Knee: Chondral Injury of the Lateral Tibial Plateau

I jumped down from a boulder problem in the gym and felt a sharp pain in the middle of my right knee.

By Rock and Ice | December 15th, 2012

I jumped down from a boulder problem in the gym and felt a sharp pain in the middle of my right knee. The MRI reads: “There is a chondral injury of the lateral tibial plateau which is most likely a chondral flap/fracture with underlying bone reactive edema. The cortex is intact and no evidence for meniscal tear.” Is there anything I should do (or not do) to get myself back on the rock faster and keep myself there?

—Molly | Rock and Ice Forum

Molly, Molly, Molly, what are we to do with you? I fear might be some practitioner love thing happening here.  I may have to advise you to consult with someone else.I trust your bum is feeling better and your hamstring is back to full strength since our last exchange?The MRI report basically says that when you hit the ground, the end of your femur impacted the top of the tibia and gouged up a flap of the shiny synovial cartilage that covers the end of the bone in the joint.The scalpel is your friend. A chondral flap often breaks free and floats around the joint causing anatomical mischief. Your knee will lock randomly and before too long you’ll face plant. Your partner will not want to walk near you for fear of being taken down as well. He may meet another woman as a result. It’s just a feeling I get.The fracture site will possibly need some cartilage grafting, whereby the scalpel guy will harvest some cartilage and graft it back on. Fancy!You are out of climbing for a few months, and out of bouldering for quite a bit longer. A good surgeon will make all the difference. And then find a knee-rehab specialist who is highly recommended.

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