Case Summary  |  Knee Pain

Condition Knee Medial Meniscus Tear
Case Description

Although I've had knee pain off and on for many years, ever since chipping a bone when I was 12, my knee never hurt enough to affect my activities. Then, in March of 2007 I tripped running up some stairs and hit the inside of my knee on the edge of a step. I was doing yoga at this time for exercise, and soon after hitting my knee I began to have trouble getting into lotus position. I would be trying to get my leg to the floor when there would a sudden loud "pop" and excruciating pain for a moment and then it would be fine. There was also a bruise on the inside of my knee that didn't seem to want to heal.
In May of that year I made a trip to Thailand to study Thai massage. The first day of class the instructor did advanced work on my knee and gave me a salve with different essential oils and it felt quite a bit better. But by the second day I was being worked on by beginning students who kept forgetting I wasn't as flexible as them and that my knee was hurting and it got badly overstretched a couple of times. I started taking aspirin in large amounts to get through class. Combined with having to kneel and rock my body back and forth to perform the massage, by the final day of class I could barely get through the one hour hands-on exam without crying. I almost couldn't walk down the stairs to leave the school afterward.
When I got back home I decided to try Traditional Chinese Medicine, so went to a TCM clinic. I was living in China at the time and was eager to try out alternative methods of healing. They performed an MRI (just to be safe, they said) and then ignored it and told me I had arthritis and began treating me for that, with both moist heat and warm wax compresses, acupuncture, and pads they placed on my leg and then ran electric current through it. My translator, however, when reading the MRI technician's report had mentioned there was a word she didn't know: meniscus. Since they gave me my film, I sent it to a Physical Therapist I know in Hong Kong who was trained in New Zealand for a second opinion, and he confirmed that I had a bucket handle tear of the left anterior medial meniscus, and told me to stop all the heat treatments and start using ice. He also said to continue with the acupuncture and made an appointment to see me. I also used a crutches during this time to keep weight off the knee and quit wearing a knee brace, since it was increasing the heat on my knee.
Having completed the TCM treatments in China, in early June I went to Hong Kong where my friend said he wanted to try therapy and glucosamine first, and later we'd re-evaluate and see if surgery was called for. He thought the bruising was from some micro tears in the medial collateral ligament and they would eventually heal. He helped me with some stretches and gave me some strengthening exercises, since we determined that I'd been favoring that knee, probably since I hurt it when I was 12 (at this time I was 54 years old) and there was a significant difference in my left quadriceps from my right. He also did one more acupuncture treatment. By this time I was able to get around without the crutches and had cut down the amount of aspirin I was using considerably.
Then, in late July I had a friend come to visit who is a chiropractor and who specializes in knee and shoulder adjustments. She did an adjustment on my knee (she had someone traction my leg and she actually goes under the patella and pushes the torn part of the meniscus back into place). That treatment was the final step. Since then I have continued with the glucosamine (and I do notice if I stop taking it for more than 2 weeks), the strengthening exercises to maintain the muscle tone, and I use walking and swimming as my main forms of exercise. I still do some yoga, but I'm more careful now of lotus position, and I'm careful to protect the knee joint in other positions. Although I haven't run for exercise for quite a few years, I find I am able to do short sprints (like to catch a bus) without any problems. As far as I'm concerned, I have full function of my knee again.

Currently taking glucosamine supplements, 3000mg/day, and I continue to walk or swim for exercise, as well as do the specific strengthening and range of motion exercises my PT gave me. I also now sleep with a foam pillow between my knees.

Dates March 12, 2007 - July 30, 2007
Diagnosed On May 17, 2010
Diagnosis Method MRI
Treatment Combo Glucosamine + Swimming + Walking + Strengthening + Chiropractic + Acupressure + Range of Motion Exercises + Change of Sleeping Position
Treatment Result
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1 case
Age 62
Height: 5 Feet 8 Inches
About me: I used to have a lot more interests til Facebook took them away

Case History & Details   

Treatment Combo Anti-inflammatory Medication (NSAID) + Ice + Chiropractic + Physical Therapy + Bed Rest + Crutches + Acupuncture + Essential Oils
Treatment Result
Helped a lot

What helped the most initially was bed rest, using crutches and taking aspirin or ibuprofen, with temporary relief from the essential oil and icing. The physical therapy and acupuncture, combined with the glucosamine seemed to have the greatest effect, and after the one chiropractic treatment I've been pain free

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Treatment Combo Knee brace + Micro current + Heat Therapy + Therapy Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation - TENS
Treatment Result
Helped a little

The knee brace was actually increasing the inflammation, as was the heat therapy. I'm not sure if I was being treated with micro current or TENS, but whichever it was, it didn't seem to make much difference.

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