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Possible meniscus tear - big problem other than pain when done skiing?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've been having knee pain for a while now (maybe even 3 years or more, not sure). It happens when I do deep squats or stand up from a deep squatting position. I remember first feeling pain in this region when doing hamstring curls in the gym when I was a sophomore in college... 4 years ago. I've never been one to go to the doctor, and always feel that the pain will just go away. Anyways, here I am, 4 weeks before a 10 day ski trip to Jackson hole... I keep thinking about all the crazy stuff I'm going to hit when I'm there. I've been skiing out west a number of times, but finally ready and excited to get to Jackson - it'll be the next step in the development of my skiing abilities. I kinda even want to try Corbet's if its open.
 

Anyways, when thinking about Corbet's I was watching some videos on youtube of people falling in corbets and basically being unsuccessful.. then i remember seeing some video out there where in the end of it some guy is in the hospital with an ACL tear. That started me thinking about the knee pain I have when squatting (which has been getting worse and worse over the last year).

I can't help but think now based on the observations of the pain that I might have a meniscus tear.
 

I have a HUGE deductible on my health insurance (being 23), and dont really want to afford the doctor bill that would be associated with the repair right now. Also I dont want to get surgery and then not be able to ski when I'm there either. I know this sounds like backwards logic, but if I've been having this problem for 4 years, whats 1 more ski trip going to hurt? I've been out west every year since.
 

If I dont get the surgery right now before my trip (Feb 5-14th) am I risking anything other than a bit of pain when I'm done skiing? Idk for sure if its a meniscus tear or if its just a hamstring injury, but based on the deep squatting pain, popping every once in a while, and slight rotational pain I strongly believe that this could be the problem.

I'm not a doctor, and sometimes I wish that I just wouldnt have worried about it and started Googling and comparing to this forum to find my answer to the pain.. lol.

HELP!

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
Also, i have a tiny bit of knee instability
post #3 of 12
I'm 45, and am now passing abouit 6 years with moderate tear in my inside rt knee.  Oddly enough, mine is mostly effected by my walking "gait"  I carry a large computer bag around as a medical field rep and if i carry it on my bad side just a little too far, the tear will hurt for days.  If I am good about it, I remain pain free.  I have found that moderately agressive skiing, blues and a little black, don't cause any issue.  The stresses on th joint while skiing seem to be away from the injury.  I am very aware of how it is aggravated, and do my best to avoid it.  You try to fix it now, and you lose a lot of mt time...

Ready for my "beatdown" by competent medical authority!
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Haha!  Thats what I'm thinking about my backwards logic as well.  6 years though.. thats a good amount of time.  If it really has been 4 for me, perhaps I've just learned to deal with it as well.  I definitely dont want any issues either for 8 of 10 days of skiing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penzly View Post


Ready for my "beatdown" by competent medical authority!
post #5 of 12
To tell you the truth...my Ortho told me to come back when it bothers me enough!  Either he sucks or he's a skier!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude04 View Post

I've been having knee pain for a while now (maybe even 3 years or more, not sure). It happens when I do deep squats or stand up from a deep squatting position. I remember first feeling pain in this region when doing hamstring curls in the gym when I was a sophomore in college... 4 years ago. I've never been one to go to the doctor, and always feel that the pain will just go away. Anyways, here I am, 4 weeks before a 10 day ski trip to Jackson hole... I keep thinking about all the crazy stuff I'm going to hit when I'm there. I've been skiing out west a number of times, but finally ready and excited to get to Jackson - it'll be the next step in the development of my skiing abilities. I kinda even want to try Corbet's if its open.
 

Anyways, when thinking about Corbet's I was watching some videos on youtube of people falling in corbets and basically being unsuccessful.. then i remember seeing some video out there where in the end of it some guy is in the hospital with an ACL tear. That started me thinking about the knee pain I have when squatting (which has been getting worse and worse over the last year).

I can't help but think now based on the observations of the pain that I might have a meniscus tear.
 

I have a HUGE deductible on my health insurance (being 23), and dont really want to afford the doctor bill that would be associated with the repair right now. Also I dont want to get surgery and then not be able to ski when I'm there either. I know this sounds like backwards logic, but if I've been having this problem for 4 years, whats 1 more ski trip going to hurt? I've been out west every year since.
 

If I dont get the surgery right now before my trip (Feb 5-14th) am I risking anything other than a bit of pain when I'm done skiing? Idk for sure if its a meniscus tear or if its just a hamstring injury, but based on the deep squatting pain, popping every once in a while, and slight rotational pain I strongly believe that this could be the problem.

I'm not a doctor, and sometimes I wish that I just wouldnt have worried about it and started Googling and comparing to this forum to find my answer to the pain.. lol.

HELP!


Have you been to a doctor or are you just assuming there's a problem worthy of surgery?  If you haven't been, you really should.  There's a whole lot of things that could be happening - and many of them have no need for surgery.

But based on what you've described there might actually be nothing structurally wrong with your knee, but lots of bad movement.  How do you look when you squat?  I'm going to take a wild guess that you are very quad dominant - that your knees go way forward and that your toes point out to the side when you squat?  

