View Full Version : What to expect from a bonesetter

04-06-2001, 02:16 AM
There are Kung Fu Masters who also have studied Chinese medicine and are known as bonesetters.

I understand they they have techniques to aid in healing of broken bones and injured soft tissue. I have experienced what one could do about a bruise to the forearm, and I'm impressed. While not knowing their ways, I can certainly understand the principles of enhanced blood circulation and energy flow, and how that would aid in the healing.

However, how about cartilage, which, as far as I know, does not repair itself? I am asking in regard to knee cartilage, in particular.

Some solid information would be appreciated. Thank you.


04-07-2001, 02:35 AM

It seems you are talking about damage to the meniscus of the knee and whether it can be treated with TCM techniques.

In general we can say that cartilage and ligaments are white tissue. This means they have very poor vascularity - poor blood supply. In both the Western and Eastern modalities it is understood that proper circulation is necessary for tissues to heal. Because of the limited vascularity of these tissues they heal very slowly (without external support).

As it seems you understand, die da techniques (bonsetter's techniques) inculde using internal and external herbs, massage and soft-tissue manipulation, sometimes acupuncture, etc. All of these work to treat the injury on several levels. Topical application of herbs can help promote local circulation and extract deep bruising. Indirectly this helps tissues to heal by clearing obstrcutions to the normal, healthy blood and lymph circulation.

That being said, there are some areas that are harder to get to. The joints are one of these areas and the meniscus is particularly difficult, especially if the tear has taken place on the inside part (the most common location). Internal and topical herbs, acupuncture, etc can be used to treat the initial symptoms and promote a quick functional recovery, however I do not think they can heal a major tear of the meniscus. If the tear is minor or it is just a strain of local tissues then that is one thing, but a significant tear should be repaired surgically in my opinion.

I would definitely recommend the use of herbs after the surgery, but I don't think herbs alone can reach deep enough into those tissues to heal a significant tear of meniscus tissues.

Hope the information helps,


04-07-2001, 06:46 AM
I am sitting here with an herbal pack on my knee, after having had some massage of my knee today. My teacher, who is the bonesetter, has asked to see me on Monday morning. I twisted my knee badly, during a leap, landing incorrectly. Pain in area of medial meniscus/medial collateral ligament. I also suspected very mild trauma to the patellar tendon. As of today, I think that tendon is going to be fine. But, I "know" that there is a tear on the inner part of the knee. It's just a matter of placement and how bad it is.
I will be consulting a Western doctor. X-rays are not adeqate for cartilage diagnostics. Anything else runs into lots of money. I'm trying to be sure that this is necessary. I don't have insurance. Yet, I will get this sort of care if I deem it necessary. At this point, I am leaning towards thinking that it will be.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I guess I'm really hoping either that this will heal or that at least I will have a good handle on what the problem is and not waste money beating the bushes. I guess it is obvious that I don't trust doctors very much. I had one mess up my other knee with poorly done surgery, which is now an obsolete technique. I'm rather upset about the sudden misfortune.
You've been honest and kind.