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No Future as a Knee Model

That Popping Sound is Normal, Right?

No Future as a Knee Model
By: JuliaM

I'm a runner, mountain biker, rock climber, and skier who's had surgery three times on my left knee (torn lateral meniscus three times, radial tear of the medial meniscus once). I'm back to (or still?) running, training for another half marathon. My most recent knee surgery was July 2010 and my knee still isn't quite what it was.

I'm also a mother of two small children who sometimes accompany me on my runs.

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 Blog Entries
I Fought the Disc, and the Disc Won - Apr 19
I've taken up Ultiimate Frisbee. Perhaps it's not the wisest choice, given my knee history, but my husband is an avid player and suggested we join a team together as a fun ...
That Popping Sound is Normal, Right? - Apr 01
My knee's been better and better and better since last summer's surgery. But it still makes a weird popping sound if there's any lateral pressure (or if I, say, bend it while ...
Posted: Apr 1, 2011 22:06
  • That Popping Sound is Normal, Right?
    My knee's been better and better and better since last summer's surgery. But it still makes a weird popping sound if there's any lateral pressure (or if I, say, bend it while lying on my side). It's always a little disconcerting, though I should be used to it by now.

    Though I know it's probably fluid in the joint, I can't help wondering if the surgeon left some air pockets in there, somehow. Or maybe some popcorn. I also wonder when this extra popping fluid will be gone. My last knee surgery was nine months ago--nine months!

    But I shouldn't complain. The knee functions fine on my runs. I'm almost back to a fully normal running schedule--some trail runs once or twice a week, a road run once or twice a week--usually pushing the double stroller--and my beloved Sunday long run. Plus an occasional short (2.5-mile) "family" run, which I love, because my husband has decided he wants to run more. I don't care how short or slow our runs are or that I have to push the stroller. I enjoy running with him.

    I'm building my way back up, after months off, to a half marathon. Every time I start building up my speedwork or my mileage, though, I seem to kick off another injury. Not my knee--oddly, it's pretty solid despite its three surgeries and extensive meniscal damage. The hamstring on my "good" leg is now bad, perhaps a compensation injury? Perhaps my biomechanics are off.  I don't know.

    I do know that I set a PR in a recent 5K, and I'm not too upset that I have to bow out of next week's 10-mile trail run due to an unexpected family situation. My hamstring won't mind skipping that hilly race. I will still keep training for a May half marathon, but it's already April, so I'd better choose and register for one soon.

    I tuck my left leg under me as I write this, and pop goes the knee.

    I wonder how much longer I'll be running, and if my ultramarathon goals will ever come to fruition.
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  • By: JuliaM: Apr, 12, 2011 13:45 PM
    AmariT, how long ago was your surgery? Mine was last July (very end of July); my surgeon told me to take 3 full months off of running (due to the extent of repair). It was hard, but he was right (of course, I tried running after 2 months and it HURT). I also did a lot of PT to strengthen the quadriceps on that leg, which helped. i started slow but was up to 8-mile runs in no time. Of course, I could only do an 8-miler once a week; my other runs were shorter.

    The key is to start slowly and keep buildling up speed and mileage. Stop if it hurts, and do other exercises to keep the muscles strong to protect the knee.

    Good luck!

    By: JuliaM: Apr, 12, 2011 13:42 PM
    Thanks for your comment, NYAGP. I haven't had my legs checked; I wonder if that's why I keep tearing my left lateral meniscus!  Hmmm. I will keep it in mind and see if I can get this checked out.


    By: AmariT: Apr, 12, 2011 13:19 PM
    How long after your knee surgery did you start running again? I'm so paranoid about my knee health; it's hard for me to imagine regularly going on 2.5 mile or longer runs only 9 months after surgery. 

    By: Notyetagolfpro: Apr, 04, 2011 19:52 PM

    Hmm, thinking about how the foot bone is connected to the leg bone is connected to the hip bone...   Have you ever your legs checked for limb length disparities?   Even 1-2 cm. if real difference can really throw things off.  Also, have you had your feet arches checked?   I personally was able to address many problems from pains through ligament tears with in shoe orthotics to address flat feet!    (Wearing a brace during athletic activity helped too).   Maybe something to think about...  NYAGP 


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