Question - Knee Injury (waiting on MRI)

by Claire Brown

I'm 30 years old and deem myself to be extremely fit due to gymnastics and dance training (which I also teach) I recently had a knee injury at gymnastics way back at the end of March doing a toe touch jump.

I was in extreme pain at the time and the knee didn't swell until 3 days later. I couldn't walk on it for about a week and took about 6 weeks before I could straighten it fully although my physio suggests now it may not be 100% straight. I have recently had an MRI and am waiting on the results which has taken so long.

I haven't been able to return to gymnastics or dancing as anything beyond walking causes my knee to give way (it actually feels like the bones are moving over each other) I experience pain at the time but is usually gone within 10 minutes. I cannot squat without being in pain and I still cannot kneel down on any type of surface.

I am desperate to find out (5 months down the line) what I have actually done so I can work to restore full strength. I have been to physio sessions and have built up my thigh muscle which disappeared very quickly. Can you give me an idea of what my symptoms suggest and how can I get back to my training as soon as possible.

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Aug 23, 2008
Meniscus, ACL, patella injury...
by: Bart - SII

From what you describe, it sounds like you may have a meniscus tear, an ACL tear, or possibly a patellar subluxation.

The giving out episodes concern me about a possible ACL injury - however, you said that the knee didn't swell for 3 days - most ACL tears (however not all of them) swell almost immediately.

Meniscus tears, which are painful with injury and usually swell 1-2 days later can also cause significant pain when squatting, and can sometimes give the sensation of giving way when walking or running.

Patella subluxation usually causes swelling immediately, but can sometimes be delayed - this injury can give sensations of giving way, and can be painful when squatting.

I would recommend continuing with your therapy exercises until you get your MRI results - once you know exactly what is wrong, you will have a more clear view of your treatment options.

Feel free to comment with other questions

Sep 02, 2008
by: Claire

Got the results of MRI on Thursday and have completely burst my acl, have a large tear on my lateral meniscus and substantial damage to my medial meniscus - great eh ? Trust me to have done just more than one thing. Now waiting on a surgery date (max 16 weeks) Anyone know how long the recovery period is as I do teach dance and I am going the most amazing holiday of a lifetime for 3 weeks in December to Hawaii and Los Angeles to celebrate my 30th birthday. Been told I cant fly for 6 weeks after but depending on recovery time Im not sure whether I should wait until after my holiday and be restricted to my activites but may be in a worse state post op and dont want to ruin my holiday by being unable to walk let alone take part in activities.
Has anyone had acl and both meniscuses repaired and if so can you give me an idea of your recovery time (i know everyone is different)

Sep 09, 2008
Recovery timeline
by: Bart - SII

Having the ACL and mensicus surgery together is very common - most ACL tears do not occur in isolation. Now, whether they remove the torn portion of the meniscus or whether they suture it back together will determine how quickly you can put weight on the leg. A repair takes 4-6 weeks of non-weightbearing, a removal allows for immediate weight bearing.

After an ACL reconstruction, you should be walking in 2-3 weeks, walking normally in 4-6, and then your recovery progresses from there over the next 6-9 months. So, depending on when you can have the surgery and how that aligns with your trip, you may be better off postponing it rather than be very limited with your activities on your holiday. With the flight restrictions, I would think that if you can have your surgery 8 weeks before your flight, you should be doing well enough to enjoy some activities - probably no skiing though.


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