View Full Version : Knee Injury

4th March 2003, 00:07
Hello E-Budo community,

Well, I went for my MRI today. Everyone suspects a torn Miniscus cartlage.

My Sensei tells me not to get the surgery unless it is a very large tear. Said the he had a similar problem and he did massive leg extensions and curls every other day to rehab it. His injury was similar to mine.

Since speaking to him, I have spoke to several other people, who had a similar surgery.

Out of about 10 people, only one said that it was a great thing for him. Everyone else said that it did not help, or made things worse.

One said that he did both knees, but he felt that the Physical Therapy afterwards is what really helped him. (Sounds like Sensei...)

I guess what I would like is to hear from anyone who had the arthroscopic surgery, and would like to hear your experience, good or bad ... and how long it took you to recover.

Thanks a bunch

Joe DiBella

5th March 2003, 04:50
Hello Pal,

I am right now recovering from a knee injury. It has been a slow and sometimes painful recovery but after around 7 weeks I am not as restless as I was before.

I have spinned my right knee by myself in the dojo during a round kick. At first the doctor was suspicious about my miniscus (actually the proper plural for that is menisci, am I right?). After some examinations he decided that was not the case. It was too early to afirm that so I would have to do further exams in the future. In the meantime I had my leg immobilized with one of those removable apparatus and was told to use lots of ice.

Soon my knee was round, big and the sligthest effort to bend it or to stretch it too much would be really painful. When it came the time appointed by my doctor I went to see the physical therapist. Before I would be allowed to talk to the physical therapist the clinic I went to made me show my knee to their doctor. After looking at my knee for about 10 or 15 seconds he threw at my face some weird dyagnosis and started to talk about getting my knee drained at once and then start talking about surgery. He brought back the talk about meniscus. That kinda worried me since the other doctor had seen me 3 or 4 times already and was pretty sure physical therapy would work fine and be enough to solve my problem. I thought the idea of getting my knee drained was too sudden so I chose to talk to my doctor again. I ran home (actually I barely walked...) and called my doctor, my family's doctor and one of my sensei (who happens to be a doctor too) and ALL of them told me not to let anyone take anything from my knee in that stage and to forget about surgery.

So, I looked for physical therapy somewhere else and things ran pretty fine. Soon my knee's size started to move back to normal and the movements got less painful.

I had 12 physical therapy sessions and I think there will be a couple more to come. I am not completely fine. I still cannot stretch or bend my right leg completely but it is WAY better than before. I am wearing a knee protector to help me sustain the body since my leg got thin and week after being immobilized.

I do not know if it helps at all and probably our problems were not the same but I definately feel that staying away from being pierced and seamed was the right choice. A couple other people I know who had similar problems said they could recover pretty well without surgery. Another guy told me his knee was never the same again after the surgery and a friend of mine told surgery was a not too nice experience but wirked for him.

Once you make a decision or have news about what's going on with your knee, please share. I am dealing with patience and the frustration of staying away fro the dojo. I still use ice twice a day and had two sessions with a doctor specialized in eastern medicine that helped a lot.

Hope you get well soon.


Sidarta de Lucca

5th March 2003, 11:39
Hello Sidarta, and thanks for your reply.

Yeah, you are probably right with the spelling of the menisci. I stink at spelling, so please excuse my poor spelling.:D

Anyway, I actually hurt my knee playing with my daughter. Just the way I got up off of the floor, I happened to put my body weight on my leg when it was at a wierd angle and "POP". It hurt for 2 days and got better.....

Until a month later... POP in Karate Class....:eek: Hurt for 2 days.... Got Better.... another month went by.... POP again....:mad:

Well you know the story... A year goes by.... with my knee re enflaming about once a month.. And it really gets in the way of training....

It is not necessarly when i kick with the leg, btw, it is when I kick with the other leg and the bad leg is supporting my body weight. Expecially when there is a piviot.

Anyway, my Sensei.. Sensei Teruyuki Higa, told me that he had a similar injury. And they told him to get the surgery years ago... What he did instead was do Leg Extensions and Leg Curls every other day with a nautilus Leg Machine. ( I was just lucky enough to buy the exact same machine on ebay, but I am sure that any machine will do.. Just waiting on the shipping ) He now calls the machine "His Baby" and credits it for saving his career. He also says that his legs are in better shape now then 20 years ago. ( I told him "now if only the machine could make tempura.....");)

Sensei, also introduced me to some of his students that say that they have never been the same since surgery. He again believes that if you really build up the quads and other surrounding muscles around the knee and strenghten them, that should be enough... Provide the tear is not a very large one, which it can't be that large, since I can still walk.....

