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Old 03-10-2009, 10:28 PM   #1
Justin Chebahtah
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Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Been on starting strength for a few months. I developed a "tightness" in the back of my right knee, almost like a golf ball was in there somewhere. I noticed this after pulling a deadlift and felt a strain behind my right knee (distal end of hamstring). It wasn't painful, no pop, no noise...just a pretty intense strain is the only way I can describe it. My knee developed some swelling around the knee cap as well that hampered my flexibility. I was/am still able to squat, deadlift, and power clean pain free. Sometimes when walking I would get a slight sharp discomfort. Maybe a 2 on a scale of 1-10 for pain. Jumping straight up as high as I can causes a pain level of 2.5-3 maybe.

Saw an ortho how thought it might be a meniscus tear. X-ray showed everything okay so a MRI was scheduled. I went to a chiro who practiced Active Release Therapy and have been doing that to work on some adductor and quad tightness in my right leg to see if that would help. I have noticed the swelling in my knee decrease and the sharp discomfort episodes decrease in frequency and intensity (they're now about a .5 or 1 on the aforementioned 1-10 scale).

Just got the MRI results in and the ortho said there were two "signal changes" picked up from the MRI on both the lateral and medial side of the meniscus. Both were quite small he said and could be either "slight bruising" or a "small tear".

This guy is really pushing arthroscopy on me. It bothers me that or little meetings have been all of 4 minutes or less at a time and he hasn't even bothered to really ask what/why/how my knee discomfort was caused. It doesn't seem like he's really interested in a root cause analysis, just surgery. I find that unsettling to say the least.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!!!


FYI: I had what was thought to be knee bursitis about two years ago. My knee has also been "popping" (like when you crack your knuckles) for perhaps two years or so (maybe more, maybe less) when I squat to full depth. This popping doesn't really occur with a parallel low-bar back squat.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:31 PM   #2
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

I'd get a second opinion. And a new doctor.

Based on your description of the problem and the fact that it seems to be responding to less aggressive treatment, if it were my knee I would delay surgery until it was clearly necessary. And even if it were necessary, I wouldn't want someone that aggressive holding the knife.

Katherine

Last edited by Katherine Derbyshire : 03-10-2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:51 AM   #3
Todd Dent
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Chebahtah View Post
Been on starting strength for a few months. I developed a "tightness" in the back of my right knee, almost like a golf ball was in there somewhere. I noticed this after pulling a deadlift and felt a strain behind my right knee (distal end of hamstring). It wasn't painful, no pop, no noise...just a pretty intense strain is the only way I can describe it. My knee developed some swelling around the knee cap as well that hampered my flexibility. I was/am still able to squat, deadlift, and power clean pain free. Sometimes when walking I would get a slight sharp discomfort. Maybe a 2 on a scale of 1-10 for pain. Jumping straight up as high as I can causes a pain level of 2.5-3 maybe.

Saw an ortho how thought it might be a meniscus tear. X-ray showed everything okay so a MRI was scheduled. I went to a chiro who practiced Active Release Therapy and have been doing that to work on some adductor and quad tightness in my right leg to see if that would help. I have noticed the swelling in my knee decrease and the sharp discomfort episodes decrease in frequency and intensity (they're now about a .5 or 1 on the aforementioned 1-10 scale).

Just got the MRI results in and the ortho said there were two "signal changes" picked up from the MRI on both the lateral and medial side of the meniscus. Both were quite small he said and could be either "slight bruising" or a "small tear".

This guy is really pushing arthroscopy on me. It bothers me that or little meetings have been all of 4 minutes or less at a time and he hasn't even bothered to really ask what/why/how my knee discomfort was caused. It doesn't seem like he's really interested in a root cause analysis, just surgery. I find that unsettling to say the least.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!!!


FYI: I had what was thought to be knee bursitis about two years ago. My knee has also been "popping" (like when you crack your knuckles) for perhaps two years or so (maybe more, maybe less) when I squat to full depth. This popping doesn't really occur with a parallel low-bar back squat.
Has your chiro adjusted your knee?
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:23 AM   #4
Adam Satterfield
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

I just had knee surgery for a Meniscus tear a few months ago. My MRI did not show the tear, however, PT and Cortisone shots did not help so after a few months, the doc was able to narrow down all the options to a tear.

