T Nation

Knee Injury


In june i underwent microfrature surgery on my right knee. Basically the procedure involves scooping out the remains of my cartilage, and than drilling a whole in my knee to allow for the stem cells in my bone marrow to make for new cartilage. Well i was supposed to avoid running/weights for 6 months.

However due to sport, i had to resume running in september. I could run, but i had pain after. I now, in january have constant pain and cannot even squat my own bodyweight, meaning i cant just squat down , even just doing the motion. Im 20 years old and this is quite a serious matter to me. What is going on? I was hoping some sports medicine contributors like dr.ryan could shed some insight on what to do next or what i can do to heal or what to expect. Thanks.


You were meant to wait 6 months! You waited 3. And now you're surprised that there's pain?

Sorry dude, but you were stupid.

I'd get yourself to the dr real quick. This is a great example of how overzealousness can be the worst thing for your body.

And you're only 20. shakes head


I echo the suggestion of seeing a doctor asap.

Also, check out KNEE Geeks web site in the UK (link below). They may have some more practical suggestions for you.


Good luck!



I have had the exact surgery on both knees. I could run at 3 months post op, tried a couple of times but was sore afterwards - not during. So I didn't run. It took about 18 months before I could squat again properly - and even now I have to be careful (3 years later). I cannot squat really heavy anymore and cannot do high reps or train legs more than twice a week.

Other than that and a bit of pain going up and down stairs sometimes the knees are OK. The funny thing is, if I dont do deep squats weekly, the pain gets worse. I also regularly use a foam roller on my ITB.

Mate - the only advice I can offer is to take the time. By running too soon, you may have knocked loose the tissue that was reforming in the hole. Give it time it might improve. However, given that bleeding is important for the repair of the hole, you may need to go under the knife eventually - I would only recommend this as a last resort - ie - after you have given the knee plenty of time and rehab (6 months to a year). By taking the time I dont mean doing nothing either.

In the meantime, get onto a good glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and try get some fish oil if you aren't already. As mentioned above, I would be seeking professional help with this but not from any doctor - do some research and spend the money to find a doctor/surgeon/PT who have experience with knees. Hope this helps.


yea, myself and others seem to think i will need another minor surgey such as a scope. I am using glucosomine and chondroiton. Doesnt do much :x


any other ideas?


bump :frowning:


I had a similar surgery about 10 months ago. I had a large hole drilled into my bone about 1 cm deep then the press fit a foam plug from a company called OBI into the hole. It does the same thing as a microfracture where they damage the bone that is exposed and then the damage creates an immune response the blood flows and hopefully your body starts to regrow some cartillage.

With my surgery the plug is supposed to give you a place for the new cartilage to adhere to and help it grow. With your surgery they just ice pick at the bone until it bleads and since your young your body should heal in some replacement cartillage. They don't drill as this creates heat and doesn't create as much blood flow. I think they have a little tool that rapidly stabs your bone like an ice pick.

Anyway the practical advice from my experience is that you try to assess your long term goals and your chances of healing.

It sounds like running early and pushing it hasn't worked as you are still hurt and useless in whatever sport you are trying to play.

So you have to listen to your body and balance out your goals. If you're trying to accomplish something in sport right now and you'll be done for life. Suck it up and burn out your knee. But you won't be able to go back.

If it's not a must have now situation you allready hurt your going to have to miss a season. Get and MRI to see if you damaged the new cartillage or to see if you have nny. Read the actual MRI report written by the radiologist. As you have to trust yourself to make the decisions not the doctors.

If you have some cartilage take it easy and rehab one step at a time and now it will be very slow. Bike & less than body weight lifting then ellyptical & body weight lifting then walking then jogging then running & moderate lifting then sprinting then plyometrics and heavy lifting.

If you don't have cartillage and your back where you started or worse. You might want another surgery but I would look at getting an foam implant depending on your damage and get a doctor that specializes in cartillage.

What is the size of your hole? Where is your hole at? What sport are you playing? Why are you playing it? Is this sport now worth having debilitating pain in your knee for the rest of your life?


see im in school and have to run in order to graduate my program.


What program are you talking about? If it's some sort of athletics requirement to graduate, the administrators would have to make exceptions for injuries.

If you're talking about making a cut for an athletic team, try talking to the coach. You might just be SOL. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you got injured; sometimes life just isn't fair.


im in firefighting.


If you persist in this you will, most likely, ruin your knee for life. You kinda sort need a good pair of knees for any work in public safety -- firefighting especially.

The way I see it, this could go one of two ways:

1) You push yourself so you can graduate firefighting school the first time around, blow out your knee, and are no longer able to work in your field of choice. You'll be in an office job in no time.

2) Take the advice presented by others. If you can't graduate this year, you can't graduate. It sucks, but that's life. Nothing is guaranteed, but chances are very good that your knee will heal if you allow it to and you can return to school stronger than ever.

Are you in school just to say you did it, or to make a career? Blow it out and look at your graduation certificate as it hangs on your cubicle wall, or be smart about this and have a rewarding career, delayed by only a year.


thanks, i realize this. Im more looking for a medical point of view to what is happening / what needs to be done to fix it.


I am a ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer)and deal with sport-related injuries on a day-to-day basis. However, I do not have a lot of experience w/ the particular procedure you had, but I will give you my professional opinion. As you probably already know, your impatience may have bought you another surgery. MD's go to school to be experts in a field.

And you my unfortunate friend, are no expert at 20 y.o.
For the immediate time being, I would stay off of the knee (minimal walking, no exercises except for therapy, no running or lifting with that leg). Plenty of ice for 20 minutes as often throughout the day as needed and maybe some Anti-inflammatories (ie. Ibuprofren, Aleve, Motrin).

You can take as much as 3 200MG tablets 3 x's a day of regulart IB or try 2 Aleve in the am and two in the pm.

As for what might be occurring with the knee, you have probably further damaged the area that the DR. tried to fix. Cartilage is not like bone in that the more weight-bearing activites (ie walking, running, lifting) you do, bone will get stronger and grow in density. Cartilage does not respond in the same way.

By doing more activites such as running, you have slowed the healing process or have completely disrupted the whole thing.

If this pain continues for more than 7-10 days after minimizing your activites, I would return to the Ortho. who performed the procedure and get his professional opinion. Expect him to be pissed. Most Ortho's don't like it when you F--K Up their work, but they do appreciate the money you will be paying him or her to correct your screw up.

Good Luck kid!! Keep me posted on how this turns out.


thanks oba, i dont get any swelling just pain. I know he'll be pissed but w/e im pissed at him. I went in for a scope, and JUST a scope because i would be back to functioning like a week later. He thought hed do me a favor and give me a microfracture and take me out for 6 months. I was supposed to go to the states for football (im canadian) on a scholarship to a d1 school. So yea, he kinda fucked me around, he knew i was a ball player as my coach (cfl hall of famer) put me to him and explained the situation. In fact i got my appt, MRI, and surgery all in one month. Im not worried about cost as insurance covers it, but i think i will have to go back to my coach and doctor and recieve another surgery. When, i dont know.


and to add more injury i twisted my knee yesterday running stairs now its really swollen and i dont have full ROM.


You're running stairs now?

You must want to permanently fuck your knee.

Keep going, it'll happen.


well ive kinda come to the conclusion ill need another surgery Anyways.