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Running – And The Average Meniscus…


June 2012

My buddy English Pete tore the meniscus in his right knee doing dead lifts at his cross-fit club a few months ago.  After figuring it was something minor and trying to give it time to heal, he finally went in for an MRI.  Sure enough…

He had it fixed yesterday, surgically.  It turns out, not only did he tear it, it folded over on itself.  If you remember from previous posts, English Pete is an ultra-marathon runner.  The meniscus is the knee cartilage:  “It usually refers to either of two specific parts of cartilage of the knee:  The lateral and medial menisci. Both are cartilaginous tissues that provide structural integrity to the knee when it undergoes tension and torsion. The menisci are also known as ‘semi-lunar’ cartilages — referring to their half-moon “C” shape — a term which has been largely dropped by the medical profession, but which led to the menisci being called knee ‘cartilages’ by the lay public.”

When the doctors went in to cut out the tear, much to their surprise (not mine), he had more cartilage than the average person – I’ve written about this before, many, many times – running signals the brain, and the responsive 1% of cells present in the cartilage itself, to create more.  Thus, when the doctors removed the tear, he now only has as much knee cartilage as the normal person…

Folks, running isn’t bad for your joints – if your body hasn’t been injured in a manner that makes running impossible or you’re too overweight, the shock from running is good for you.  Now, the injury issue may be cause to keep from running, but the weight issue absolutely is not – one just has to start out a little slower and work up to it.

So far I’ve had one friend that got a better hip for a replacement because he ran (denser bones – and the replacement was required because of two accidents, not running) and a friend that has more knee cartilage because he runs – exactly as studies say.


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