Medial miniscus tear/strain????

Had a little tip over today and went to the ER. They told me I strained or tore my medial miniscus. I asked how to tell the difference and they said, "if it heals in a week or two, it was strained, if it doesn't heal, it'll require surgery to heal :)

What info can you guys provide?


I injured my meniscus about 4 years ago. Hurt like hell. Could barely walk for weeks. Weird thing was that the pain was hard to pinpoint. It seemed like it went down the whole lower leg. I had large localized swelling just below the kneecap.

I went to an orthopod, had an MRI, then got the diagnosis of a torn mensicus, albeit a minor tear. My orthopod prescribed large doses of ibuprofen to control the swelling and offered to do arthroscopic surgery to try and fix it (or remove the torn piece, I forget which). He also said that I may do well with just some home physical therapy, range of motion type excercises. Since I was the only breadwinner and couldn't afford to be off my feet for the surgery, I just did the exercises.

It took about 3 months - 6 months to return to things like basketball, skiing, etc (I wasn't dirtbiking at the time). I still feel it when I bend that knee too much. I have to take care and stretch it out real well before I am active, but it doesn't slow me down or reduce my ability to do stuff.

Bottom line is that it may take a frustratingly long time to feel better, but it will. :)

Go see an orthopod if you can. In terms of knee problems a torn meniscus has a better prognosis than ligament damage (MCL, ACL, etc.).

[ May 23, 2002: Message edited by: skthom2320 ]

I severly tore the meniscus in both my knees in back to back years back when I played basketball 24/7 and had arthroscopic surgery on them both, at which time they had to remove 60% of one meniscus and 70% of the other. After surgery I was walking the next day both times and did rehab for 2 months before I hit the court again. After that the jolts were a lot of bone-on-bone, and the pre-practice heat treatments and post practice ice treatments got to be more than it was worth and the fun was gone so I stopped playing competitive ball in college. As far as the surgery's, they were pretty easy(day surgery) and rehab was fairly quick (of course I was in very good shape to start with then, might be different now). I was lucky to live where I do, and had Dr. Bahrani and the Texas Sport Medicine Center to take care of me (they take care of olympic athletes) and finding a good doctor is always important. On my first knee I went 2 months trying to work it out but the burning just got worse and I eventually made the tear worse to the point where my knee would occasionally lock up, so I'd definitely get it checked if I were you. As far as I know cartilage still does not heal, so surgery is the only choice unless it is a small enough of a tear you can live with it. If you do have surgery you you should be able to be back at most jobs within a week or two depending on how you handle pain, albeit hobbled slightly for a while. As stated previously, this is nothing compared to a torn ligament. Good luck, I hope it heals quick.

It's a basic scope job. Nothing to worry about. Have it done on a Friday, and you won't even miss any work

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