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Author Topic: Squats with a medial meniscus tear  (Read 10715 times)

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Offline fergy

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Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« on: October 12, 2008, 01:04:07 PM »
I have a medial meniscus tear, ACL and MCL tears.   Am trying to build up the leg before having ACLr and meniscus surgery in a few weeks.  Both PTs I've had so far tell me I should do wall squats.  But every time I do them, I feel very sharp pain and that "giving out" feeling.  I am able to do everything else they've told me to do, but trying to squat or even straighten my leg while weight bearing is out of the question.   

PT said I should try to at least do a few each day, but I question this.  I know good pain from bad, and this is not good pain!  I know wall squats are good for the ACL but not sure about a torn meniscus.  I'm going to stop doing them and tell my PT I won't do them anymore until after my surgery,  but just wondering if anyone else with a meniscus tear (pre-surgery) is doing wall squats and feeling pain.  Maybe it's just me, I dunno.

 
1960s-style go go dancer
Bicycle accident (not my fault, grr) 4 Sept 08
Left knee- ACL, 2 meniscus tears, MCL tear
ACLr (allograft achilles tendon) 31 October 08

Offline celinenj03

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 05:29:48 PM »
wow, i dont' know. i wouldn't do them if they hurt that bad. you're knee is trying to tell you something. are you stationary cycling? you could do that with a little resistance to build up the muscles. dont do the squats is my vote.
Terrible Triad - 1/16/06 - Basketball
3/15/06 - Scope/Cleanout of to achieve full ROM
5/3/06 - Surgery-ACL Reconstruction-Allograft
9/12/07 - Large Loose body removed;Grade 4 Lesion on LFC
9/17/08-Microfracture, Lateral Release (all right knee)

Offline eaglemom

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 07:09:00 PM »
If we're voting I'd not do them either.  You know your body better than the pt person, if it causes that much pain the body is telling you to stop.  Of course thats just my opinion.  Ask them for other exercises that you could possibly do.

Offline celinenj03

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 11:33:29 PM »
It's just not worth it honestly. You'll rehab just fine without doing squats now, trust me. Get your knee fixed and then do the squats.
Terrible Triad - 1/16/06 - Basketball
3/15/06 - Scope/Cleanout of to achieve full ROM
5/3/06 - Surgery-ACL Reconstruction-Allograft
9/12/07 - Large Loose body removed;Grade 4 Lesion on LFC
9/17/08-Microfracture, Lateral Release (all right knee)

Offline plantgeek58

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 12:09:50 AM »
NO SQUATS! Take it from a veteran of meniscus tears and re-tears in both knees, sharp pain like you're describing is not good. You could end up making the tear worse. Your instincts are right on the money. Trust them and if you can, I would advise changing therapists, because these guys obviously don't know what they're doing. A good therapist should be able to show you other ways to build up strength in your legs without aggravating your existing problems.
Terre
RK 7/04 part. m. menisc., plica resect., MF
    3/05 part. m. menisc., open OATS
    1/07 part l. menisc., MF, patellar chondroplasty
    9/08 MF
LK 11/04 & 8/06 part m. menisc.
     7/07 LR, patellar tendon debrid., part m. menisc.

Offline fergy

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 07:47:36 AM »
Thanks, everyone!   Yeah, I do the stationary bike (also at home) and that's been going well.  The squats are the only thing that's irritated me other than the occasional twinge I get when doing standing heel (calf) raises, but those are going okay now.

I've already switched therapists once - so I hope when I tell her today that I'm not doing squats, I won't be looking for PT #3  ::)
1960s-style go go dancer
Bicycle accident (not my fault, grr) 4 Sept 08
Left knee- ACL, 2 meniscus tears, MCL tear
ACLr (allograft achilles tendon) 31 October 08

Offline jathib

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  • ACL recon, lateral menisectomy, lateral PKR
Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 01:43:01 PM »
Squats are bad for good knees, say nothing about bad knees. Don't do anything that hurts. My PT does not allow me to do anything that hurts in PT. She says if something causes pain that it will cause more inflammation and that will be counterproductive. She will push only until something starts to hurt and then back off. She is PT professor at a university so she knows her stuff. You won't catch any of her students causing anyone pain after they graduate.

Offline fergy

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 02:15:48 PM »
I've been doing squats for years and never had a problem.  In fact, if you practice good form, they aren't bad for you (that is, without a knee injury).  It's just that a lot of people don't do them right - that's when they get hurt. 

Well, she wanted me to do the damned squats.  I told her how much it had hurt over the weekend when trying to do them.  She wanted to see what I was doing and asked me to show her.  My form was fine, but again I felt a sharp pain.  She told me to immediately stop.  Whew, glad I don't need to look for another PT  ;)

I'm not a PT, but if it hurts that bad when doing even baby squats, maybe they shouldn't be indicated at all for mensical tear pre-hab...?  Seems like a risky move to me when the meniscus is so vulnerable.

