I'm a little bit cheesed off. A few months ago I tore the meniscus in my left ankle. For those that don't know, the meniscus is like the shock absorber between knee joints. (I didn't know what it was until it happened).
Anyway, I went to the GP who grabbed my foot and rag dolled it in various directions until the pain bit and diagnosed the problem. Pain when twisting foot to outer limit? Meniscus.
So I give it a rest, it's just annoying rather than debilitating, and get on with it.
Then I go for a surf the other day and, being a goofy, tie the strap to left foot. First wipeout shows that what the doc did to diagnose the problem-shake the leg around in all different directions-is exactly what happens when one wipes out! Ouch!
A week later i'm still waiting for it to settle down!
Seriously, does anyone know how one might attach a strap other than to the bloody ankle with a dodgy knee above.
(Please no smartarses saying around the neck)
kinda almost semi-desperate
Just to clarify, you say, 'meniscus in my left ankle', do you mean left knee, medial meniscus?
A torn meniscus is reasonably serious and you should consider appropriate rehabilitation and recovery time.
How much time have you had away from activities like surfing? What did your gp suggest?
Maybe ask for a referral to a surgeon and then an MRI to see the state of the meniscus.
You might be better off having a large tear cleaned up or repaired via arthroscope.
It still sounds like you are going to rehab it properly like SIlicun mentioned above.
Yeah good advice mackdog, better off talking to a specialist for sure and getting a more solid diagnosis, MRI as mackdog mentioned, don't let it become a chronic issue
I'm a physio so we see these kinds of injuries a lot. First of all, your ankle has nothing to do with your meniscus. The ankle does not have a meniscus the knee does. When testing a meniscus (there are numerous ways) some clinicians will use the foot as a lever to rotate the Tibia (shin bone). This movement in conduction with knee flexion / extension will usually illicit a 'clunk', 'click' or pain and would point towards you having a meniscal tear of your knee.
If you have a tear in the outer 1/3 of the meniscus there is a reasonable chance given the right environment (rest, rehab etc) that it will heal. However if the tear extends into the inner 2/3 you will need athroscopic surgery as there is no blood supply here and the tear will not heal conservatively.
If you are still having problems (pain, swelling, giving way, clicking, cracking, etc) you should ask your physio or GP for an MRI referral to see the extent of the potential tear. From here you will be advised whether physio or surgery is required.
Avoid deep squatting and twisting motions on the knee (i.e surfing back foot bottom turns)
Hope this helps
Thank you very much for your reply. Firstly "meniscus in my ankle"? How the hell did that get past my first edit??!! Sorry all!
Your reply basically brings me up to where I'm now at. MRI has been done, and the tear is on the inner side of the knee. (The bad side right?). I have only seen my GP and will visit an orthopaedic doctor for his take.
It actually has been quite manageable but I definitely feel like one small fuckup will put me back a lot. e.g a big tug on the leg from a pinwheeling surfboard.
Hence the idea that maybe, just maybe, I could still go for a surf before any decision has been made and survive by having an ankle strap strapped above the knee. Any thoughts Straitey?
And might I ask, if it's a tear in the meniscus, how do they resolve it? Do they stitch/glue it back together? Is it a long recovery? Is it completely "as new" once fixed?
Many thanks Straitey and others that have commented. My apologies for disappearing for a bit. Work you know.
I'm no doctor but a lot of sports people go through acl's, tears, tendons etc around the knee's all the time and come up good after repair by a good quality surgeon
Best to speak to your doctor mate, he/she will give you all the info and advise what you can/can't do
Also don't just sit around and wait for their long reply times between appointments, further scans etc. Be pro active and push for a speedy timeline to things so your on the mend sooner
Best of luck
As mentioned above demand an MRI on the injury get a clear picture of what the problem is.
Have the surgery and deal with the time out of the water IMO.
I had a knee clean up post footy season last year, wasnt meniscus but floating cartilage that had chipped of the bottom of the femur and was catching on the back of the knee cap whenever i went past a 90deg leg bend.
