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12-23-2003, 11:40 AM
I just had some arthroscopic knee surgery done (torn meniscus) and, while I want to return to practice as soon as possible, it seems prudent to start at least temporarily using some sort of knee protection for suwari waza. I've seen a number of types, from volleyball kneepads to neoprene sleeves.
Has anyone out there any experience with these and an opinion as to what is most practical?
12-23-2003, 11:54 AM
After having some persistent knee pain (from bad ukemi) I used Kneelons (http://www.homestead.com/floatingmountain/Kneelons.html) for a short while after seeing a reference to them on this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3242). They worked ok for me. During suwari wasa training they would sometimes shift quite a bit, but would still protect the knee.
12-23-2003, 12:37 PM
Meniscus damage is caused by flexion/compression and shearing. Neoprene sleeves provide a little external compression and warmth so while they may add "comfort" I do not see them as a reinjury prevention tool.
If your orthopedist did not refer you for physical therapy, he should have. And the PT should know that you are an athlete and should be shown the types of moves we do so that your rehab program, and any protective devices, are meaningful for what you are doing in the dojo.
If you are intent on continuing to do suwariwaza (which frankly I think ill-advised for post-meniscus folks) then the volleyball type pads (or a homemade gi-pant modification involving quilting pellon fleece lower leg sort of like a big potholder) would at least provide some cushioning.
Why I am a hardass on knee injuries
Best of luck
12-23-2003, 02:37 PM
After my medial meniscus surgery it took quite a while before I was able to sit fully in seiza not alone do suwari waza. I would make sure it is fully healed and you are able to sit in full seize before doing much knee work. I was off the mat one month and it took a couple more before I was comfortable sitting all the way down. Medial meniscal tears are usually due to rapid flexion with external rotation of the foot. I did mine as a kid doing handsprings in tumbling. Aikido made it worse.
A good rehab program is essential. I used to wear a soft brace probably more for psychological comfort than as any preventative.
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