Question - Torn Meniscus (timeline for return)

I am 14 years old. I play competitive AAU basketball. Recently, I hurt my knee and my Dr. thinks i have torn my meniscus. How long will it be before I can compete again?

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Jun 07, 2008
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Did you doctor recommend surgery?
by: Bart - SII

Recovery from a meniscus tear depends a lot on how big the tear is and where it is. Most of the time, unfortunately, the tear will not heal on its own and will require surgery.

If you go through some rehab without surgery, and get your motion and strength back, you might be able to get back to basketball in 3-4 weeks...but if the tear doesn't heal on its own, then you will likely have a recurrence of pain.

If you have surgery to remove the torn part of the meniscus, you should be able to be back in action in 4-6 weeks and the knee will feel "good as new" in 2-3 months. If they repair the torn meniscus, then it is a longer recovery - usually 4-6 weeks on crutches and then rehab for another 4-6 weeks - so a total of 3 months before you are playing again.

I have had patients go back to basketball as early as 3 weeks after a meniscectomy surgery...but they still had a little bit of swelling and pain after activities.

Hope this helps - comment back if you have other questions.

Jun 07, 2008
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getting better
by: sean

is it normal for my knee to continue to feel better? I still don't have full motion of my knee but it feels a wole lot better than the previous days? does this mean I could still have a torn meniscuse

Jun 07, 2008
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it should be getting better
by: Bart - SII

Each day your knee should feel better than the last - especially if you are resting and not playing basketball - this is normal and is because the inflammation is subsiding - however, it doesn't mean that you don't have a tear necessarily. The key will be once you get your motion and strength back whether or not you can go back to basketball and not have it become painful and swollen again.


Jun 07, 2008
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What else could it be?
by: Sean

I have no pain upon putting pressure on the knee, just when walking. The doctor was not at all positive he was right. More importantly, how long could I be out if he was wrong?

Jun 07, 2008
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quick recovery
by: Anonymous

If I rush my recovery and begin playing like some of your patients in 3 weeks, would that severely damage me in the future? Obviously, its best to wait it out, but how bad would it be if I were back on the court in 3 weeks?

Jun 09, 2008
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No MRI?
by: Bart - SII

I am guessing that you didn't have an MRI, if your doctor isn't sure that it is a meniscus tear.

If you get your motion and strength back, and then return to playing gradually, you may be fine - it is hard to put a timeline on your recovery, as it is different for everyone. I would guess somewhere around 3-4 weeks - if you go back and then have pain again, it could be a meniscus tear. And if you do play on a torn meniscus, it can sometimes cause the tear to get bigger.

Right now it sounds like you just need to focus on getting your motion and strength back and see how that goes - it is best to not rush it, especially since you are only 14 and you have lots of years ahead of you to play ball.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you progress!

Jun 10, 2008
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Torn ACL
by:

***moved to comments***

I learned today i do not have a torn meniscus but a torn ACL. My growth plates are still open. realistically, is the surgery a bad idea?


Jun 11, 2008
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Oh no!
by: Bart - SII

So sorry to hear that you have an ACL tear...that is not good news considering it was originally thought to be a meniscus tear.

Every surgeon is a little different when it comes to whether or not they will do an ACL reconstruction with open growth plates. Some of the physicians I work with will, others won't. Soemtimes it will also depend on how open your plates are - they can tell by X-ray as to whether they are wide open or if they are almost closed.

Wide open plates are usually best left alone until after they close, just to avoid any possible complications. Usually for a male, growth plates close somewhere around 14-16 years old. So, to be safe, your surgeon may recommend waiting a year or more to let your growth plates close.

Hope this helps - comment back with other questions.

Jun 11, 2008
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Cant wait a year
by: Sean

I cant wait a year and then have the surgery. Ive done research and see that it is a minimal risk. Waiting a year or more is not an option at all. Ive seen different procedures that decrease my chance at growth disturbance. The only way i would wait is if I could play on the torn ACL with a brace or soemthing. but could i play on it at a high level such as high school basketball?

Jun 11, 2008
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growth plates wide open
by: sean

and the growth plates were wide open.

Sep 22, 2010
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See if this helps
by: Trevor

I had a torn meniscus a few weeks ago and just went through surgery, i could do almost anything i wanted until i felt a sharp pop in my knee then i could hardly put pressure on it and it slowly started to get better after that then do it all over again. I have been out for 4 weeks so far with 2 left but they repared mine, and if you have a minor tear they might just remove the torn part and you will be back in 4 weeks. You dont want to wait though if it is a tear because it will just get worse and you wont be able to play longer. I had the same symptoms as you though, i could do everything the doctor said just fine but every once in a while i would get that pop and it would get messed up again and it usually happened when i twisted the wrong way. Its up to you what you do but i would get an MRI.