On another PT topic - maybe it's just here in the Netherlands, but none of my PTs have told me to stretch.  I've never seen *anyone* in PT here do any stretching, for that matter.  I do it anyway but still, I would think that PTs should have their patients get a good stretch before and after exercising. Just curious what your PTs are telling you (or not telling you) about stretching?   
1960s-style go go dancer
Bicycle accident (not my fault, grr) 4 Sept 08
Left knee- ACL, 2 meniscus tears, MCL tear
ACLr (allograft achilles tendon) 31 October 08

Offline jathib

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 05:37:22 PM »
My doctor told me never to do squats. I don't know why people are so obsessed with doing them anyway.

As far as stretching goes, what are you wanting to stretch? My PT always has me warm up first, on a bike if I'm working my knee or on the arm bike which I use for my shoulders. I assume that's what you're trying to accomplish by stretching?

Offline OSuzanne

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 11:41:20 PM »
In general, I think squats are fine if you use good form and if they don't cause pain.  I prefer to do partial wall squats with a ball behind my low back.  For me, it is a lot more comfortable than using a leg press machine.  It's a good quad exercise that is also very functional. 

I stretch after workouts.  I was advised to do quad, calf and gluteal stetches.  Just be careful with your stretches and keep them controlled and pain free.

Suzanne
Left knee: Lateral release, Medial meniscus repair & cyst removal - 03/05
Left knee: Medial meniscectomy - 12/06
Right knee: Lateral release, lateral meniscectomy, chondroplasty - 01/07
Right knee: ITBS - 07/07

Offline Ilya

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 03:03:24 PM »
Hey

I have recently tore and displaced my lateral meniscus, and after a month of limping around I popped it back into place and am back to normal.  How it happened or why my knee is back to normal is not something I can answer, but I do have a good PT and since my injury went from really bad to better I was prescribed several exercises at various difficulty levels.

If you are limping and have chronic knee pain you should focus on strengthening the muscles without putting any force on the joint hence straight leg exercises:

1. Lie on your back and place a towel under your knee.  Straighten your knee as much as you can while forcing the back of your knee down on the towel.
2. Lie on your back and slightly bend your bad knee (very slightly!) and plant your heel into the mat.  Push down with your heel as much as you can before it starts to hurt.
2. Straight leg raises - Lie on your back, bend your good leg and you can figure out the rest.
3. Ankle pumps - Lie on your back and raise your leg about a foot off the ground.  Pump your ankle back and forth.
4. Walking in water.

If you can walk normally you can move a step up:

1. Ball assisted wall squats - wall squats with an exercise ball between you and the wall.  When first doing these you might want to hold on to a chair by your side in case things get ugly.  If it hurts too much then don't do it!!!!  If there is slight pain then keep at it!  I had slight pain when I first started doing these but eventually it stopped as my leg grew stronger. If the pain is too much then go back to the straight leg exercises and try again later.  Squats are the best for strengthening your quads, which if you are like me have significantly shrunk since the injury.
2. Ball assisted hip raises - Lie on your back with your legs at your ankles up on an exercise ball.  Lift your hips while bending your knees.
3. Balance - stand on a bosu ball (the half ball looking things)
4. Thank god for ellipticals!!!
5. Stationary bike.
6. Swimming.

If most of the pain goes away and your knee is not interfering with daily activities then give these a try:

1. Two legged hops - jump with both your legs and with a soft landing (bend your knees as you are coming down). Once you get good at these then go forwards backwards, and side to side.
2. Speed walking on a treadmill.

AND IF YOU DARE!!!!
1. One legged hops - sort of like skipping.
2. Light jogging with brand new cushioned sneakers and on a treadmill.


I am attempting to avoid surgery as long as I can, and I am actually up to the two legged hops.  I have gotten pretty good at going straight up and down, just started attempting the forwards and backwards. Miraculously my knee feels fine and I am recovering nicely.  I only tore my meniscus though, and nothing else so I am not sure what it feels like to have ligament injuries as well.  It is also important to take daily vitamins which help recovery.  Personally, I take a multivitamin, fish oil, and one of those triple strength glucosamine/chondritin/MSM daily!!  It really helps.

Good luck to all!!!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 03:07:13 PM by Ilya »

Offline plantgeek58

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Re: Squats with a medial meniscus tear
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 05:55:10 PM »
We always do some form of stretching at my PT sessions, but we don't spend a lot of time on it. There simply isn't enough time to fit it in. I think that's probably why a lot of therapists don't bother with it. They're generally more concerned with helping their patients regain strength. Warmups on the stationary bike are usually sufficient to get me ready for the rest of the exercises, but we do usually fit in some stretches for the quads, hamstrings and calves.
Terre
RK 7/04 part. m. menisc., plica resect., MF
    3/05 part. m. menisc., open OATS
    1/07 part l. menisc., MF, patellar chondroplasty
    9/08 MF
LK 11/04 & 8/06 part m. menisc.
     7/07 LR, patellar tendon debrid., part m. menisc.















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