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Knee injury question

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Hi all,

over three and a half weeks ago now, I twisted my knee during an unfortunate (and very shameful) attempt at carrying home groceries, in stilettos, after one too many glasses of vino (it was the first time I had drank in ages). While I would like to say I twisted (?) it doing something more noble, it is what it is....


so.. the night of I was in severe pain and couldn't walk, but the vino acted as a pain releaver, until the next morning... when literally, I was screaming in pain. Now, at this point I should have 1) gone to the doctor, 2) iced it 3) accepted I was injured.... but no, I went to work.


Two weeks later the pain was still so bad that I hobbled my way to emerg, where the MD said that no bones were broken, and that while there wasn't any reason to do an x-ray, he wrote me a referral to an orthopedic surgeon, and said I may have to have a scope done.

Its now 23 days post injury, and while I can walk, jumping/any activity that places pressure on either side or just below my knee cap hurts. I've been fortunate enough to have never broken anything. I work insane hours, and frankly... I'm a bit scared of the possibility of a scope.

While I know I have to book an appointment, I'm wondering what experiences others have had in the past with knee injuries, and what (if any) advice people may in terms of strengthening excercises and general care for healing. Not being able to do cardio or lower body weight training is really taking a toll on me. Any advice is really appreciated.



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Sounds like you may be showing signs of a meniscus tear which will not show up on xray or MRI... also your knee cap could have popped out of place and torn cartalidge...which is why you need to go to the ortho surgeon. Scope surgery is very common and doesn't even require a hospital stay. They put you to sleep, make 2-3 very small (about 1 cm long) incisions on your knee. In one hole they insert a probe with a light and a camera, while in the other a tool that allows them to fix any injury that you may have sustained. The whole procedure last between 15 and 20 minutes. The incision only require 1 stitch each. I recommend you go the ortho asap and not worry about getting cardio/lower body work in, atm.  For you to still be in this much pain after nearly a month, your main concern needs to be your knee! Best of luck

A meniscus tear *will* show up on an MRI.  At least that was why my orthopediest had my MRI done a month or so ago -- to find out if I had torn the meniscus or if it was just arthritis causing my knee pain.



Oh no no no no! They are not always accurate - esp. with meniscus tear. Scopes often find tears that MRI's did NOT! My partner is an ortho surgeon and would be much more qualified in explaining this than I! BUT...bottom line..go see the surgeon and no impact exercise - at all - until you do!


Well, my ortho was quite happy to rule out the meniscus tear based on my MRI. 

I also have read quite a few articles on-line about diagnosing meniscus tears with X-Ray and MRI. Many on-line articles indicate that an MRI can give a clear picture of a meniscus tear and its severity.  


I'm just considering that if all they did for the OP at the ER was an X-Ray, the OP may see a doctor that wants to do an MRI before, or even instead of a scope.  I'm not sure you should be telling her that "a meniscus tear which will not show up on x-ray or MRI", when actually MRIs are often used to diagnose meniscus tears. 


Yep. But, if the pain is there and NOTHING shows up on the MRI..that does not rule out a meniscus tear. 

Again, best advice is to see a ortho and stay off the leg!

EDIT: Here ya go!! ". Lateral meniscal tears are more likely to be missed if the tear involves only one third of the meniscus or is in the posterior horn"

I will admit, my knee pain was pretty mild, and not caused by an injury.  The steroid shot he gave me helped immensely -- too bad it's only temporary. 

He is sure that mine is caused by run-of-the-mill arthritis.  Hopefully my exercise program, along with losing a few more pounds will help out. 

Hope the OP doesn't mind that I sort of hi-jacked the thread.  I do hope (s)he sees a good doc and gets a proper diagnosis and can get healed up. 


My advice is put your fear aside and take care of the injury now.

A couple years ago I injured myself and did nothing about it.  I took a couple days off running and thought I'd be ok.  For the next two weeks I tried to "run through the pain" (as it got progressively worse).  Can you say STUPIDFoot in mouth?  Finally, 1/4 of the way into one of my runs I couldn't go any further.  I hobbled home - crying in pain.