Also, my leg doctor is a very scary individual... More scary than anyone that I ever fought.:D

So, I got the MRI and it has to be evaluated... Just want to know how big of a tear I have... But, I just know the guy will sugest surgery, since he has already mentioned that I probably "Need" it.

Once My Leg Machine comes in, I am going to try Sensei's method for about 3 months... See if that works... If not, I may do the surgery.

Hope I am making the right decision....

And I hope you, Sidarta feel better too.


Joseph DiBella

Mike Williams
5th March 2003, 12:17
I sympathise.

Injured my knee last August(probably a partially torn ACL, maybe meniscus damage, who knows?). As I predicted he would, the local quack just told me Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and handed me a prescription for ibuprofen.

With hindsight, I really should have insisted on getting it MRI'd - I thought it would take months on the NHS, so I didn't bother. (It only occurred to me much later that I have private health cover through my work, duh wotta moron. In my defense, I've never claimed on it, so it's not part of my daily consciousness :) ) The other thing I should have insisted on was seeing a physio.

My knee is now back up to 95% strength - it's taken nearly 9 months, and I'm sure I could have knocked months off the healing time with a sensible physio programme.

For what it's worth, I've heard very encouraging things about knee surgery. If it becomes necessary, it should be a fairly straightforward process. Try to find a surgeon who has done it a fair few times already.

5th March 2003, 22:50
Once you make a decision or have news about what's going on with your knee, please share. I am dealing with patience and the frustration of staying away fro the dojo. I still use ice twice a day and had two sessions with a doctor specialized in eastern medicine that helped a lot.

One note about this, Sidarta, that I forgot to say....

I to was very depressed about missing time at the dojo... Sensei told me to just train mostly hands until my knee heels.

There are tuns of things you can do... Sensei tied a small ball to a string and hung it from the ceiling. The idea is to backfist it, or strike it in a similar way.... This is hard if the ball starts to move... Also, practice with the Makiwara, heavy bags, dummy, Blocking, Block - Strike combos, etc. Do 200 Palm Heel Strikes into a heavy bag each hand and you can have a great part of a workout.

The thing that I have been doing is using the time away from legs to an advantage. The advantage is that now I can devote a lot more attention to my hands. Perhaps I was supposed to hurt my knee so that I could improve my hands.....

Another thing he told me to do is to hang a small ring about eye height, stand several feet away and lunge foward with a finger to try to gouge the ring, like threading a needle. If you can't practice power, practice pricision.

I hope that helps, as it has been helping me get thru my recovery time. Sensei even told me about someone who did this in a wheel chair, and did kata. When there was a kick, he yelled "Kick". Wow!

All my best,

Joe DiBella ;)

Jeff Hamacher
5th March 2003, 23:01

just to get technical for a moment, the singular is meniscus and the plural is meniscii. that part of the body is usually referred to in the plural, it seems.

i've had the surgery that you describe (removal of the damaged tissue, leaving about two-thirds of the original tissue mass), with mixed results. as far as i can tell the injury was the result of aikido training (too much waddling around on one's knees). for a period of about 3-4 weeks following the procedure i lost full range of motion in the knee, which the doctor told me to expect. he encouraged me to do lots of stairclimbing to regain flexibility and maintain strength without putting too much strain on the meniscii. for about 5-6 months following the surgery, everything seemed fine and i was able to return to aikido training. oops. stupid choice. after i gave up on aikido altogether i took a bash at yoga. double oops (half-lotus poses no good for injured knees).

for the last year and a half, i've experienced intermittent pain in the knee joint, sometimes fairly sharp pain. i'm almost certain that i've gone and reinjured the meniscii, although i'm praying that it's something else. at this point, i'd almost be happy to hear something like, "you have nerve damage in the knee". i don't plan on repeating the surgery unless a doctor essentially orders me to, and have resigned myself to putting up with my knee's condition until i can find alternative forms of treatment or rehab.

my advice? by continuing to train on your injured knee, you risk further damaging the meniscii. even if you take a break from training until your knee feels better, the pain will come back as soon as you start training again. if you have the surgery, get a complete description from the doctor as to how much damage there is and how much tissue they propose to take out. follow all of your doctor's advice and learn from the other comments upthread (proper icing, walking, stairclimbing, strength training, stretching, no standing deep knee bending/twisting). take your time letting your body recover and return to training first by practising techniques that put no specific strain on the meniscii. your martial arts are important to you, but you have to put your general health first. best of luck, regardless of your choices.