Leg injuries

Meniscus Injuries – not a nightmare

Meniscus injuries introduction

Meniscus injuries are the fourth most common injury in runners according to a study of over 2000 runners seeking medical care.

The meniscus is a crescent shaped structure that provides cushioning and stability in the knee joint – think of them as little shock absorbers in your knees.

Meniscus tears

A tear in this cartilage may occur from twisting in a squatted position. Meniscus injuries of tears, give symptoms such as a locking or catching sensation in the knee as well as swelling. The average age of runners with a menicsus injury is 43 years old and males are twice as likely to experience a tear. Degenerative meniscal tears are more common in older runners and may or may not cause any symptoms.

Meniscus erosion

If you have osteoarthritis by a doctor, and it is very severe, it may mean you have little or no meniscus left. This is more serious, as it is effectively bone on bone contact and it may be that running is not a great idea. If however, you have a mild erosion, with a few symptoms, then running – alongside lots of strength and flexibility work may be a good way forwards.

Training options when recovering from meniscus injuries

Consider some low impact cross training – such as cycling or swimming into your training plans. Also run off road to reduce impact on the knee and joints. And add in extra recovery days too. Make sure to be guided by pain and swelling and don’t despair! You can get back to training, you just need to listen to your body.