A meniscus tear is an injury to a part of the knee called the meniscus. You have one meniscus on each side of the knee, which lies between your thigh bone and shin bone. The menisci act as shock absorbers in your upper and lower leg. They enhance stability in your knee joint and smooth movements of your knee. Meniscus tear West Chester results from knee injuries or wear and tear of the meniscus. A torn cartilage in your knee means a meniscus injury.
You can get a meniscus tear by twisting your knee. Mainly twisting happens if you are involved in games such as football and basketball. Your menisci can wear and tear at old age due to minor injuries such as sudden twisting while standing or a simple stepping on uneven ground. Arthritis, a breakdown of cartilage in the joints, can also cause a meniscus tear.
- You will feel like something has popped in your knee at the time of injury.
- Having knee pain which varies from mild to severe, or it may come and go.
- Swelling mainly happens several hours after the menisci are injured.
- You may have a feeling of your knee catching or locking and a click sound when bending it.
- Walking or movement can be possible on the day of injury, but the knee gradually becomes stiff the following day.
- It can become difficult to bend or straighten your knee fully.
Your doctor will do a physical examination on your knee to check signs of inflammation and test your range of motion. Your specialist can do imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI to assess the extent of the damage. Your specialist can also further diagnose to get accurate results by doing a knee arthroscopy. This procedure involves your surgeon inserting a tiny camera called an arthroscope through a small cut into the knee.
If you experience symptoms of a meniscus tear, it will not heal by itself, so you need treatment. Treatment options include:
You can purchase over-counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve pain. Your specialist can give you more potent painkillers if you have severe pain. You can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Strictly follow your specialist’s instructions for effective results.
Your doctor will examine your knee and define the exercises best for you. Exercises gradually help to strengthen the knee and leg muscles and restore your knee to its full range of movement, strength, and stability. Ensure you do the exercises regularly as it is a significant part of your recovery and improves your general health.
Surgeons will do surgery if your meniscus tear is large and physiotherapy has not helped for three months. Surgery involves repairing the torn meniscus or removing the damaged part of the meniscus. Your surgeon will carry out a knee arthroscopy process, a form of keyhole surgery. An afterward physiotherapy will aid to get your knee to normal working.
You can prevent meniscus tears by wearing a knee brace if you have a weak knee, wearing appropriate athletics shoes, and exercising to strengthen your knee muscles. Schedule an appointment at Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for meniscus tear treatment to restore your range of motion.