Knee pain. A non-surgical meniscus tear conversation.
Patient: My knee hurts.
Professional: You have a torn meniscus. It is so small though that I do not recommend surgery. Many people have torn meniscus. You need to strengthen your muscles.
Patient: I have always done the same things with both sides of my body. I have run with both legs, worked out with both legs. Are you saying I was too weak and that is why my meniscus tore and now I need to get my knee stronger to get it better? Or is it now weaker because of the torn meniscus?
Professional: Honestly, we have no way of knowing.
Patient: How do we know my muscles are too weak? Isn’t it very likely that my body is not very willing to contract them very hard because of the torn meniscus? Kind of like how your muscles do not contract well if you tear a muscle or fracture a bone. Is weakness really the problem?
Professional: We have no way of knowing.
Patient: Do we know when I tore it my meniscus?
Professional: No. It could have been this way for a long time.
Patient: So, It might be fine that it is torn? And if it was torn for a long time, and it only started hurting recently, the tear might have nothing to do with the pain?
Professional: Yes, you just need to strengthen your muscles.
Patient: Um, didn’t we already discuss how that conclusion might not make sense?
Professional: Here is a piece of rubber tubing. Do these 3 exercises every day.
Patient: Wait a minute. We do not know why this happened. Why do not know if weakness plays any role here. We do not know when the tear happened. We do not know if the tear is even a problem. I am just supposed to do these 3 exercises, and everything will be ok? Are these exercises specific to me?
Professional: They are the protocol we give to people like you.
Patient: There is a protocol when we have no idea when is really going on?
Professional: This is the next step.