If an individual runs with a torn meniscus, it will only worsen the injury since the meniscus is the knee cartilage which is a substance that absorbs shock during running. The meniscus cartilage serves as a cushion for the bones that comprises the knee joint so that they do not rub against one another when the knee is bent and straightened.
A torn meniscus not only reduces the ability of the knee to stabilize joint movement, but also triggers pain once the knee bends and makes it unreliable for weight-bearing activities such as running.
Indications of a torn meniscus
Once an individual ends up with a torn meniscus, he/she can suffer from a tearing or popping sensation in the knee that is followed by joint pain that can range from moderate to severe. Even though some individuals can still walk or run, certain movements can be painful and feel as if the affected knee is too weak to continue supporting the body weight. In just a short span of time, a torn meniscus can become rigid and inflamed which prevents the individual from running. Proper assessment by the doctor can determine the degree of damage on the knee as well as start the suitable treatment to prevent complications from occurring.
Depending on the location and size of the tear, the doctor might prescribe various treatment options. For small-sized tears or those located in an area where the blood supply is abundant, they are capable of healing on their own.
The individual should stop all running activities, apply an ice pack for the pain and swelling as well as allowing the knee to rest in an elevated position. These measures can help minimize the discomfort experienced by the individual. After 2-3 weeks, the doctor might recommend the individual to undergo rehabilitation therapy such as leg extensions to strengthen the knee.
What will happen if I run with a torn meniscus?
The individual should not return to his/her exercise routine until the doctor will allow. If the individual continues to run with a torn meniscus that is not fully healed, he/she is at risk for long-term or permanent damage to the knee. Some of the damage might require a knee surgery with a 5-month recovery period.
What is meniscectomy?
When it comes to chronic cases in which a torn meniscus has been aggravated by exercising or running when the cartilage has not properly healed, the doctor might require meniscectomy which is carried out arthroscopically.
The doctor will take out or trim the damaged cartilage from the healthy meniscus cartilage. This can help minimize the knee pain as well as get rid of knee weakness and popping. Many individuals who undergo this surgery can recover and able to return to normal as long as activities are slightly reduced.