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Meniscus recovery time to do Camino

2020 Camino Guides

WldWil

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
Last year I made it from SJPDP to around 30k past Burgos before returning home. This was done with a torn meniscus before my trip and only had 2 weeks. I am returning in August with hopefully enough time to finish.

In November, I had knee surgery in which they removed part of the meniscus. Currently when non-active, there is no pain and can easily walk a mile or so, but when getting more active (over 3 miles or trying to jog, it gets tender and sore.

Apparently when I was told 2-3 months for normal activity, they consider things like hiking, weight lifting, running and martial arts above normal.

Has anyone else had this done? If so, what has been the recovery time? I already purchased my tickets and plan to return to the Camino in 6 months and now am concerned if that is enough time to heal, not to mention train.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I did tae kwon do four months after my meniscus operation ten years ago, and walked a couple of weeks on the Camino eight months later without any problems. About a year ago my knee started bothering me again, but after learning how to use kinesio-tape and faithfully doing a set of special exercises from my physiotherapist, I've done a few weeks of walking - though I'm avoiding steep hills and stairs and will never run again.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
I think you will be fine when you keep attentive to your needs. Yep there are demands on the Camino but my guess is you will survive. Buen Camino.
 

WldWil

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
I did tae kwon do four months after my meniscus operation ten years ago, and walked a couple of weeks on the Camino eight months later without any problems. About a year ago my knee started bothering me again, but after learning how to use kinesio-tape and faithfully doing a set of special exercises from my physiotherapist, I've done a few weeks of walking - though I'm avoiding steep hills and stairs and will never run again.
I was really liking the first part of the response and grimaced at the last. It is a bit of relief though to know. I am hitting the gym at least 4 times a week. Weights were not much my thing, but every bit helps I guess.
Thanks for your input. : )
 

Seabird

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
I had my meniscus taken out the old way (pre-arthoscopic) years ago after repeated basketball injuries. Finally gave up running and volleyball, too, after I destroyed my ACL. BUT, by being faithful to my exercises to strengthen all the muscles supporting the knee, doing my stretches, and paying attention to my knee, I have done plenty of hiking up and down our beautiful mountains. I hope you are using trekking poles, too, to take weight off the knee and for stability on uneven surfaces.

Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
My menisci, in both knees, are well-trimmed from decades of being morbidly obese. In 2005, I had a bariatric lap-band fitted, which partially solved the problem by serving as a "speed-brake" on my eating compulsions.

I found, over three Caminos in three successive years, that walking with a rucksack, over uneven terrain caused pain each day. The symptoms were pain, stiffness and some swelling. On the Camino, I took Tylenol / Paracetamol; iced the knees with ice in a ziplock bag, wrapped in a towel; and elevated the swollen knee(s).

My doctors told me afterwards that this was a consequence of not having the full meniscus cartilage. After a while, I had bone-on-bone contact - ouch! There was nothing to be done, until and unless science came up with effective menisci replacements. We are slowly getting there. Some good work is being done with stem cell therapy, using one's own stem cells. but I digress...

At the time, on the second and third Camino, I dealt with this discomfort by taking Tylenol (Paracetamol) in the morning before starting out, and wearing elastic knee braces. They are commonly available in Spanish pharmacies. The Spanish word for knee / knees is rodilla / rodillas. But, by the third Camino, I was bringing a pair of Futuro braces from home. they are already packed for my April Camino from Madrid.

After last year's Camino I started taking Glucosamine (1500 mg) with Chondroitin (1200 mg) in two HUGE daily caplets. I swear that when I first saw them I had to consult the directions to find out WHERE they had to go... These pills are so large I have to crack them in two at the score-mark to get them through my bariatric lap band.

Anyway, after a month of this regimen, all pain was gone. I have been taking this supplement for nearly a year now. I believe it helps...ME. My doctor just repeats his mantra that: "there are no scientific studies that categorically establish the efficacy of taking this supplement for this condition..." Blah, blah, blah....the pharmaceutical companies cannot turn a profit on this, so they ignore it...again, I digress...

It might be something you want to consider and research on your own. I also went to Consumer Reports (www.comsumerreports.com) to see if they had done reviews of these supplements. They had done. The results were categorical.

The report helped me locate the brand I use. However, I will not share that here, as it is likely crossing the line in to a commercial endorsement and a medical opinion. If you are interested, send me a private conversation.

I hope this helps.
 

WldWil

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
I picked up some Glucosamine and will give it a try. I have been looking at those copper knee brace Brett Farve advertises as well. I also am doing some weight training, but not much with the knees to build up supportive muscle.

The doctor thinks I biggest problem is that I am no longer 18 and indestructible and that my brain has not accepted that yet.
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
Last year I made it from SJPDP to around 30k past Burgos before returning home. This was done with a torn meniscus before my trip and only had 2 weeks. I am returning in August with hopefully enough time to finish.

In November, I had knee surgery in which they removed part of the meniscus. Currently when non-active, there is no pain and can easily walk a mile or so, but when getting more active (over 3 miles or trying to jog, it gets tender and sore.

Apparently when I was told 2-3 months for normal activity, they consider things like hiking, weight lifting, running and martial arts above normal.

Has anyone else had this done? If so, what has been the recovery time? I already purchased my tickets and plan to return to the Camino in 6 months and now am concerned if that is enough time to heal, not to mention train.
Soft tissue injuries can take, what seems like, forever to heal. A fracture heals in 4 weeks, surrounding soft tissue taked 4 months. That being said, athletes are up and playing in weeks. See a sports medicine physician about recovery options and physical therapy. Years ago I took glucosamine and condroytin for knee pain from skiing and prolonged standing, as far as I'm concerned, it worked but it helps rebuild cartilage. Knee wraps not so much. I also swear by and take ibuprofen before, during, and after walking the camino. Buen Camino

Happy Trails
 

WldWil

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPDP - Halfway
2016 Fromista - The other half
It has been a while and thought I ought to do an update.

Less than two months to go before returning to the Camino. I have tried to be more balanced on training this time.

It has been 9 months since knee surgery. I can handle 5 miles a day and an occasional 10 miles with no pain and will be pushing 12 miles this weekend. I did notice stiffness rototilling the garden this past week, so it appears it is mostly lateral movement.

So, things continue to heal (but ever so slow). Much longer than the 2-3 months expected. Cross training with bicycle really helped a lot as well.

I hope this encourages others who end up going through the same thing.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I walked the Camino this year with a torn meniscus and between ibuprofen, ice and a dual-hinged knee brace I made it all the way. One holistic treatment I have been using is tumeric capsules as I've read this spice is the strongest anti-inflammatory known of. I know this is outside the comfort level/belief set of many who prefer mainstream prescription medications but still something I wanted to try. Did it work? Hard to say anything definitive but as I say, I did manage to make the whole CF with a minimum of swelling in the knee and able to manage the discomfort with ibuprofen. Wishing you good luck with your journey!
 

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