Try doing some glute medius strengthening, and lay off the squats for a while - if they are causing pain they are doing more harm than good. Do you deadlift?  If so, how do they feel? If not - try them instead of squats.  If traditional deadlifts don't feel good, try Romanian deadlifts (straight leg version - or I should say almost straight leg).

Start foam rolling your IT bands, your glutes, your hamstrings and your quads. I would bet that your IT bands are so tight that foam rolling will be very painful initially.  

Also - go see a good physical therapist or massage therapist or athletic therapist.  You've probably got some soft tissue problems that can be alleviated significantly with some good manual work.  

And again - go see that doc.  As for your trip - totally up to you.  If it was me, I'd go with what you said - what's one more trip. Not saying that's the best solution though. :)  

Also - when you get home from skiing, ice your knee for about 20 minutes before you hit the hot tub. 

Elsbeth
post #7 of 12
I have had two meniscus tears and i may currently have another. The first one i had I was living in the UK and it took about 11 months to correctly diagnose. When they finally figured out the problem they told me i had used it so much in the past 11 months that i had worn down the edge of the tear and did not need surgery. 
I popped the same knee and same meniscus in 07 and i did get that operated on. Again the Dr told me that if you do not have surgery often the edge of the tear will wear down to the point that you do not need to go under the knife.

I'm not a Dr and I'm guessing, but after 4 years you are probably ok. I've found using a neoprene support helps as it keeps the joint warm, reduces pain and provides a little increase mobility. Being thrown back on your heels will probably cause you the most discomfort. Also i have realized that i should not fight a fall by trying to stand back up while sliding. Both these tend to place the knee under extreme stress and I'll be in pain the next day. Thus i am like in fighting with the desire to go big but being worried about a fall that could put me out for a week.

As Elisabeth said go see a physio and i''d get a hinged neoprene knee brace.
post #8 of 12
My right knee is a bit beat up.  Had arthroscopic surgery about 20 years ago.  Cleaned up a partial torn ACL and some meniscus damage.  A couple of years ago I pulled it skiing.  (Hurt it where the meniscus was hurt before.)  Doc did an MRI and told me no major problems.  I now use CADS to take some of the stress off it.  I can ski all day with minimal problems.  I'm also looking into the Ski Mojo.

I recommend you see a Doc to see what he says and recommends.
post #9 of 12
Definitely lay off the squats if they are causing you pain, and replace with a leg press. Or ride a stationary bike at a moderate resistance.   I tore my meniscus last summer, and my doc said either to live with it, or get surgery.....my choice.  I tried to live with it but the discomfort kept me from cycling and do other activities at the high level I wanted, so I got surgery in September.

The surgery, while simple, still has a long-ish rehab period so it will end your ski season.  My doc also found bone damage and arthritis which complicated things for me a bit.

For now, like everyone else said, get a neoprene knee brace, change your exercise routine to put less stress on your knee joint, and ice after gym/skiing.  Elsbeth's advice about the foam roller is spot on...this really made a difference for me.

This season, my skiing is reduced to easy stuff..and I'm completely laying off it for the next few weeks until I regain strength.  I skied at Stowe and ended up with a muscle tear due to weakness....I never got the leg strong enough post-surgery.  Good news is, the surgery removed the pain so I CAN ride my bike and do weights without pain.

So keep the knee strong with comfortable exercises, get through your ski season safely, then see your doctor!  If you are experiencing pain while squatting, you may feel it while skiing, too.  It may be a problem with a simple remedy, but you don't want to cause any more damage.
post #10 of 12
As twin tip said, my Doc told me to go as long as I could without surgery, then the left one locked up one day when the tear moved.
After MRI's (both knees were bad) we were to repair the left, wait till it was good to go, then take care of the right.

During my rehab on the left, I started taking a Glucosamine/Condroitin supplement, and have yet to have surgery on the right.
That was 19 yrs ago.

It seems to work for some, and others claim it does nothing for them. If my knee(s) start to ache, I get on the supplement immediately (I take Triflex from GNC now) and after about one month, the pain goes away.

I no longer do squats. The Doc recommended Cycling.

Ray
post #11 of 12
Glucosamine/condroitin supplementation is a great suggestion.

I would also suggest that you start taking fish oil if you don't already.  It is on my miracle product list, along with duct tape (what can't you fix with duct tape?) and baking powder (clean your pots, deodorize your fridge, bake a cake, clean your teeth, make a bomb - that's versatility!).  As for fish oil - it lubricates your joints, it is great for your metabolism, it's good for brain function, and it has positive cardiorespiratory effects. 

Elsbeth
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post

My right knee is a bit beat up.  Had arthroscopic surgery about 20 years ago.  Cleaned up a partial torn ACL and some meniscus damage.  A couple of years ago I pulled it skiing.  (Hurt it where the meniscus was hurt before.)  Doc did an MRI and told me no major problems.  I now use CADS to take some of the stress off it.  I can ski all day with minimal problems.  I'm also looking into the Ski Mojo.

I recommend you see a Doc to see what he says and recommends.
 

Hi T square,

 

I had knee reconstruction for 4 months ago with 3 meniscus tears left in situ (1 very peripheral medial one 12 mm) and 2 small lateral one. I am very interested in comments from people like you whoa ACL reco and meniscus damage and how they are doing 20 + years down the track. I mostly worry about quality of life impact such as OA , knee pain ... any comments well come. How old are you now ?

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