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Old 11-20-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
Lauren Hall
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Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

This isn't really a question for me, but my father (60ish) had knee surgery for a torn meniscus (they kept some of it, but a lot was damaged) a year or so ago. He's been a lifelong runner, and that, compounded by arthritis in his knees, has knocked him out. He continues to run a little (though he's really not supposed to), does Tai chi, and walks a lot. He's also pretty crabby since running was his major stress relief (and something he LOVED doing).

My question is: has anyone had an unsuccessful meniscus surgery (i.e. didn't help with pain and ROM at all, really), and would crossfit help? He does squats and stuff in rehab, but I'm sure nothing like the moves here. Has anyone had this problem? I'd love for him to get interested in something new that might even help the knee problem and allow him to do serious physical activity again.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:06 PM   #2
Wendy Nelson
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Here's my .02 as someone who has had the surgery. I am 47 and played soccer obsessivley for almost 20 years. My doc told me I had grade IV damage and he did what he could with what was left. I still had pain off and on depending on how I used my knee and was bummed the surgery did not correct the problem completely.

However, now that I am several months into Crossfit my knee rarely gives me any trouble. I credit this to two important things, my awesome trainer who perfected my squat technique and my newly increased muscle mass which supports good knee mechanics.

When I first started squatting during CrossFit workouts I complained of pain and said I could not do them. My trainer then observed how I was squatting and was able to correct my feet and knee positioning. I have not stopped squatting since and not a peep from my grade IV damaged knee that the doc thought was all washed up.

So to answer your question will Crossfit help, yep! Get your dad to an affiliate and started on his foundations classes. I'll bet large amounts of cash the squats he is doing at rehab are all wrong and may be causing some of the pain. Have him inquire about POSE too, it's a method of running and might get him back in his running shoes. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Good Luck
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #3
Lauren Hall
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Wendy,
Thanks so much for the reply. That's what I was hoping to hear, actually, so maybe I'll try to drag the ol' guy in for a fundamentals class.

Thanks again. I'd also like to add that I've had lower back problems for a while, but I have not had a single twinge since I started (except with cleans, which I'm not doing correctly), so I'm thinking there's something in this strengthening with proper form stuff.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
Bill Pontius
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Here's an "old guy",58, to second what Wendy said. I have grade 3 arthritis in my lt knee and have had both acl's replaced over the last two years. Crossfit has helped immensley though the jarring of double unders, plyos, etc may be a thing of the past--though I'm hopeful about getting to them, too. BTW, I came to CF from running, too.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:08 AM   #5
Kevin Hughes
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Hi Lauren;

I am 52 and have had 2 unsuccessful (same) knee surgeries. Crossfit has helped immensely, so I concur with the posters above. I have also gotten almost 100% arthritis relief since starting the Paleo Diet in Jan 07. I'm not sure what the mechanisms are, but allergies and inflammation can be exacerbated by grains in the diet, as was explained to me by someone in this forum. Regardless, I'm almost pain free now, and after living on NSAIDs for years. Tell your Dad that there is life after running, and wish him well for me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
Conor Buechler
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Well I'm 29 and had surgery on my meniscus about five years ago. I've been crossfitting for almost two years now. My knee still goes out on me on a regular basis, once a week if I'm lucky. A lot of the workouts I do stop being "for time" and become "until my knee gives out." Not to discourage you, but just to provide another data point.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:57 PM   #7
Lauren Hall
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Hey everyone, thanks for all the replies. I talked to Joe at our affiliate and he said he thinks (like you all) that Crossfit would help the old man, but he also acknowledged that endurance athletes tend to be the most resistant. I'm going to keep working on him. Any other thoughts (or tactics) are welcome, since the more information I can give him from people who have gone through the surgery, the better.

(And Conor, incredible job not getting horribly frustrated. I would be tempted to quit, which is exactly what you probably shouldn't do.)
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:20 AM   #8
Adam Satterfield
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the good information! I just had my surgery a few weeks ago. How long after your surgery were you all able to come back to crossfit? I had just started it before my surgery and I really want to get back to it so I can combat the holiday fat times.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:47 AM   #9
Stephan Marcella
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

I had part of my meniscus removed this May. It took about a month before it started feeling normal. I did not train legs for almost 2 months, but worked on Pull-ups, dips, HSPU, strict presses, abs, etc. I have been back full force since probably mid August. I have no issues with any of the squats, oly lifts, deadlifts and pulls, but running still presents a problem. Although I can run during a wod, I pay the price with soreness, feelings of instability, and swelling for a day or two afterwards. I feel I may have comeback too soon.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:20 AM   #10
Sean Dunston
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Re: Meniscus tear and Crossfit?

I will be watching this thread with interest.
I was just diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus (goes along with my Runner's Knee, too).
My Doc wanted me to start with some PT for a month to see if the pain subsides, and to retrain my body to move more efficiently. Seems as though I don't do a few things properly (no *****), but because I have been doing them for a long time, my muscles have grown unevenly - especially in my thighs. What do I not do properly -- squat. Even though I have been going to a great affiliate, work on my squats tirelessly and have attended a Level I Cert and am preparing for a Level II cert... My knees still roll in on my squats - and it seems that in CrossFit - we do a *****-ton of squats: air squats, front squats, back squats, overhead squats, squat cleans, squat jumps, etc...
The PT will not do anything to fix the torn meniscus, but it is the Doc (and PT's) feeling that if I can do things properly, there may not be any further damage. If it doesn't work out, then I will have surgery.
Just got finished with my second PT session (of 9) this morning.
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