Surgery was only a last resort for my doc and it should be for most docs. I would definitely get a second opinion, especially if non surgery methods have already proven to be helpful for you.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #5
Jake Thompson
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Generally you should take the conservative approach, get in to see a PT and have them shore up some weaknesses you might have, and maybe if they are any good, tweak you mechanics with squat/lunge.

Bruised/minor tears will heal themselves if they are on the outside border of the meniscus, inside border they don't get any blood flow so difficult for the scar tissue matrix to set up.

If you can find a CrossFitting PT in your area that would be your best bet.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:22 AM   #6
Jose M. Perez
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
I'd get a second opinion. And a new doctor.

Based on your description of the problem and the fact that it seems to be responding to less aggressive treatment, if it were my knee I would delay surgery until it was clearly necessary. And even if it were necessary, I wouldn't want someone that aggressive holding the knife.

Katherine
+1

If you don't have a lot of confidence in the MD, look for someone with experience dealing with athletes. Or ask questions. If the answers aren't (or weren't) satisfactory, definitely see someone else.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
Justin Chebahtah
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Thanks to everybody for your input. It's really discouraging paying all this money (and my time) to see a medical professional and not getting any real help. I was advised to keep squatting but to "use a machine" as to not further damage my knee. I tried explaining that low-bar back squats done below parallel are free of pain and even theraputic to my knees. I was met with a surprising amount of resistance, even a tinge of hostility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Thompson View Post
Generally you should take the conservative approach, get in to see a PT and have them shore up some weaknesses you might have, and maybe if they are any good, tweak you mechanics with squat/lunge.
Bruised/minor tears will heal themselves if they are on the outside border of the meniscus, inside border they don't get any blood flow so difficult for the scar tissue matrix to set up.

If you can find a CrossFitting PT in your area that would be your best bet.
Fortunatley the damage is on the outside border of the meniscus. I've been icing several times a day and keeping a constant stream of NSAIDs which has all but eliminated the swelling/discomfort. Any other suggestions to facilitate the healing process?

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Originally Posted by Todd Dent View Post
Has your chiro adjusted your knee?
No he has not. Is there any sort of specific adjusting you recommend or that I should ask the doc about?

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:09 PM   #8
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

Have you tried a cortisone shot? They're usually bunk, but I had good luck with my knee and what might or might not have been a meniscus issue - and it certainly hurt my stomach less than the NSAIDs options I had tried.

Also, I noticed a distinct lack of the word "rest" being used in your posts...

Have you seen the Rip/Starr approved method for "fixing" muscle issues? http://************.net/forum/showthread.php?t=700 (WFS) - from the description of the pain being relatively minor, I would doubt that it's a meniscus issue myself, but I am no doctor.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:22 PM   #9
Justin Chebahtah
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

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Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud View Post
...
Also, I noticed a distinct lack of the word "rest" being used in your posts...
Good catch. I took a two week rest of zero squats/deads/cleans. Picked up again with light weights and worked back up to my previous work sets. Reminds me of another point; A workout of heavy cleans will inflame my knee again, sometimes the left one as well. Maybe my body just doesn't like the impact? They are my single favorite exercise but maybe I'll just have to face the truth and not do them as often or as heavy (heavy for me that is).

EDIT: Also, thanks for the link Jacob! I remember stumbling across that some time ago but have since forgot about it. I'll give that program a go, stick to my ice/NSAIDs and chrio visits and report back for an update.

Last edited by Justin Chebahtah : 03-11-2009 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:06 PM   #10
Jacob Cloud
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Re: Knee discomfort; MRI "inconclusive"

I could see cleans causing some serious discomfort, esp if it does turn out to be meniscus. I can't do burpees (at least not at 240+lbs) without excruciating knee pain, and have to really take care on box jumps...but i MUST squat for continued knee pleasure. Go figure.
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