Can you run with a torn meniscus? Are treadmills bad with knee pain? To be honest, the answer to these questions depends on a few issues. Let’s discuss some of them.
What Is a Torn Meniscus?
The meniscus is cartilage located between the tibia and femur bones around the knee. The tibia is the large shinbone, while the femur is the thighbone. The meniscus cushions the stress and weight subjected to cartilages around the knee joint, as well as in all other joints within your body.
Because the meniscus acts as a shock absorber, it gives your knee the stability it requires to function. Twisting or bending the knee with significant force may cause the meniscus to tear. A torn meniscus causes the knee to swell. This usually happens within one or two days if the injury is not severe. Afterward, the knee becomes painful when you twist or bend the joint.
When the meniscus is torn, a tearing or popping experience happens, and moderate to severe pain around the knee joint is felt. The affected knee joint becomes very weak, and it will find it difficult to support your body’s weight.
Consequently, the torn meniscus swells and stiffens, preventing you from engaging in any active sport, such as running. In more serious situations, you might need to visit a physician to determine the level of damage done and to be prescribed with medical treatment.
Can You Run With a Torn Meniscus?
Running with a torn meniscus will not only worsen the injury, but it will also reduce the ability of the knee to have a stabilized movement. The joint becomes painful, and the knees become unreliable in activities that require weight-bearing functions, like sports and running.
Results of Running with a Meniscus Tear
In cases where the tear is small or located near abundant blood supply, the condition tends to heal on its own. However, severe cases are treated with total bed rest. You are requested to rest the affected leg in an elevated position and constantly apply ice on the affected joint.
After a period of two to three weeks, the physician may recommend some physical therapy for rehabilitation, such as feet extension for strengthening the affected knee joint.
Do not go back to running activities yet, unless the physician informs you that you are safe to do so. Running with a torn meniscus can cause long-term or permanent damage to the joint. Extensive damage will require a knee operation and can take up to five months to recover fully.
Chronic meniscus caused by running with a torn meniscus or a torn cartilage that is not properly healed can lead to meniscectomy. This procedure involves the trimming or removal of the affected part from the healthy cartilage to do away with knee weakness and popping, as well as to reduce the pain in the joint.
The majority of people who undergo this treatment recovers. They can go back to playing sports, although in moderate sports activities only.