Knee Surgery


Experience From - Jay Hodde , Terri, Bob , Tim Rowell ,

Jay Hodde

Don said:

"My injury stems from a number of reasons, mainly an abrupt increase in both distance run per week and weight I was lifting at the time my problem occurred. "
It sounds like your injury was traumatic in nature.

"I am seriously considering seeing a specialist to find out the extent of this injury. Is this the best route to take? I want to know also what are possible forms of treatment for knee problems(I am presently dealing with swelling and a feeling of pressure surrounding the knee cap). "
Pressure comes from the swelling. While the location of swelling can be an indicator of a specific problem, swelling likes to "flow along the path of least resistence." In the knee, that's usually around the patella.

Aside from doing nothing, an MRI and arthroscopic surgery, if indicated, are the usual first means of treatment. Some doctors will also take X-rays.

"I am rather skepticle of having knee surgery. On a minor injury, is there good chances of returning to running ultras and such?"
From my experience, the vast majority of runners will return to their sport following surgery. Look at it this way -- can you run an ultra the way your knee is now? Probably not. And will it get better on its own? After 2 months without progress, I would say those chances are also diminishing.

"Am I getting overly concerned about this or is this something for further research and inqury? Should I go ahead and see an Orthopedic MD or is there alternative forms of treatment? "
Knowing what little you have told me, I would suggest seeing an orthopod. I would expect her/him to do an exam, take x-rays, and possibly order an MRI if your condition isn't "obvious". If the diagnosis seems straight-forward, I've seen them schedule surgery on the spot. Even though an MRI isn't always necessary, your medical insurance might require it be done as a prerequisite for surgery.

"Does anyone know of a good doctor in the area of Lake Charles, LA. And is it relevant to request one who runs?"
Requesting one who runs isn't as important as requesting one who knows that you consider yourself an athlete and will treat you like an athlete. Tell him that you expect to run after surgery. If he says that isn't very likely, I'd get a second opinion before I did anything.

I don't know of anyone in Lake Charles, but I would suggest finding out the team orthopod for the Saints as a starting point.


In response to knee injuries -- many dysfunctions can cause swelling and pain around the knee cap area. It is important to find out early if there has been any significant damage to the surround structures -- for example articular cartilage, meniscus, ligaments.

You are wise to be concerned about surgery-- nothing is ever as good as before an injury no matter what the orthopod says. It may be helpful to seek out the opinion of a sports medicine physician ( who doesn't not always have to be an orthopedic surgeon) or a physical therapist who specializes in sports injuries.

As a physical therapist and athletic trainer I see all sorts of knee injuries--some which heal with time, others need therapy, others still will require surgery. The only time I would highly recommend surgery is if you have a torn piece of cartilage that is getting locked in your knee -- that over time can cause irrepairable harm to the articular cartilage of the knee


I had surgery to replace my left ACL on Oct 2nd.. By Nov. 2nd I was able to roadbike 26 miles. By the end of Nov. I was doing 3 to 6 mile runs on asphalt and on Dec. 6th I ran a half marathon. I am now logging 20 to 30 miles a week on some pretty rocky trails here in Az.. So if your worried about a lengthy rehab it all comes down to how strong you are before you have the surgery and what you put you mind to doing when you come out .

Tim Rowell

I struggled with pain and swelling in my right knee for over a year, I was sure I could take care of the problem by:

Go see an orthopedic doctor. I finally broke down and went. Some things, like my medial mensicus tear, just can't be fixed by any other method. Made sure the doc knew that not running after the scope was not an option. He did a fantastic job, 5 weeks later I am running and doing light lower-body weight exercises with no pain. Best $500 I ever spent.