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Running after Meniscus Surgery

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:43 pm
by wvrunner
Looking for some feedback pertaining to aging runners and knees. I'm 48 with over 25 years of competitive running under my belt. Although I've slowed throughout the years I still am in the high 35's for 10K and mid 17's for 5K. I had a meniscus tear in my left leg in 07 and returned to running with no problems (max 5 days per week).

I have now found out I have a tear in my right medial meniscus. Currently I'm not running due to the pain and instability but am biking. My questions is this. Has anyone had similar issues and what are your experiences regarding a return to running? I would love to be able to return to running/racing but not sure if the long-term risks outweigh the short term gains.

Re: Running after Meniscus Surgery

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:38 pm
by runthe8
Are they sure it's a meniscus tear?  I feel your pain, literally.  I'm 50, had arthroscopic surgery a little over 2 years ago, for a supposed meniscus tear (according to the MRI and my textbook symptoms), and once they got in there, all they found was chondromalacia.  The doc "cleaned it up", and it was a long road back to running, which involved gait analysis, finding out all my biomechanical problems, getting rid of my orthotics and moving to more minimalist shoes, working on my weak hips, butt and feet.  I finally got better and started racing again and ran well during indoor track last year.  But, about 6 weeks ago I was out on a run, felt a sharp pain, had swelling again and instability just like the first time.  After an MRI, the doc told me I have grade 4 arthritis under my patella and I will need a knee replacement the meantime, I'm able to run, just not as much as I'd like to.  I should probably try to cross train more but I can't get to a pool very easily to do deep water running. I do have a good stationary bike that I HATE riding but I will probably have to start using it more.  I would also like to get a good rebounder and run on that some days.  I have a cheap one and I actually kind of like using it. 

I don't have any great advice.  Some days are better than others.  Make sure your glutes and hips are strong and have enough mobility.  Work on your foot strength.  I know my knee feels a lot better when I run lightly and make sure I don't overstride and heel strike.  It actually feels best when I run totally barefoot on grass, but I can't really do that too often!! I started learning this new way to run by wearing Newtons at first and now I run in Altra's.  I ice after almost all my runs, use a foam roller to keep my IT band in good shape, and continue to do all my hip and butt exercises.  I take a few supplements in the hope they might help (Wobenzym, glucosamine and chondroitin, krill oil with hyaluronic acid in it too, and I think I'm going to add SAMe.)  I don't know how helpful any of this would be for a torn meniscus, but I do know my husband who used to run mega mileage, once he tore his meniscus, developed arthritis too, so you sadly might be on the same path. 

Re: Running after Meniscus Surgery

Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:40 am
by runkona
I had the same. Not so bad in hindsight, of cause I too had the worry my running would be over but it wasn't. I followed the normal pt work for building up strength in fact cycling was the best as it is none impact. Steve shorter can confirm this.

I would say it was the four week where I was back to my full form. Oh and lots and lots of band resistance plus the cycling.

No issues in two years.