If you’ve recently suffered a knee injury, you’re probably wondering whether walking around with a torn inner meniscus is a good idea. In this article, we want to help you take care of your joint until surgery is needed or scheduled by your surgeon.
In addition, here are some tips on how to walk without worrying about the injury and what activities you can and can’t do with a torn internal meniscus. Read on!
Is it good to walk with a torn meniscus?
When asked whether it is good to walk with a torn meniscus, specialists say that taking short walks is beneficial as it will strengthen muscles, which will help with post-surgery recovery. However, it is important to bear in mind the following aspects:
- In the days immediately following the injury, there is likely to be swelling in the area, and during this time, it is advisable to rest.
- If you have to move around for the first few days, you should do so with crutches so as not to overload the area and make the injury worse.
- Once the swelling has gone down, you can start with short walks of maximum 30 minutes, using a knee brace.
- It is also advisable to walk after surgery, but avoid walking when the pain is severe.
Movement accelerates the recovery of the meniscus, which is why it is always advisable to walk after surgery if there is no acute pain. The reason? Thanks to short walks, the muscles in the area have gained strength, allowing the cartilage to recover and lose the stiffness of the cartilage and muscle.
What should I not do with a torn meniscus?
Before knowing what activities not to do, it is important to know the reasons for a torn meniscus injury in young people, as it is usually caused by a sharp turn in sport or a bad movement. The pain usually starts on the inside, but as the days go by, it is normal to spread to the outside of the knee and become inflamed.
With a torn internal meniscus, any exercise that causes pain or symptoms such as locking, clicking and instability should be stopped. In addition, for the first few days, it is advisable to apply cold, keep the leg elevated, and sometimes apply a bandage. In this way, the accumulation of synovial fluid can be prevented. However, it should also be avoided at all costs:
- Abrupt changes of direction or speed of travel.
- Repeated knee rolls.
- Lunge or stride.
- Contact sports.
- Rotate the body with the foot fixed.
- Forced push-ups.
Just as it is very common to wonder whether walking with a torn internal meniscus is good, patients also question other aspects, such as whether they can go up and down stairs. In this case, the most important thing is to listen to your body, if there is no pain, it is not forbidden, but you must be careful with flexion and rotation.
And if you have already undergone surgery, it will depend on the type of surgery: if the meniscus has been repaired, you will not be able to go up and down stairs for three months. However, if it is a meniscectomy, you can do so without any problem, although with a certain amount of caution.
As we have explained throughout the article, the most important thing is to avoid any sign of pain, i.e. when it appears, all activity should be stopped. However, if the pain of the first few days has already disappeared and we want to avoid muscle loss, there are some activities that can be carried out without fear of worsening the injury, such as:
- Cycling taking into account a series of recommendations, such as making sure the bike is your size, taking care with flexion and extension, as well as checking the position of the saddle.
- Walk fast, but always wear the right shoes and be careful not to make sharp turns with the knee.
- Running. It should also be done in suitable shoes without changing pace abruptly, the terrain should be flat and soft, and downhill slopes should be avoided.
- Aquagym or swimming (but avoid breaststroke swimming).
- Yoga, but be careful with certain postures.
How to strengthen the knee with a torn internal meniscus?
To strengthen the knee with a torn internal meniscus, you can do a series of exercises that we will detail below. However, we recommend you consult a physiotherapist or osteopath to assess your particular case and suggest the most appropriate treatment. The exercises most recommended by specialists are the following:
- Knee extension. Lie on the floor and place the heel of the injured leg on a rolled towel so it is about 15 cm high. Hold the position for about two minutes. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
- Bend your knee. Try to bring your heels towards your buttocks. You can repeat as many times as you like as long as there is no pain. Ideally, start gently.
- Calf stretch. This is a very effective exercise. You have to face the wall and place your hands at eye level. Stretch one leg behind you, and keep your foot flat on the floor while the other leg remains bent. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
- With a pilates ball, do squats.
- Lying on the floor, perform leg raises.
These are very simple exercises that will be of great help in your recovery. But remember that in the event of any pain, the best thing to do is stop any exercise or activity you are doing. You can also apply Orgono Sport Gel, a joint regenerating gel for sportsmen and women made from organic silica. Some of its multiple benefits are the following: it relaxes the overload of tendons and joints; it improves strength, elasticity and resistance; and it favours the production of collagen in a natural way.
In short, the best thing to do after suffering this knee injury is to rest until the swelling goes down. To help reduce the swelling, you can apply dry cold to the area, elevate the leg and apply a bandage. But when the swelling goes down, specialists say it is good to walk with a torn inner meniscus, as it helps keep the muscles strong and healthy. But don’t forget that these walks should not exceed 30 minutes and should be done with a knee brace.