Anyway...finally saw my doctor who prescribed physio. It took 6 months before I was allowed to start walking (for exercise).  I think it was close to a year before I was running regularly again.  DUMBEST THING I'VE EVER DONE - nothing heroic about it at all!  Believe me, I learned my lesson.

Take care of yourself - if it still hurts after three weeks, it's not going away on its own.

Other then get to the ortho now before you're even worse I really have no other advice. 

I got hurt at work and thanks to insurance delays was stuck for 5 weeks before I could get into physical therapy while waiting for the approval.  I needed surgery and wouldn't you know the "pre-arthritis" I was being told it "probably" was.... was really a meniscal tear.  They missed it with MRI that the regular doc ordered.  I was sent to an ortho about the same time (nothing more could be done said the regular doc) and the only thing I could do was 1- suffer and forget life like I knew it or 2- surgery.

I chose 2.  And now 2 years later I'm able to run again.  Just started back in Sept because of all the weight I put on.  I was NOT able to do anything for months and was not cleared for work (I had a standing job at the time) until the following December.  April to December I was little more then a couch potato doing 3x weekly physical therapy.  Prior to injury I'd been training for my first half iron man which happened 2 weeks after my injury.  Had zero knee pain or trouble before it all hit the fan at work.

If I had it to do all over again I wouldn't have waited it out 2 days before my knee locked up and I couldn't even drive my car (stick shift) to the doctor's office.  I would have gone right in and maybe things wouldn't have been as delayed or awful as they were with the insurance.... and from that, it wouldn't have been such a long, complicated recovery. 

I don't want anyone else to have to learn the hard way like I did.  Don't want to freak you out, and will mention that part of my lengthy recovery was them taking out staples 4 days post op and 1 incision not being able to stay closed.  Holiday weekend and I couldn't get emergency approval from insurance and was told I had to see the doctor that did it or go to the outpatient surgery center which was closed.  Infection set in and was really nasty to combat. Gained a lot of weight from the meds I landed on because of that so losing those slowed me down in getting back to running first.   

I'm currently nursing a knee injury too, although mine sounds piddly in comparison.  (From going up an escalator too enthusiastically, and I bobbled, sigh).  Anyway, that was Friday, went to the doc today.  She made me solemnly promise not to do anything at all that would use that knee in terms of exercise (not even swimming) for a week and if there was any pain - anything at all, she'd send me off for an MRI. 

I feel you on not being able to work out, but you really need to not stress the injury further. Go for the scope, get it taken care of, no question.

And if you're at all an endorphin junkie as I am, not being able to do workouts is horrible.  I've found a couple of chair exercise videos on You Tube where I can keep that knee absolutely still and still get my heart rate up.  If the knee doesn't improve I'm going to look into one of those goofy table top mini cycle units you can pedal with your hands.

Personally, I think twisting your knee while wearing stilettos after having one two many glasses of vino is a VERY glamourous way to injure yourself!

I did my knee playing soccer and after a lot of TLC and not exercising and weight gain, as many others have described, I had ACL reconstructive surgery last May.  Very minor incisions that healed beautifully, surprisingly little pain that was easily coped with the first few days with a shot of demerol from the visiting nurse, and Tylenol 3's for a week or so after that.  This is the same surgery that Tiger Woods had, but since I am significantly older than him, I gave myself 7 months before I tried to run again.  I'm doing 5k, 5 times a week now.

My advice to you is to baby that knee until you know what is wrong with it.  If it is an injury like mine, the knee will now be unstable, and doing any kind of exercise can cause more injury to the joint.  I ended up having only to have the ACL done, with almost no meniscal damage because I didn't try to do anything on my injurred knee.  As a result, my recovery has been a dream.  You don't want to magnify what is initially wrong with your knee by adding other injuries to it.

Knowledge is power.  Know what is wrong by going to see that surgeon.  If they do the scope and your ACL is torn, I think you would probably have to have a second surgery to repair it, but my husband has had a few scopes that have set him back a couple of days at the most.

Good luck!


10 Replies