possible maniscus tear in knee


Likes Dirt
Hi all after falling of my bike 2 weeks ago after crossing a slipery creekbed and ended up doing splits.
After rice it for a bit. what i thought was a tendon tear might be a maniscus damage .

booked in for mri in a week .
to see whats happening and what damage there is

Any one have any experience with this sort of injury .

I can full weight bear knee with no pain i just dont have 100% range of motion more like 90%
Will be going to physio aftr mri i believe.
Cheers in advance steve

Oh is bad to ride ?

The Duckmeister

Eats Squid
They're not fun.

Allow the inflammation from the initial injury to subside (should have ay least started to after two weeks) before getting back on the bike, but generally it's one of the less damaging things you can do (unless you fall off bridges again!). You'll need to to be more conscious of using your gears & treading lightly on the pedals rather than mashing up hills, as mashing will cause more irritation and potential damage.

The severity of the tear will play a big part in how it behaves, whether surgery is required or not, and the recovery. Minor tears are really just a slight annoyance after the pain and inflamation of the initial injury subsides, but more severe tears can leave loose bits floating around, which can cause the knee to lock when you're trying to move it, and can also destabilise the joint, which in its turn opens up the risk of ligament damage if you're not careful loading it up. Physio will give a range of exercises to work the muscles around the knee to help stabilise it & reduce the possibility of secondary injuries.

I had a meniscus tear in conjunction with a few other misalignment issues. After the initial injury it was a bit shit for a few weeks, but improved to an acceptable level that it didn't bugger me around too much, and stabilised for a while, but after a couple of years it began to get worse, mostly as a result of the other misalignment issues exacerbating the instability. Went in for surgery near enough to three years after the first injury, to not only clean up the cartilage but fix the other shit too; on crutches for about a week, totally off the bike for a month until I got enough flexibility back to be able to pedal full rotations, then just ease into gentle road riding. Back to almost normal took about 3 months, I just couldn't fully bend my leg back to my bum, which was a bit of an annoyance out sailing. That last bit took the best part of five or six years to get back to full flexibility, but I'd got so used to it by then that it didn't bother me. 13 years down the track, that knee is now my better one....

If yours is a fairly simple tear with no other complications, the recovery should be a fair bit shorter. If it does come to surgery, it's possible you won't even need to be on crutches, at worst only a day or two, then a fairly close to full recovery over a few weeks.

The problem with cartilage is that once you reach adulthood & stop growing, there is bugger-all blood supply to it, so healing any injury to it takes a hell of a lot longer than any other tissue.


XC Enthusiast
Pretty much what Duck said.
I've had bucket handle tear (along with a Medial ligament tear) in the same knee that I previously had an ACL repair. That leg happens to also be the same one that I had a femur fracture in when I was a young sprout (19)....so Its a pretty unlucky limb!

Due to the impinged movement of the type of tear I had, it needed surgery to removed the "loose" section of cartilage. That was in 2010, and since then I've had no issues in relation to the knee.

As Duck said, once the initial pain and swelling goes down, you will have a better idea of the range of movement you had or havent got, and this will dictate the whether you require a clean out of the joint. Its all key hole now, its not very invasive and recovery is quick. Chance are they will sedate you rather than a general (thats what I had for my shoulder recon last year)
I reckon I was off crutches within a week and was back at full activity within 4-6 weeks without any pain.

Its really more of an inconvenient type injury than a career ending one!

Let us know how you go with your MRI.


Hydraulic Jack specialist
I wasn't quite as lucky as JT with mine, bucket handle tear as well but I was completely dependant on crutches for 2 weeks and still needed to carry them around in case my knees lost interest in holding me up after that for a bit.

Pre surgery, I kept riding but not off road. As long as it's not causing pain it was good to keep up the strength I was told. Could walk ok, but there was a pronounced limp with the loss of movement.

Post surgery, I used the indoor trainer once I could start putting weight on it again and just slowly increased the resistance until I was able to ride proper again. I think I lost a fair whack of cartridge though, I get a bit of a lock from time to time that I have to push out. Also gets really painful after a longer run and all achey in the cold (or am I just getting old?)

I was told stories of people being back up and playing footy 2 weeks after surgery, so you can imagine my disappointment when I was still working on walking again at that stage :p


Likes Dirt

Hey guys cheers for the replies thats appreciated
I have been riding a little bit on it couldn't help myself . Net searching said simailar.

Also found an article where a md said thay are finding stiches or suchers are working on both parts , ( high and low blood flow areas of maniscus )
any one heard about that .I will be asking doc about that.

Also any one know whether small tears heal or do all require surgery .

Shoot 10 min in doctor app is never enough time to work anything out .

Thanks again shall keep all posted on progress


Likes Dirt
See a physio now, find one who specialises in knees/lower limbs or sports. Don't wait for the mri.
Surgery depends on multiple factors, such as size and location of tear and whether there are bits floating and randomly locking the knee etc.
You'd be surprised how many improve/rectify with conservative treatment. I've seen people have he'll from a small tear with floating debris and others who are relatively asymptomatic with significant tears.
If conservative treatment is going to work, the quicker you get onto it the better.


Likes Dirt

thanks for reply,
There are a few page's of physio based in Hobart, any recommendations to narrow the list down.


Likes Dirt

Wow thanks heaps everyone.
And thanks for replying.

Have been pretty miffed about it, as i had just moved to two to three rides a week lately
And the incident took place at bloody walking pace on a slipery creekbed .

Went to a physio saw me on the spot he was very informative, helpful.
And reassuring.
I can ride ( but cant fall ) which is ok
I was given exercises stretching etc
And from me not walking properly stuck 4 acupuncture needles in my calf muscles to make it relax
He also increased joint mobility
so all up pretty happy.

Have mri tomorrow to see damage ,tear severity
thanks Steve