I'm a healthy, active 40 y/o runner who unfortunately caught a pothole which
resulted in a 30% tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus. With no
relief in pain after 3 1/2 months of leg strengthening exercises. I had the knee
scoped and the tear excised (it was unrepairable). Just rotten luck.
My question is, I want to do everything I can to prevent (or at least put off
till I'm 80) secondary osteoarthritis. Most literature (and most, but not all
doctors), say it's possible, rather than probable, depending on level of
activity, genetics, etc. Others say just the injury itself, whether surgically
addressed or not, will bring on OA. But I'm more optimistic.
I'm 7 weeks post op, but because of my long lay off (100 days), my quads had
atrophied quite a bit. I'm slowly regaining strength and my normal gait (I'm in
P/T right now), but I wanted your thoughts (as a physical therapist) on someone
with a partial meniscectomy returning to running. I've heard all sorts of
opinions from conservative to get back to what you were doing. Actually, the
doctor said keep running, but I've had different opinions from my P/T's. Maybe
the doc wants a knee replacement patient in 25 years?
As much as I love to run (for over 25 years), I like the idea of being able to
walk, hike, etc., into old age much better. In your opinion, do you think the
pounding of running, even only a few miles a week can hasten or contribute to OA
down the road?
What about rollerblading? I love to exercise and get my heart rate up. Does
in-line skating provide the leg and cardiovascular workout (without the pounding
of running)? If so, I'd certainly take that up instead (in addition to
bicycling, swimming, weight lifting). Are people who rollerblade more
susceptible to ligament and tendon tears, including the dreaded ACL tear?
How is rollerblading on the joints (articular cartilage)? I imagine it would be
much less stressful than running (less pounding and "shearing" across the
cartilage)? Is it considered a "weight bearing" exercise (like running and
walking) to help maintain bone density? What are your thoughts on bicycling?
What about easy running on grass for a mile or so every now and then (just to
keep my stride)?
Whew! I guess that's enough for now. I'd truly appreciate your opinion. I'm sure
you've seen all sorts of people, including those with osteoarthritis, who
continue to run and remain active until they drop. It's just that I'm willing to
make some short term adjustments for some long term benefits.
Bye the way, I've read both "The Arthritis Cure," and, "Maximizing The Arthritis
Cure" by Jason Theodosakis, MD, as well as "Pain Free," by Luke Bucci, Ph. D.
All have useful information on maintaining cartilage integrity and preventing
(if not curing) Osteoarthritis (maybe more so primary OA than secondary OA)? I'm
taking all the supplements mentioned in these books, as well as juicing and
watching my diet in an effort to keep my knee healthy into the future.
Hopefully this will act as a preventative/prophylactic and pay dividends down
I'd be interested in your thoughts on supplementation as well as getting more
info on the Glucosamine based product you carry that is based on "The Arthritis
Thanks for your time.
Well Paul, you did a great job answering your own question. common sense
suggests that is you take out the major shock absorber, repetitive pounding
(running) is likely to produce wear and tear over time. Since you are willing to
roller blade or inline skate, I strongly suggest that you do that instead. You
might be able to find a dirt path or grass field that you can do some limited
running as part of your exercise routine in addition to skating. I would also
suggest that you cross train generally - add swimming and cycling to your range
of activities. A slide board is a great indoor workout, and there are other
machines - treadmills and stair climbers that might serve as tools to fill in
when you are in need.
It is my opinion that there is no significant risk of injury added when you add
activites like roller blading. Further, I have to agree with your doctor - some
running is OK. The meniscus is not the only cartilage sructure in your knee, and
the posterior horn is a small part of your total surface area. So whil you need
to be cautious, you don't need to be overly concerned.
As far as supplements are concerned - I am strictly a whole food supplement
believer. In particular, we promote the use of Juice Plus (seventeen
fruits/vegetables and grains in a jel cap!) there is great science behind the
product that shows a significant reduction in oxidation (reduced DNA damage,
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