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No Knee Surgery For Now

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No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Dave Tuttle on Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:36 pm

Well, I got the second opinion on whether I need surgery for my torn Meniscus and this Surgeon felt that as long as it is improving there was no need for surgery at this point. That is about what I expected to hear and I prefer to try to avoid surgery if possible so I'm happy with that. What I am having trouble with however is that I'm being told that the "minor" Arthritis in that knee means I have to stop running... When I pressed each Surgeon they backed off and said to cut down a lot but I could tell they meant quit... I wasn't really able to communicate very well to them how important running is to me both mentally and for my heart. I tried but I didn't go into the whole heart story and I just got a blank stare like they had never heard anyone say anything like that before... I'm afraid what's going on here is simply "Safe Medicine" like how do you NOT tell a guy with Arthritis in his knee to stop running??  This Arthritis thing looks like a crap shoot to me. They say it's MINOR Arthritis. I can barely feel it when it's at its worst...  If I keep running will it mean I'll need a new knee when I'm 75? I would be fine with that and it might be the best scenario for me but no one will go near that question...  If I quit running now and miss out on all the great cardio that running gives me my CAD might kill me before I ever reach 75... If I had quit every time it was hard or it hurt a little bit I never would have become a runner nor would I have overcome my CAD. Maybe it wasn't necessary to run as much as I did but that's what worked for me... Somehow I just can't see quitting now so I guess I'll run till I can't anymore and see how it plays out? Does anyone have any experience or insight?

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by haggis basher on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:05 pm

Hi Dave.
Sorry to hear about your knee problems, I got the same message in 2005, when both my knees where so swollen that I couldn't walk without pain!
I was mentally shattered, as like you - I needed my fix (LOL)
I happened to pick up the Runners World Magazine, wherein was a 3 page article called 'The POSE' way of running. I wrote for the book and dvd, and practiced the light steps and landing 'under' the centre of gravity, which takes the weight off the knees. For the next 8 months I trained that way, and then I ran a half marathon (all uphill) to 4000ft without any pain or damage, and been running since!
It comes under posetech.com. I met the author when he came to Australia. He was the Russian Head Athletic Coach in the 1960-1970, and has degrees in biomechanics etc. Nobody wants to change their style until their running is threatened. Don't be one of the sceptics, who practice 'contempt prior to investigation'!
Try running more on grass too, helps to 'soften' landing.
If I can be of any further use, just email me.
Good Luck
Brian (The POSE Runner) Very Happy

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:36 pm

Dave Tuttle wrote:Well, I got the second opinion on whether I need surgery for my torn Meniscus and this Surgeon felt that as long as it is improving there was no need for surgery at this point.  That is about what I expected to hear and I prefer to try to avoid surgery if possible so I'm happy with that.

This is great news!  


Last edited by LMRun on Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by RoadKillBill on Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:47 am

Hi Dave

Sorry to hear you continue to have knee problems. Given the issue with arthritis, it's good that you might be able to leave the meniscus intact, torn as it is. I have no experience or insight, but wishing you the best for optimum recovery. Stay positive.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Rachel August on Tue Dec 30, 2014 5:46 am

Dave - I don't have any experience with knee problems.....except when I fall on them.....but I do know that old and all too familiar desire to maintain a quality of life suitable to one's own personal needs.....and that level of quality - whatever it is doesn't come from an outside source - only you know.

As I trudge through here - I am becoming more and more aware the importance of listening to one's own body - I think the art is to NOT sacrifice your own sense of health for anyone else - and that means stopping even if you have plans/commitments - or slowing down - or maybe you feel good enough to continue - only you know these answers.

I wish we could replace the negative connotation that the word "to quit" seems to invoke and replace it here with adjust - or modify - because life/running/whatever is just not a competition - pushing through something is not always a sign of strength - this is life and we need to live it within the potential inside of ourselves - for our own joys. I know that I don't always get this balance right - but I'm a student here and I'm trying.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Guest on Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:40 am

Edit to remove post.


Last edited by LMRun on Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:58 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by twal on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:03 am

You may be able to delay the need for surgery by using a mix of cross training activities. Dee, my wife, has some arthritis and a partly torn meniscus, and they try to push her toward surgery. However, she has been able to stay fit and avoid surgery with a mix of walking (snowshoes where you live), biking, elliptical machines and the various other machines at the gym, with a little running. If there was a pool at the gym she goes to, she'd be mixing that in as well.

I know you live in a rural area, but you may be able to find a gym nearby where you can cross train and then run maybe twice a week. Perhaps, you can work on your guns and put Gary to shame.

I dread the day when I will no longer be able to run.

