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Old 02-26-2016, 08:43 PM   #1
Caz Berkowitz
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Minor Meniscus Tear - rehab protocol?

Anyone have a suggested rehab protocol for a minor tear in the meniscus?

I have no symptoms other that a level 2 (1-10 scale) pain for the last 4 weeks. Was squatting heavy with good form up till 3 weeks ago, doing jitz till 1 week ago, have full ROM, full deep squat, no limp, no instability or slipping of any kind. Slight pain is literally the only symptom.

MRI revealed minor tear in the center (the “White Zone”) of the medial meniscus. My ortho said he could go in and trim it up but that section of the meniscus would never really repair itself. He said that if he had been looking at my knee for some other reason (than to find the source of the pain) and had seen the tear he would not have recommended surgery just for that one repair, so it sounds pretty minor. On the other hand, he said that he could schedule surgery if the pain became a problem. He said other than the minor tear the rest of the knee looked good. I go back for a follow-up in one month.

I’ve looked at a bunch of protocols but they all start off from surgery with extensive repairs and assume no ROM or weight bearing ability. I'm way past that.

Where do I start? Things that seem out: Heavy weights, running, grappling.

Things that seem in: light rowing.

So what should I be doing to get the knee in shape, or until it gets in shape?

I’m 53 yo male active in martial arts and weight lifting. Been Crossfitting for a while, and have had enough repairs that I am patient about rehabbing properly.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:01 PM   #2
Sean Rockett
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Re: Minor Meniscus Tear - rehab protocol?

First thing is to ask your doctor what he recommends. Then if there is a tear that can heal you can try to rest it and not push through pain, I describe these white-white tears as like hangnails, sometimes if you twist or turn it can get bigger and cause more pain, sometimes there can be a little tear and you might not even know it. Best thing is to take it easy usually until pain subsides. If you get to the point where you say I can't NOT do anything or the pain is persistent and does not go away, then you can have the surgery.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:06 AM   #3
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Minor Meniscus Tear - rehab protocol?

Thanks Sean.

It took 10 days of not doing anything with the leg other than light stretching for me to wake up with no pain. So I guess letting it rest and heal is a good first step.

So far the only "rehab protocol" I have is:
Don't load it other than walking. Keep it moving, as in air bicycling and letting it swing freely, but no twisting it.

I have a return visit to my ortho in a month, but he's a surgeon, not a rehab guy.
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Old 03-09-2016, 02:14 PM   #4
Caz Berkowitz
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Re: Minor Meniscus Tear - rehab protocol?

Ok, here is the calendar of my Grand Rehab Plan:
3-4 weeks - Knee pain upon waking.
Stopped major activity on knee. Only did easy mobility exercises, no twisting or turning.
Activity Stopped +10 days - No more pain upon waking, still hurts when twisting.
+18 days (yesterday) - 1 session Bikram Yoga (26 poses w/standing or lying resting pose in between each, 1.5 hours, high heat and humidity). Did nothing that twisted/bent/caused knee discomfort. Did the poses that required standing/full weight on one leg ok.
+19 days - no difference in knee. Traps sore from holding my arms out (can't blame that on knee)
So the plan is two months (3x weekly) of yoga to develop balance and overall flexibility as the knee heals. Increased activity as appropriate.

That's my Grand Rehab Plan.
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