healed on its own.  Talk to your doctor!!!

  • I had a meniscus tear 8 years ago, so keep in mind it was not recent. However I remember that after I was able to stop wearing the knee immobilizer, I was shocked at how much thinner my left thigh was versus my right thigh, due to loss of muscle tone. I also was extremely concerned about bending my knee right after I got rid of the immobilizer. However I got over that pretty quickly and went to physical therapy for a few months - therapy was very basic, lots of biking with low resistance (at least when I started). After that every one in a while my knee would give out when I stood up (not very frequently though). However now I am completely fine and have no limitations on running or any other type of exercise.

    Best wishes for a quick recovery!

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