/ Torn Meniscus: What can I expect?
After seeing a sports doctor today I have been told that I probably have a bucket handle meniscus tear in my right knee and have been referred to an acute knee clinic for an MRI and a surgical consult. Apparently it is likely that I am going to need surgery as I cannot fully mobilise the joint and have lost the ability to torsion my leg without it locking up.
The reason I am posting this was in the hope of finding anyone who has had the same type of injury and to see how they fared when returning to climbing. I managed to hurt myself while doing a really deep drop knee, so it was a twisting force that did the damage rather than rocking over or heel hooking. The injury is a few weeks old now and the knee is still not able to cope with any form of loading when it is bent/ twisted.
I know a forum is not the place to ask for advice, but I would just like to hear if other climbers that have torn their meniscus (and had to have surgery) have made a full recovery?
Any input would be very gratefully received!
I ruptured my ACL/PCL and tore my meniscus in an injury a couple of years ago...
All I can say is the recovery from the surgery is a slow process; the meniscus is a sort of horseshoe shape and doesn't get that much blood flow so healing takes a long time. Usually during surgery they will either cut away the damaged bits or they will fix it; whichever way they go will ease your discomfort, torn mensicus' can often lead to "locking" of the joint where the torn "end" gets trapped in the join (I had this).
Anyway, the brightside...I did all this with an ACL/PCL complete rupture so I had them fixed with a piece of my patella tendon. PCL going strong, ACL has gone again but due to good muscle structure holding every together I'm not going to have more surgery. Once the recovery is over you should be able to climb as normal, i cycle a lot, climb a lot and even get out to the Alps for long weeks of intense climbing and find it's ok.
My advice -DON'T RUSH IT, you'll only do more damage; let it recovery naturally, get yourself a bike or a membership to the local pool and get the muscle structure nice and developed to help your knee.
In my experience you'll be able to climb just fine given good recovery. Basically, don't be a smart arse and listen to the doctors and the physios.
I've torn my lateral meniscus 3 times on my left knee - twice largely because I rushed my comeback. Surgery will most likely be an arthroscopic procedure which leaves very little scaring but leaves your knee ballooned up with fluid for a while afterwards.
So I'll second the above advice - DO NOT RUSH IT!! Lots of low impact exercise to build up the big upper leg muscles will help a lot.
Since then I've managed to climb just as badly as ever, but the knee has never held me back (only my lack of skill and strength does that!). I even managed to run an ultra marathon up the WHW on it.
If you take it easy, be sensible in your recovery time and do the legwork then you should be ok.
Had a partial meniscus tear about 4 or 5 years ago trimmed via arthroscopy and walked out of the hospital pretty much unaided. I was climbiing again after about a week I (I think - very easy routes tho) and running again after about 5 or 6 weeks. I've not had a single issue with it since..
Go easy tho and listen to your body, if it hurts then it's bad and stop... Pretty obvious really.
Have the arthroscopy , do the rehab and get your muscles as strong as possible. Once the strength is there it is vital to do lots of plyometric work. A slackline is truely awesome for getting back to full strength/mobility/confidence.
I ruptured my acl and torn the mensicus quite badly. Touching a large piece of wood I will say that my knee is now fine. I climb lots, fall off lots and am building upto running ultras.
You'll be fine :)
Thanks for all of the reassuring replies!
I promise I will be patient, do my physio and I will be getting a turbo trainer for my roadie this weekend (I have been advised against riding outside as I am only to cycle with low resistance).
Thanks again for replying to my post, your answers have made me feel a lot more positive about the whole thing, and that I still might get myself a decent summer in!
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