If worse comes to worse, knee replacement is not the end of the world. There are people who come back from it and do very well.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by EugeneRunner on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:58 pm

That is a tough one. I've had to quit running for good several times, although ultimately I was able to come back which I view as an unexpected bonus. Even once I reached the age where I felt I was okay with it if I had to quit running, once I actually wasn't running, it was really tough. Like most people, I've been told to quit running many times over the years, and mostly that was people being extremely conservative. But there are legitimate circumstances where it is time for the running days to be over. The trick is knowing if it is really that time. Dave - in your case it doesn't sound like it is that time yet.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Dave Tuttle on Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:47 pm

Wow, thank you all for your responses. There are some good suggestions to look into and a great discussion about finding quality and balance VS going too far. That really is what I'm struggling with. That and change and aging I guess... We're all unique in our own ways but I think we're very much alike in many ways too and I think we have to be careful because we are naturally very tough minded people. I think this is an important issue for each of us and a great topic for this forum... We do have to find the balance that works for us and hopefully we do it wisely and know ourselves well enough to know when to back off and when not to... I admit I have trouble with that. Running is like a drug to me. I need it. I run to drive off my CAD and that goblin under my bed. I run to feel good... My Cardiologist never gives me a stress test. He says I get a stress test every time I run and I'll know it if things start going to hell. He's right. For the last 14 years each and every run proved to me that I'm doing OK this day but I also know there's no guarantee for tomorrow... My heart like all of yours really let me down and I need proof every day that its OK right now. That is why I started running, that is why I ran marathons, and that is why I need to keep running. Its allowed me to trust my body again and live well without fear. I'm fine with all that... Running has given me good health and a level of confidence that I otherwise wouldn't have had but I also know my need to run can be dangerous and some of my past decisions prove that. I've run too many times when common sense said not to but I listened to the need rather than my brain. I'm not so sure its quitting that many of us struggle with, none of us are quitters... Maybe its the need?  I know I have to find the right balance and I'm still trying to figure it all out... Your insights and support are very much appreciated.  

For now I'm going to keep running but only every other day to give my knee a chance to recover better and I've stopped biking on non running days to give it a rest too... Unfortunately, I've never found another form of exercise that can match running for me. I need to breath really hard and sweat a lot. The nearest gym is a 60 mile round trip and my bike can't seem to do it like running does but I'll find a way if I have to.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Marc Thayer on Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:45 pm

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/which-running-shoe-is-right-for-you/article22276071/

There's a ton of stuff to consider and this is no scientific journal piece but it has a smattering of links and general info that may be of value.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Dave Tuttle on Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:47 pm

Marc Thayer wrote:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/which-running-shoe-is-right-for-you/article22276071/

There's a ton of stuff to consider and this is no scientific journal piece but it has a smattering of links and general info that may be of value.

Thanks for the link Marc!  I am right now trying to figure out where to go with my next running shoes so the info was helpful to me. It's interesting that we now seem to be in a maximum cushioning trend in response to the minimalist movement of the last several years... Is this another knee jerk reaction (pun intended)?? You can always count on the trends to swing to the extreme... I ran in 0 drop minimalist shoes for at least 3 years prior to my knee problems and I absolutely loved them. Did they cause my problems? I don't think so. I think my age and the heavy work I do are responsible for the torn meniscuses in both knees. The Arthritis? Age and the injuries probably... The article recommends cushioning for those who are injury prone and I agree but I'm pretty cautious of going too far either way. I had looked at the Hookas but fear they might be too soft. Has anyone tried them?

With all the conflicting information and theories out there I've decided to go back to what worked best for me for the majority of my running years... I've already settled into my old every other day running routine to help with recovery and healing and I've been wearing a low mileage pair of  moderately cushioned running shoes of the type I always used prior to going minimalist. I'll be buying this type for my next shoes too. This new  approach seems to be helping. I've been able to sustain a couple of 20 mile weeks now and still feel like my knee is slowly improving. I'm pretty happy with that and hope it continues... I also know my extra weight isn't doing my knees any favors and getting rid of at least 10 pounds is the final part of my plan. With a little luck by spring I'll be able to train for a half marathon.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Marc Thayer on Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:29 pm

Ayuh...seems rational to me. Good luck and shoe review please!

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Klemp on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:30 pm

Dave, I really hope you can continue your running. Due to bad weather, I have not run at all and am beginning to feel bloated and miserable. As you said running is like a drug to you. It works wonders for me also. I recently went to a chiropractor for the first time and with the help of x rays discovered I have a shorter right leg by about 1/4 inch. I am going to try an insert type heel lift when I resume running and hope this helps reduce some of my own aches and pains. I have had custom orthotics for many years but the podiatrist did not check for a leg length issue.
Also, my 10 year anniversary for my emergency quad bypass at age 47 is Saturday 1/10/15.

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Re: No Knee Surgery For Now

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:24 am

Klemp wrote:Dave, I really hope you can continue your running. Due to bad weather, I have not run at all and am beginning to feel bloated and miserable. As you said running is like a drug to you. It works wonders for me also. I recently went to a chiropractor for the first time and with the help of x rays discovered I have a shorter right leg by about 1/4 inch. I am going to try an insert type heel lift when I resume running and hope this helps reduce some of my own aches and pains. I have had custom orthotics for many years but the podiatrist did not check for a leg length issue.
Also, my 10 year anniversary for my emergency quad bypass at age 47 is Saturday 1/10/15.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Robert!! And many more!

Lucky you found that leg difference... You might see a real improvement once you get the lift.

It's been pretty brutal up here too so I've been running exclusively on the dreadmill but later in the week looks better so maybe I'll get in some outside running.

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Very interesting article, Marc

Post by Gary E on Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:14 pm

Good luck with your plan, Dave, and thanks for the insightful article, Marc. I somehow subscribed to the author's website for a while, but eventually became overwhelmed by all the new and conflicting presentations, so I deleted that link.

I'm still sticking with my life-long plan of alternating shoes with every run. Sure, most of them are three or four decades old...but so am I (give or take a few more decades), and you don't want to throw me out, do you?

Uh, never mind that last part, I don't think I want to know the answer.
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