T Nation

Training with a Knee Injury-Advice?

This is my first thread. Sorry if it sucks :slight_smile:

I’ve training Muay Thai and Grappling for about 7 months. A month ago I got thrown to the ground from the clinch and landed straight on my knee with all my weight above it.

I think this made a small tear in the medial meniscus according to my research. I’ve kept off the knee for about a month. It’s gotten much better and I feel it’s about time to start training again.

I’m looking for advice from anyone who’s had this sort of injury before. What they did to avoid aggravating the injury and how long it took them to get over the injury and train at 100%. I want to train but I don’t want to end up destroying my knee.


What research did you do to determine it was a medial meniscus tear? Did you ever go see a sports medicine physician, ortho, ATC, or Physical Therapist? MRI done? Any kind of testing? Before any of those results are determined, then you can’t be certain whether or not there was a meniscal tear.

Assuming that it is a meniscal tear, recovery will be determined by the severity of the tear, location of the tear, your ability to compete with the tear, etc. Some people are able to continue playing without any issues with certain meniscal tears. Majority of the time, surgery is the best option to either repair or remove the torn part of the meniscus.

If you are going the non-surgical route, really just do what-ever is symptom free. Make sure to keep the musculature around the knee healthy, strong, and stable to prevent any slipping of the knee joint.


I did research on my symptoms: location of pain, knee stiff and “locked” when straighted (this went away after 2 weeks), pain when knee is fully bent. I didn’t go to the doctor because it didn’t swell and i could still walk.

I’m in the USAF and they don’t order tests on the knee unless you can bearly/can’t walk on that leg. A friend of mine got into a bad snowboarding accident (could bearly walk or bend knee, extremely bruised and swollen) and they wouldn’t give him any tests, all they said was, “give it R.I.C.E” and sent him on his way. His knee still bugs him and it’s been 8 months :frowning:

Thanks for the advice :slight_smile:

Man, that sucks. i’d keep pushing for additional testing, although i know what you’re saying.

if you’re not already, use fish oil and glucosmine and all the joint supps to facilitate healing.

as far as training…i dunno. you know your body, so you can always do some light training, and see how it goes.

personally, i only have had one minor knee injury, but everyone i know who pushed injuries has had nothing but problems.

good luck.

You’re in the United States Air Force and can’t get medical treatment?

That seems hard to believe.

Be more aggressive. Go in. Schedule an appointment.

It’s your knee. That issue is worth pushing.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
You’re in the United States Air Force and can’t get medical treatment?

That seems hard to believe.

Be more aggressive. Go in. Schedule an appointment.

It’s your knee. That issue is worth pushing.


Well, i’m trying to avoid going in and have them say, “Time for surgery, now all 20 of your co-workers are going to hate you because they’re going to work on their weekends to pick up your shifts while you heal!” Our squadron is extremely undermanned :slight_smile:

Like I said a buddy of mine destroyed his knee in a snowboarding accident and all they said was, “Give it R.I.C.E” and let him go on his way.

I’m going to get bulletproof knees and give that a try for a month. If i don’t see an improvement i’ll probably push the issue until they give me the time of day.

As far as the supplements you’ve suggested i’ve been taking those for about 2 years regularly along with Glutamine (sp?) and a multi vitamin. I think those have helped me keep going (until now of course).

Thanks for the advice!

If you have a torn cartiledge in your knee it’s time to ditch the Muay Thai. Depending on how rough the grappling is you may need to rethink that also.

Stop training and get it checked out.

R.I.C.E is a good start. so is taking a break.

Your putting the carrot ahead of the stick.
your asking questions about training
before you got anything more than a real diagnosis.

if you cant see a military doctor see a private one.


Hey man, I tore my medial meniscus in Rugby before and I can say that it sounds like you MAY have done that. But of course you may have done other things to your knee. Get yourself to the doc and figure out what it is, save yourself time by not speculating.

For recovery purposes you need to hit up dynamic stretching and work with your trusty foam roller. Muay Thai should be put aside for the time being, it would definitely suck to get kicked there or get your knee wrenched when in the clinch.

Even your bag work should be light, again it would suck to pivot incorrectly and aggravate your injury. Listen to the body and give the time it needs when you find out exactly what the issue is.

Good luck.

You guys have just been confirming what I felt I had to do; I’m going to take an extended break from MMA and focus on rehabbing my knee. I’m also going to bug medical until they give me a MRI on my knee. It’s going to be sad saying bye to my gym; the trainers there have really helped me in reaching my fitness and Martial Arts goals. Because of Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai I’ve been the most fit I’ve ever been in my life . . . .

I’m ordering the Bulletproof Knees book from Mike Robertson and I’m going to incorporate it into my new workout (low impact cardio and my usual upper body lifting routine). I’ve heard alot of talk on the Bulletproof Knees forum of the book helping people out; hopefully, it’ll help me out as well.

Thanks for the good advice! This forum is awesome!

It is a bummer to have a knee injury but if you catch it before it destroys the knee you can still do a lot of training.

There are a lot of things in martial arts that can damage the knee. One of the things that you really need to be conscious of is the surface you are training on. ie interlocking rubber floor padding can be real nice if you go down on them, but because the foot can really grip the floor you develop a lot of torque at the knee. Training mats can be dangerous also because you sink in and the foot gets locked. This is why I prefer parkay floors.

Tai Chi can be real rough on knees also because you spend a lot of time loading the knee without moving it much.

Just an update . . .

Picked up the bulletproof knees book and it really healed my knee up by addressing other problems in my leg (foam rolling and single leg exercises from the book really helped out)

I plan to train Muay Thai and Ju Jitsu starting on Monday :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice!