Yep, My Knee Is Messed Up: I Tore The Meniscus

What my knee should look like. Image from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

What my knee should look like. Image from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

The good news from my doctor I didn’t tear my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). However, during those blasted jumping jacks I tore my meniscus. So you won’t see me doing any running or squats for a while.

Brief Anatomy Lesson: The meniscus is cartilage in your knee-joint. The cup-shaped meniscus rests between the femur and tibia. The meniscus sits between the bones to distribute weight and to improve the joint’s stability.

Most likely a piece tore, is still attached and folded over into the cup, adding more pressure to my knee area. As my doctor described it, it’s sort of like having grit in your gears.

That explains my knee pain, the constant swelling and all the popping and clicking noises I’m hearing.

I've torn my meniscus. It looks like the torn flap is causing my knee pain. Sort of like grit in the gears. Image from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

I’ve torn my meniscus. It looks like the torn flap is causing my knee pain. Sort of like grit in the gears. Image from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

My doctor assured me that in 90% of cases, after a few weeks and some TLC, the problem fixes itself.  If it doesn’t clear up, that means a meniscectomy. Basically an orthopedic surgeon drills a little hole, trims the torn cartilage, cleans out the area and I’m as right as rain.

For the next few weeks I’m following the RICE protocol:

  • Rest – So no squats, lunges, burpees, walking, running, jumping or zumba (sigh)
  • Ice – Ice packs on my knee 20 minutes at a time, several times a day
  • Compression – I’ll wrap my knee in a bandage to help prevent more swelling
  • Elevation – To reduce swelling, I need to put my leg up higher than my heart

I’m also on anti-inflammatory meds for pain and swelling.

As for my lower body weight training, I’m looking at weeks of leg extensions. That’s hot.

Mercifully, I still have my spin class. My doctor thinks the movement will help my knee. Likewise, I’m cleared for yoga and my morning stretches. Swimming is now on the menu. I’ve thought about it for a while and since I need to limit the weight on my leg, perhaps the time has come to get that bathing suit. Ooooh….Cannonball!!!!!

There are days my knee feels great. Then I’ll over do it and pay for it the next day. So taking it easy is the mantra for the next few of weeks.

So no more 100+ minute spin sessions.

6 thoughts on “Yep, My Knee Is Messed Up: I Tore The Meniscus

  1. Pingback: Yep, I’m A Curvy Runner…And Lovin’ It | Dot to Trot

  2. Annetta

    Hello,
    I messed up my right knee for the first time in my life doing zumba. I’d been doing it for a couple of months, but one torquing dance move popped something in my knee. It still bothers me and it pops when I bend it sometimes and is slightly tender on the right side (inside portion) of that knee. I’m hoping I can correct this with rest and some physical therapy. Luckily, yoga seems to be helping somewhat. I will never do zumba again. It was fun, but even the dance instructor wore her funning shoes…on carpet…. There was no advice regarding footwear. A visit to the doc may be in order.

    • Sorry about your knee! That’s rough. But rest is the smart way to go. I’ve thought about zumba but just don’t think I’m ready for it.

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  4. In 2005 I did the same thing and wound up requiring two surgeries. Well, require is a strong word. I wish I had waited, rested, and done physical therapy to correct the problem! It resulted in A LOT of weight gain for me (I’ve lost 50 pounds in the past few years). You’re fortunate that you are cleared for yoga, spinning, and swimming! Wish I had been that proactive! Best of luck to you!

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