Nov 20, 2010
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help me PLEASE!!!
by: T.Gilliam

okay so one day at nasketball tryouts, i was jumping down 4rm a layup n when i landed, my knee made a loud cracking/popping/snapping sound...i went to the e.r the nxt day n x-rays came back normal,doctor said i sprung my knee,,but i dont know because he said all i had to do is wear a brace on my leg for 10 days, then i would be back to normal (this all happened on Monday November 1st) n itz now November 20th. i went to the orthopedic n she said aint nothing wrong but my knee still hurts when i walk or when i bend it to a certain degree and when i run, or put my leg out straight...so can sombody tell me what might be going on and how long b4 i can play ball again at my fullest potential(100%)

Jan 22, 2011
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Well
by: Anonymous

I tore my meniscus playing football senior year of high school. Finished the season with it torn, then saw a dr. surgery was highly recommended but I didn't get it and am currently playing basketball. It hurts, but I couldn't wait

May 05, 2011
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ACL and menicus
by: jb

i have a torn acl and meniscus on my left knee.. they do the surgery for both last Apr 2010. i feel really good after 4 to 5 mos afetr the surgery. after six mos of rehabilitaion it feels like its not progressing. i cant even jog/run, squat. then they do mri again and found out the meniscus is still torn. after i year the doctors said the ACL heal just fine but unfortunately my meniscus only heal 70%. they do another surgery 3wks ago and im back on my crunches.. im very frustrated bec i do all the necessary exercises all the doctors adviced but still it didnt work. do you have any advice to make it better and heal it faster?? i like to go back to play again.. thanks..

May 16, 2011
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Meniscus Tear
by: Anonymous

The doctor told me I have a torn meniscus due to mild swelling and its always pain and pressure behind my knee like where it bends at I'm scheduled to have surgery june 9th and I was wondering what all would I need to do to get back to normal also I have practice tomorrow and I was wondering Could go there isn't that much pain now but if I bend it wrong or maneuver wrong it hurts talk to me please. . .

Oct 31, 2011
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Torn Meniscus- should he be going to tryouts anyway in 9 days
by: Anonymous

My son has a severe lateral torn meniscus in his right knee. The doctor told him play with it. He should ice, elevate, compress, and advil. He can play until he can't tolorate the pain. He is 15, plays bball all year round and school tryout are in 9 days. He has been wearing a brace every practice and every game for the last three months. The doctor told me today she doesn't recommend surgery until he can't tolorate the pain anymore. Is this crazy, I figured he would damage it further if he went on that court. He will be playing bball in college and he is only in 10th grade. Should I let him play. My son says the Meniscus is the only knee injury you can have and still play ball. What should I do.

Feb 04, 2012
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Weeks of going to chiropractor NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info my left knee gives out on me every so often it just gives out and causes me to fall usually happens after using stairs even just two steps of stair I can feel as though it goes out of place like a finger does sometimes
The falls have been getting serious last week I dislocated my shoulder falling on the ice my knee was good that day, but I am sure concerned about it giving out while my right arm is in a sling, my follow uo is in a few days maybe I should ask for a MRI at that time
Mae

Feb 04, 2012
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Weeks of going to chiropractor NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info my left knee gives out on me every so often it just gives out and causes me to fall usually happens after using stairs even just two steps of stair I can feel as though it goes out of place like a finger does sometimes
The falls have been getting serious last week I dislocated my shoulder falling on the ice my knee was good that day, but I am sure concerned about it giving out while my right arm is in a sling, my follow uo is in a few days maybe I should ask for a MRI at that time
Mae

Jun 19, 2012
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Severe Lateral meniscus tear NEW
by: Anonymous

Hello. A couple of years ago, I tore the lateral meniscus in my left knee. I lived in France at the time, so I went to a French doctor and he said it was just a sprain. It continued to hurt after it had been braced, so I went to another doctor, in France. I was told the same thing.
Finally, a year later I move to Korea and my knee pops and I can't bend it all. A Korean doctor tells me its a mild sprain...Physical therapy does not work very well, but there is improvement. I start acupuncture for six months and there is more improvement in mobility and less pain, but the problem persisted.
About a month ago I was playing bball and my left knee hurt so much. It painful to walk and climb stairs, so I got a MRI and three doctors told me the lateral meniscus is severely torn. Just had surgery where 50% of the meniscus was removed and I was told I would have a meniscus implant later. Will I ever be able to play basketball again?

