Pain Concern
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Torn cartilage in knee

Hi, it turns out the pain I've had in my knee for the past two months is a torn cartilage in my knee, the pain is at times excruciating, the doctor has prescribed me tramadol 50 mg four times a day and referred me to a physiotherapist, the tramadol hardly touches the pain and I'm having really bad muscle spasms in the whole of my leg which makes it very difficult to relax, I'm still limping and struggling at work especially with stairs and walking/standing for more than ten minutes, has anybody else had this? Did physio help? How long did it take to heal? This has been going on now for over two months and at times I feel there is no end to this pain, my doctor hasn't sent me for any scans or anything, just pain relief, the physio rany me to say my gp had booked me into the wrong physio, they only deal with back and neck and mine is leg so just waiting for the correct physio appointment

3 Replies

I am assuming that " torn cartilage " is your Doctor's diagnosis? The pain relief that you have been prescribed is regarded as a strong form of analgesia. If they are not effective with your level of pain, have you told the GP? The Doctor is only working on 'best guess' as to how you are feeling. The GP may change the medication to a different type of opiate. May suggest that you try taking 1 paracetamol with each tramadol. There is a medication called Tramaset that is just that mixture although if memory serves me it is 375 mg para and 37.5 mg tramadol. Either way it is well worth asking so they know you are still in too much pain.

Generally with soft tissue injuries the route is to refer to a physio and if the physio regards the injury unresponsive and unresolved they refer back to the GP for further investigation. It is also true that GP's are limited nowadays as to the number of cases that they can refer for CT scans and MRI is even tighter.

Which ever route I am afraid that your injury is going to take quite a while to heal.

I hope that this has been of some help. Regards Rib


Be careful with tramadol, highly addictive as it's an opiate. I have no cartlidge left in my knee and started on the same dose as you. Ended up on double that and in more pain as they do have side effects which for me were actually worse than the original pain! In the process of trying to come off them - feel just like a drug addict as the withdrawal is hard. I don't know how your GP can diagnose your torn cartlidge without any X-rays or scans though. I am waiting for a total knee replacement and find using crutches helps as it keeps the weight off the knee. Also hot and cold packs gives some relief. Take care. Hazel


You need to change the wording of referral. Ask the GP to refer for physio investigation and treatment for what they find. Under the rules a physio will only treat for what the GP asks them to do. This limits what help teh phyio can legally offer.

You need help to reduce the spasms in the leg. You have to learn how to better balance your posture so the weight goes though the right part of knee. The weight going though the wrong part will cause pain.

You will need an MRI scan to determine what you have torn and what you have not.

An Alexander Teacher can help with postural problems.

Hope this helps


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