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Stephanie Oakes

Exercises, Avoiding Running, Might Help Heal Knee Injury

July 30, 2001|Stephanie Oakes | Stephanie Oakes is the fitness correspondent for Discovery Health Channel and a health/fitness consultant

Question: I injured my knee in a yoga class more than three months ago. Since then, I have continued with my yoga class and golf, but not running. I try to be very careful about putting pressure on my knee. It sometimes pops when I walk as if it's out of joint. However, there is no swelling and no visible change in the muscle. What should I be doing to heal this injury?

RAOUL GUERRA

Rolling Hills

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Answer: Injuries are impossible to diagnose via e-mail, so you'll need to see your physician. Dr. Howard Hambrecht, a professor of orthopedic surgery at USC, says you could have torn the knee's gasket or shock absorber--the meniscus, often referred to incorrectly as the "cartilage." If left unattended, the torn meniscus acts like a grain of sand in a ball bearing, causing wear and tear.

I would advise against any type of high-impact activities such as running or high-impact aerobics until you've seen an orthopedist to determine if you do have a tear. In the meantime, maintain the range of motion in your knee with exercises prescribed by your physician.

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Send questions to: stephoakes@aol.com. She cannot respond to every query.

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