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Will a knee arthroscopy get me back to running?

(9 Posts)
ArgyMargy Sat 05-Dec-15 13:16:57

I'm 50, always been active and fit. Several years ago I took up running and I love it. But now I have torn a cartilage and been offered arthroscopy to remove the offending bits. Does anyone have any experience of this? The surgeon felt that physio was unlikely to resolve the problem but I can't help worrying about someone messing about with my knee. He did say the scan showed very little wear & tear other than the cartilage damage. What do you think?

MotiSen Sun 06-Dec-15 18:01:22

I've know 3 people who had arthroscopic knee surgery. 2 said it was a painful, drawn out recovery, and they wish they'd never done it. 3rd said it was no big deal. If it were me, I'd see what 3 months of staying off it would do - besides make me gain weight - before I went for surgery. I know it is really difficult to stay off it when running is so enjoyable - but I think that the idea of giving it time to heal might be worth consideration - as opposed to the quick fix.
Hopefully more people will respond ... maybe some who actually had the surgery. : )
Best wishes either way!

unadulterateddad Wed 16-Dec-15 21:45:58

If I remember correctly, the latest medical research view is that having arthroscopies done offers no long term benefit (2yrs+) and can be counterproductive. This obviously is not a popular view with Surgeons !!

Having had several done myself I would say leave it alone and do some strengthening exercises to support the knee.

ArgyMargy Thu 17-Dec-15 12:30:26

I hear what you're saying unadulterated, but strengthening the muscles won't stop the torn edges catching will it? The trouble with the research base is that it (understandably) takes no account of individuals - for example many of the people studied will have been overweight and many will have had a degree of wear & tear on the knee joint, both of which would affect their long term outcome.

Anglaise1 Thu 17-Dec-15 19:35:29

I have had a bad knee for a while and an IRM showed a torn meniscus. I was all ready to undergo an arthroscopy to sort out the problem, but having talked to several people (athletes) they all advised me to wait as their experience was that it was worse after surgery than before. I waited, I still have a little pain but can still run, (and quite fast!) so live with it. There was an interesting programme on radio 4 recently about the success of arthroscopy for knee pain and the verdict was that those who didn't have the op (placebo) were as happy if not more so as those who had the op....

RNBrie Thu 17-Dec-15 19:44:18

I've had four on my knee over 12 years. The first three were to remove bits of cartilage, recovery is 2-4 weeks and then I'd have a period of relative comfort until it started to hurt again.

In the end, a different surgeon diagnosed a defunct ACL which is why the cartilage was always tearing. He replaced/repaired the ACL in the last surgery. My knee isn't perfect but it's a lot better than it has ever been and I'm so pleased!!

Do you know how you tore it? I think if you know what caused the injury and why and your knee isn't recovering by itself then it's worth a go with the surgery. If no one can explain why the cartilage is how it is then there could be an underlying condition which means the surgery won't offer you a lasting resolution.

I wouldn't rush into knee surgery but if it's preventing you from doing things and giving you pain, it is worth considering the op.

SwearyGodmother Thu 17-Dec-15 19:46:51

DH had an arthroscopy a few years ago after he tore his meniscus. Since then his running has gone from strength to strength (he ran a 3hr marathon) and he hasn't had any issues. I appreciate anecdotal evidence is meaningless but it worked for him.

ArgyMargy Fri 18-Dec-15 08:07:20

Thanks for these thoughts. Of course I'm focusing on Sweary's response because that's what I most want to hear! I don't know how it happened - everyone seems to think it would have been obvious but it wasn't. I do know that no matter how much I rest it, as soon as I do a long walk or have a very active day (eg cleaning 3 storey house), it gets pretty sore. And the constant clicking does my head in.

carrie74 Tue 22-Dec-15 09:46:13

It did for DH, but his issue was something to do with the meniscus, where I think he was told it had worn away so there was no cushioning in that part of his knee (I didn't pay masses of attention, plus it was more than 10 years ago...). Anyway, he had a long spell off running (although still played football regularly), and then became really particular about his trainers (he wears Asics Gel Kayano, and needs to replace them very frequently - the most wear he gets out of them is 6 months). He's been running quite a lot recently - not long distances, usually 5-10k, but as long as he's on top of his trainers, he's had no problems at all.

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