Running after a cartilage operation

Anyone doing it?

4 messages
07/03/2013 at 14:46

My OH had some cartlige removed from one of his knees a few years back and was given the impression by doctors that he shouldn't ever run after it was done.  I'm sure I've seen people on here that have run after this sort of operation and wondered if I was remembering correctly or just imagining it!  I think he had about 1/3 to 1/2 of it removed.

He used to run at school (sprinter at county level) but hasn't run for 30 years since he smashed his leg up in a bad motorcycle accident.  He has decided that he'd like to have a go at a little triathlon with me at some point but is a bit worried about running on his 'dodgy' knee. 

Anyone had a similar operation and running after it?  Any advice would be appreciated.  He's going to start slowly and build up as he rheumatoid arthritis and we need to build muscle strength around his joints anyway first. 

07/03/2013 at 15:00

Was up and running after 6 weeks. Depending how much/from where it was removed may have an impact. Would probably get it checked by qualified physio. 20 months down the line I'm running more comfortably than I can ever remember.

07/03/2013 at 15:47

TST, I don't think there's a simple answer - it's going to depend on where / how much damage, what exactly the surgery was.  In my case, I started running with complete lack of awareness, but vague discomfort in my knee which I pretty much ignored.  That was fine until I started to build up any kind of distance (20k a week-ish) after which everything started hurting because I was compensating.  Cutting out long story... had knee surgery which was (i) tidying up a bit of cartilage to the side of the knee and (ii) microfracture on another section.  Dr's orders were no running 6 months and lot of glutes strengthening exercises.  I also have (inflammatory, not rheumatoid) arthritis and my tendons tend to flare up easily. So I have to watch out for overuse injuries.

When I started again I had to build up incredibly (almost embarrassingly) slowly.  Two years on I managed to (again, slowly) complete a marathon.  So there is hope, but take it carefully, watch the mileage, don't ignore warning signs of pain, and if possible drop weight to reduce stress onb the joints.  General core / leg strengthening helps immensly.


07/03/2013 at 16:36

As Louise G said, it does depend on how much was removed.  I had cartillage removed (I think it exactly was a year ago today ) but it was a small tear that was taken out.

I started back running after about three months and have had no major issues - but it was a lot less than 25% that was removed.

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