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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
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I hurt my knee 5 months ago, and got an MRI 4 months ago. I

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I hurt my knee 5 months ago, and got an MRI 4 months ago. I was told the MRI showed a meniscus tear and that it should heal up on it's own. It still hurts when I straighten my knee, is really stiff immediately after being off my feet for a while, and when I do some walking to get some exercise it hurts much worse for several days. I am obese (6'0" 340lb male), and would like to start exercising to lose weight and improve my health, but the knee pain makes it difficult and very frustrating. Should my knee be feeling better yet, or will it just take longer to heal due to my weight? Is there anything I could do (specific exercises, use an ace bandage or some kind of brace, etc) to help me lose weight and/or help my knee heal faster?

Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and am ready to help.

this is a tough situation.

I think your weight is keeping your knee from healing up faster than it should

you really need to get into a swimming pool and start to do some water aerobic exercises 4-5 times a week and dieting as well to start loosing weight. this is the only way you will be able to burn calories while not straining your knees so much. exercising in a pool can help support your weight while giving your body some resistance.

and after exercising everyday, you need to ice your knee down to decrease swelling and inflammation. this will help the healing process.

also you should get your thyroid levels checked to see if they are low which can be part of your weight issue.

also you should get an MRI scan of your knee. if your knee has been hurting for this long, an MRI scan would help give your doctors a look at the torn meniscus and see if it is healing properly.

is there a pool close to you were you can get into a water aerotics program?

does this help?

do you have other questions?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I can find some water aerobic classes, but I really don't think I will enjoy them. Is there any other type of exercise you could suggest that might help me?

After exercising, do I just need to ice my knee once? Should I take ibuprofen as well, or only if my knee is in alot of pain?

I've seen knee compression braces in stores, and I've wondered if that could help, or if that could make my knee worse somehow?

start with icing your knee once after exercising and see if that helps. if you still have pain after that, you can always ice it again.

use ibuprofen only when you have pain and if it helps and with food in your stomach to prevent upset stomach and with plenty of water.

to loose weight you need to get your heart rate up with aerotic exercise to between 120-140 beats per minute for 20-40 minutes 4-5 times a week. it doesn't matter what exercise you do. and you need to limit your calories to less than 1700 caloires a day to loose weight. and you have to keep this up for weeks and week and you will eventually loose weight.

you can use an elastic knee compression brace to see if that helps support your knees. that is fine to try.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would using weight lifting machines, like leg press, leg extension, and leg curls be OK. I know those would strengthen the muscles, but if I started using those machines would they affect the meniscus healing?

Is there any medicine, like glucosamine chondroitin, that might help it heal?

I see that compression braces appear to have 2 different types - ones with holes over the middle of the knee and others that don't. Would one type be better or worse for my knee if I wanted to try it?

I know how to lose weight (I've done it before, but I recently gained weight again). But it's been very difficult this time around, since after taking a walk my knee will hurt for a few days and I get frustrated. Would the shoes affect how me knee feels or hurts due to walking? If so, any pointers to what to look for in shoes that might be good for my knee?

Thank you.

you have to start light on the weight machines and definitely ice your knee after weight machine exercises

you can try glucosamine and chondroitin. this will not help the healing process but might help loosen up tight joints.

the hole is to allow the patella bone to stick out. some patients need their patella bone to stick out. for you, there is no difference because you have no problems with the patella bone.

wear running shoes or shoes which have as much cushioning in them as possible. this will give as much cushioning as possible for your knees.

and remember to ice your knees after all walks and exercises on the knee.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had a few questions regarding icing my knee. If I can't ice my knee shortly after exercising, is it still effective or helpful to ice it when I can (even if it is several hours later)? Should I also ice it after lifting weights? And would icing it even on days I don't exercise help as well?

Thanks so much for all your help!

it is still effective to ice your knees several hours after you exercise.

yes, you should ice it after lifting weights.

and icing it on days even when you don't exercise can help as well.

let me know if you have other questions.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One more question - if I want to take a warm shower, it is OK to shower before or after icing my knee? Is there any difference if I shower before or after icing?

Thanks again!

it is fine to take a hot shower either before or after icing your knee.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would elevating my knee while icing make a significant difference? If yes, does only elevating above the heart help, or does any elevation help?

elevation of the leg only helps decrease swelling.

if you don't have swelling of your leg, you don't need to elevate your leg above your heart.