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Meniscal Tear – Two Words a Runner Doesn’t Want to Hear

Posted Feb 25 2010 7:53pm

I’ve been putting off going to the doctor about my knee issue for a while.

I’d been training to run Disney again this year when one morning I realized my knee hurt. Just like that, bam – no notice, nothing.

It hurt pretty badly for a week or so. I laid off training, cut back a day, shed 15 miles from my weekly runs . . . and it got a little better.

So I decided to try for a half instead.

As soon as I increased mileage, my knee began again. Stiffness, soreness, but no swelling and i could still run. It was after the run, in particular the next day, when it really hurt.

So, I did what every runner does at the first sign of injury – I ran, and while i ran, I tried to self diagnose.

First mistake.

So many things ’sound like’ other things. Runners knee sounds like some type of patellar syndrome, or maybe it is.

Tendoitis may be bursitis may be a ligament strain. Or a Baker’s Cyst.

I did the RICE thing. Cuz that’s what they all say to do.

I did some foam rolling; the next day when I touched my calf muscle I thought I might faint.

I prepped for the half marathon, and i ran it, with limited pain during – just at the start – but a few noxious calf cramps during. I had to stop and stretch my leg out because it felt as though my leg may not stretch, may not hit the ground, mid stride. It wasn’t a knee locking, but a definite leg pain or cramp.

Some other issues:

calf cramps

hamstring tight

stiffness down the inner portion of my knee, nearest the left knee, when I attempt to extend leg and stretch

pain when pressing on the joint line

Then I called the doctor.

He did a few quick tests, schedule an MRI, said the Xray showed nothing, and then, the dreaded words: It might be a meniscal tear or strain.


Not what I wanted.

I’m 40 now. I’m not getting younger, and surgery, while not too bad for this type of thing (in most cases) is sometimes more difficult to recover, so I’ve read, when you get older.

I don’t want to stop running.

I spent yesterday curled in a ball crying hysterically.

Today I had the MRI and Monday I get the results.

In the meantime, no tear, no tear, no tear.

Oh, and by the way, the Susan Komen half marathon in Jax is great. If you want to run a half or full, do it there. (Although the full I’m not sure about – not much shade and it got pretty warm toward the end).

THe only complaint- soup at the finish line. Come on now, who runs half a marathon or a full and asks for a bowl of soup at the end?

Otherwise, a great, great run. I did it in 2:14, including the walking for my cramping and a potty break. I was happy witih that. I don’t care about speed these days, I just want to be able to run.


No tear. Please, please, please no tear.

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