Therefore was manageable but every now and then something happened that hurt and flaired up the knee again, swelling and pain for a while, and usually aroung 1-2 weeks for it to settle again. Put up with it for probably 2 months as the surgeon said that floating piece can easily move into a spot that wont effect the knee, so through light jogging, rehab and physio we tried to get it right. Which it didnt.
Had the arthroscope and 3 months later i was cherry ripe, and could surf gently after 6 weeks. Wish I had had the surgery straight away in hindsight.
So i suggest dont beat around the bush with these things, just get in and get it done, deal with the time out of the water and be 100% in 2-3 months, rather than trying to manage pain for what could probably be the rest of your life, 2-3 months out of the rest of your life isnt all that much.
Correct me if im wrong but i thought meniscus was cartilage.?
So inner side (medial meniscus) is no worse than the lateral meniscus, they are just the same to repair. The medial side is more common to injure.
The reason you probably feel it is more manageable is because the initial inflammation has probably settled. However if you put your knee into a position (bent and twisted) the torn fragment / flap of meniscus can get caught again hence pain and instability. So you're right that's why it feels as though it could go anytime. As a general rule if you keep walk in straight lines and on stable ground it should be ok. But we all know that is not always possible so yes you probably will continue to have problems if you surf, run or walk on unstable ground.
How bad is the tear? Does it mention 'bucket handle'? As you suggested see an Orthopod and he will advise whether it needs an athroscope or not.
Basically depending quality of the tear depends on what they do with it. They try to preserve as much of the meniscus as possible. If a large tear they try to sew it up but if only a small one they often just trim the torn fragment and flush the knee out. Usually not too bad a rehab………..Elite athletes would be playing in 4-6 weeks.
As for is it like 'new'? There's an old saying that a 'joint never forgets its injury'. If you manage it well, do some rehab (strengthening) then it will be as good as new. However as you've injured the joint it may be the beginning of your knee joint degeneration. Don't be alarmed it happens with all of us, just injured joints it can happen a little faster. You will probably not feel the effects for many years to come. Glucosamine can be a good supplement to take to slow the effects of this.
Hope some of this helps
simba wrote: Correct me if im wrong but i thought meniscus was cartilage.?
Kind of. The two get mentioned interchangeably but they aren't really the same. Cartilage or Hyaline Cartilage is a very thin smooth cartilaginous tissue that in the case of the knee (and most other ends of bones) surround the end of the femur, this is what wears out with osteoarthritis. The 'Menisci' are two semi lunar shaped cushion that sit on top of the Tibia and accommodate the end of the femur (where the hyaline cartilage is).
The meniscus has many roles but its main ones are load transmission, shock absorption and joint stability
Staitey, thomas11 and others, thank you very much for the quality of your replies. I am impressed and enlightened and grateful for all of it. I will follow your advice and move to get appraised and cut and into rehab asap.
Looks like the "Weirdo Ripper" that I've only used a few times might have to harden in the shed while its master rehabs in the pool. Such is life.
However, perspective quickly reminds me that I am an extremely lucky man living a lucky life in the lucky country(?) therefore I will accept this as a mere hiccup and move on.
I will update this link as things proceed and maybe others may have questions along these lines to keep it moving.
Yes keep us updated as its always nice to see the end positive result.
Shit happens in life, injuries occur and its important to treat them correctly to avoid future issues.
As Staitely said "Cartilage or Hyaline Cartilage is a very thin smooth cartilaginous tissue that in the case of the knee (and most other ends of bones) surround the end of the femur, this is what wears out with osteoarthritis"
As a 29 year old with this issue i am in the certainty category for arthritis in my damaged knee and looking at a knee replacement at some stage, but as my surgeon has said, the way you treat it now is the difference between a knee replacement when you 40, 50 or 60 so now i have changed my activity to take as much load out of my knee as possible. Some people try to be "tough" or think it won't happen, but these things are very real and cause major problems in the back stages of life.
So as I said before, get it fixed now, listen to the experts and be diligent in your rehab, your body and surfing life will thank you for it.