Physical Rehabilitation Medicine/meniscus tear?

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Question
I am a cross country runner and have run for 10 years. I have/had patella tracking problems in both knees and had a lateral release on both knees to fix it. I had the surgery 5 years ago and since the fall of  2011 my pain has started to come back . They said I need to strengthen my Vastus medialis and have been doing that . When I had my surgery they said my meniscus was cracked on my leg knee but that it shouldn't cause me any pain. Recently ( like last couple of weeks) my knee pain in my left knee has gotten a lot worse . I thought it was just my patella tracking problem flaring up. Before I ran yesterday I had my ATC do a McConnell J tape on my knee to help. It still hurt while I ran even with the tape and normally the tape helps. I Iced my knee after running and after icing it my knee started hurting even worse. My pain is in the lateral joint line and goes up inside my knee(like under the patella). It is a sharp stabbing pain, I have a hard time extending my leg fully, I cannot put all my weight on it without intense pain and catching/locking on me.Stairs hurt immensly. there is swelling around the lateral joint line and my knee feels stiff. My ATC said it was irritated scar tissue from my surgery but i am not convinced that is it. What do you think?

Answer
Dear Marie,
No there is something in knee joint the reason to suggest it since there is swelling around your knee joint. You haven't mention your age. anyhow I feel following two aspects but can't say exactly without testing.(This is not a issue with your scar tissue)
1. There can be meniscal tear(can be tested manually by therapist)
2. This can be beginning of Osteo Arthritis since you had patella Femoral syndrome and surgery.

So please you have to check these two. better you meet a physio. Till that my advises are
1.  Do not do icing instead of you can do heating when your swelling reduced.
2. stop running for considerable time of period.
3. Yes definitely Vastus strengthening is needed along with quadriceps and Hamstring muscles.

thank you,

Physical Rehabilitation Medicine

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MMA Ravindu Bandara

Expertise

I can answer any physiotherapy related conditions.such as, 1. Any Orthopaedic condition. 2. Rheumatological conditions. 3. Neurological conditions. 4. Respiratory conditions. 5. Paediatric conditions. 6. Soft tissue managements. 7. Pr and post operative management.

Experience

I am Sri Lanka Medical Council registered physiotherapist. I have completed the Diploma in Physiotherapy in School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Colombo in 2004. I have done my Advanced Diploma in Physiotherapy in Command Hospital Indian Air Force, Bangalore, India in 2006. I specialize in paediatric, Orthopaedic and Neurological conditions.

Education/Credentials
1. Advanced level- Bio Science stream. 2. Diploma in Physiotherapy-School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy,Colombo, Sri Lanka. 3. Advanced Diploma in Physiotherapy- Command Hospital Indian Air Force, Bangalore, India. 4. Bachelor of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

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