Dec 02, 2012
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Meniscus injury? NEW
by: The mamba

Hi ive been playing bball for two months now and my inner right knee hurts when I walk upp stairs or twist awkwardly. I have a game inwo days and wanted to know if I could play. I RICE it every day so far but is it enough and I wear a brace

Dec 25, 2012
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Need Advice NEW
by: J.R Smith

I hurt my knee in july playing basketball (I stop suddenly) I then didn't play basketball for a month. When I came back I try to move suddenly and I hear a crack. So I went to the emergency room this time and they said they thought it was a meniscus tear. They said I should talk to my doctor, but I waited a couple weeks to see if my knee got better and it did. I waited for my leg to get full motion again and then I started to lift weight to get my legs strong. I started to play basketball again and I havent got hurt. However, when I lay down in my bed on my side and i move my leg up and down it makes a clicking sound. What is this sound? And do you think I need surgery. (Iam 20 years old with no other injuries.)

Jan 13, 2013
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Can I Play Again NEW
by: SHELIA CAPOSIO

I just turned 54 yrs old,but am very active in basketball and softball,I still play against 19 an 20 yr. old guys and girls.I am playing for a 50year old basketball and softball team.I am playing in the senior olympics this year in Cleveland for both sports.
I guess my ? is I had lateral meniscus surgery Aug. 2011. in March 2012 I felt it tear again,snap,snap just pushing off to cover 1st base(it's my right leg)I knew it tore again.My insurance changed and so did my doc.Bad mistake for me.My new doc saw the tear on the MRI but did not review last surgery video.Long story short ,she removed lat. meniscus completely with a 4th degree arthritis.Can I play these sports again an what can I do that will help me play.
Would love your feed back.
Thanks Shelia

Jan 13, 2013
Rating
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Can I Play Again NEW
by: SHELIA CAPOSIO

I just turned 54 yrs old,but am very active in basketball and softball,I still play against 19 an 20 yr. old guys and girls.I am playing for a 50year old basketball and softball team.I am playing in the senior olympics this year in Cleveland for both sports.
I guess my ? is I had lateral meniscus surgery Aug. 2011. in March 2012 I felt it tear again,snap,snap just pushing off to cover 1st base(it's my right leg)I knew it tore again.My insurance changed and so did my doc.Bad mistake for me.My new doc saw the tear on the MRI but did not review last surgery video.Long story short ,she removed lat. meniscus completely with a 4th degree arthritis.Can I play these sports again an what can I do that will help me play.
Would love your feed back.
Thanks Shelia

Jan 13, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Can I Play Again NEW
by: SHELIA CAPOSIO

I just turned 54 yrs old,but am very active in basketball and softball,I still play against 19 an 20 yr. old guys and girls.I am playing for a 50year old basketball and softball team.I am playing in the senior olympics this year in Cleveland for both sports.
I guess my ? is I had lateral meniscus surgery Aug. 2011. in March 2012 I felt it tear again,snap,snap just pushing off to cover 1st base(it's my right leg)I knew it tore again.My insurance changed and so did my doc.Bad mistake for me.My new doc saw the tear on the MRI but did not review last surgery video.Long story short ,she removed lat. meniscus completely with a 4th degree arthritis.Can I play these sports again an what can I do that will help me play.
Would love your feed back.
Thanks Shelia

Jan 13, 2013
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Can I Play Again NEW
by: SHELIA CAPOSIO

I just turned 54 yrs old,but am very active in basketball and softball,I still play against 19 an 20 yr. old guys and girls.I am playing for a 50year old basketball and softball team.I am playing in the senior olympics this year in Cleveland for both sports.
I guess my ? is I had lateral meniscus surgery Aug. 2011. in March 2012 I felt it tear again,snap,snap just pushing off to cover 1st base(it's my right leg)I knew it tore again.My insurance changed and so did my doc.Bad mistake for me.My new doc saw the tear on the MRI but did not review last surgery video.Long story short ,she removed lat. meniscus completely with a 4th degree arthritis.Can I play these sports again an what can I do that will help me play.
Would love your feed back.
Thanks Shelia

Jan 13, 2013
Rating
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Can I Play again NEW
by: SheliA CAPOSIO

What is the treatment and can I play basketball and softball again with 4th agree arthritis and no lateral meniscus.

Jan 10, 2014
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still painful NEW
by: Anonymous

I had meniscus repair 1 year ago(2012) and a few months later... torn again. In June 2014 had knee replacement and removal of meniscus.. still in pain 6 months later... help....

Sep 21, 2014
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Torn meniscous NEW
by: Anonymous

Tore my meniscous a year ago playing football! Stopped all my sports except hockey, I feel it has healed! Played vball and baseball for the 1st time since the injury and no twigging just tightness in the back of where the tear was any suggestions? I feel I took that year off for a purpose, have faith its healed, but the tightness is uncomfortable as I still play well but Im alil restricted I feel! What is causing the tightness? Im confused!

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