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Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Running After Femoral Chondroplasty of the Knee


 HopefulMarine - Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:18 pm

Long story short, I was in a car accident and the knee slammed the dashboard. It caused a bit of cartilage damage so they did arthroscopy on me with chondroplasty in the femoral groove if I remember properly. There was a small "flap" of cartilage that was standing up and rubbing the back of my patella, and in essence was what caused all of the irritation and pain. I'm one month post-op and in therapy strengthening my leg and regaining my flexibility and ROM. I am planning on joining the military after I graduate this may (or after my leg is properly rehabbed, whichever comes first I suppose). I asked the doctor if running would be an issue for me and he said I shouldn't have any problem with it considering my damage was either a grade 1 or grade 2, and not severe at all. Sometimes I worry they aren't giving me straight answers though, and would just like to get some reassurance. I do understand that I have less cartilage now than I used to because they shaved off a little bit of the rough edges. Can I expect to return to running like I was able to before the knee surgery? Officer school for the marines involves atleast 15 miles of running, per week! And of course there is the necessity to stay in shape after your basic training etc. due to physical requirements. Is this realistically something I can do as a career and not have to worry about causing my self big knee problems? I understand that no one here will be able to see exactly the symptoms and pictures of my knee, but just going off of the grade 1-grade 2 information, I was hoping I could get a few opinions. Also, what would the "standard" time period after my surgery be for beginning running again. Thanks in advance!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:38 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.

Grades I and II cartilage tear means the tear does not extend to the bony (painful) part of the femur. Cartilage contains no nerve endings however damaged cartilage can produce swelling which can cause pain and stiffness.

So after the knee is rehabilitated, running should be fine...as long as you have completed rehab (full strength and range of motion, no pain, no swelling, ...and the knee should be tested - hopping, jumping, running, lateral movements, etc)

Take care and keep us posted.
 HopefulMarine - Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:55 pm

Thanks for the quick response. Today I actually was told to jog on the treadmill at physical therapy for about five minutes. I experienced no pain, but the swelling and tightness is still a little noticable. I'm only 1.25 months post-op so I think I'm healing pretty well, so far. I also managed to comfortably push out a few 15 rep sets of 200lbs on leg presses as well as a few comfortable 15 rep sets of 110lbs one leg presses on just my injured leg. I don't know if that seems to be overkill this fresh after surgery, but I've always had strong legs as a basketball player. I think the remaining swelling is due to my lack of icing it as I should. My strength feels great, and today for the first time my range of motion during stretching was actually able to match that of my good leg. I just want my muscle mass back!!! My quad/hammy and calf are still looking a touch smaller!
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:50 am

User avatar Hello,
Sounds like rehab is working out well. Keep it up.
Take care.

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