Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mikey Manning and the Menisci

Mikey Manning (Class of 2015) explains the importance of the menisci and his own personal background with this topic in physical therapy:

I sat in Kinesiology II last week listening to Dr. Reinking lecturing about the sad tales of those who have knee problems, when he finally came across the all-important menisci. I looked down at the scars on my own knee and realized he might as well have been talking to me. I had portions of both my lateral and medial menisci taken out due to two separate ACL tears of my left knee. Mark talked about the reason we have menisci in our knees- basically to cushion forces, keep bone from contacting bone, and without these menisci, we start to develop pain in our knee. Hearing “pain in the knee” made me smile because I could relate to this statement. Know that while I don't feel like a cripple, nor do you want to read about my "terrible" knee pain, Mark did answer the biggest question of my knee injury experience: why did they slice out my menisci, but save it in other people? 

I knew going into Mark's lecture that the cartilaginous menisci are poorly vascularized, and therefore have limited potential to heal. I also knew that doctors would not try and surgically repair something if it had no potential to heal. So why do they try and save it in some people, but not in mine? Well apparently your menisci are partially vascularized, heavily in the outer layer, partially in the middle layer, and none at all in the inner layer. I had happened to tear my menisci in the inner layer, causing the surgeon to have to remove it. As you get older, your menisci get less and less vascularized. I guess you can say I am unlucky when it comes to injuries, two knee surgeries later I find myself feeling like I am 40 at times. 

Mark dropped some knowledge on me in class; hope I could do the same for you all. 

-Mikey Manning

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