What to Expect After Suffering a Torn Meniscus

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What to Expect After Suffering a Torn Meniscus?

One of the most common knee injuries is a torn meniscus. Any activity that involves twisting or rotating your knee can lead to a torn meniscus, especially when putting all your weight on it or making sharp cuts and turns. Each knee has two rubbery, C- shaped pieces of cartilage that sit between the shinbone and the thighbone. These are the meniscus. They serve as shock absorbers for each knee joint. If you suspect you have torn your meniscus, seek medical attention immediately. Sometimes the injury can heal through conservative treatment. Like rest, ice and medication. However, surgery is often recommended to remove or repair the damaged cartilage.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a meniscus tear can vary depending on how severe the injury is. If the tear is minor, you may only notice a little pain and swelling. A minor tear will usually heal on its own within two or three weeks. If the tear is more severe, you may notice a popping feeling where the meniscus is torn and pain in the center or the sides of the knee. You may also have difficulty fully straightening your knee and feel like your knee is going to give way when standing.

Causes

Athletes and anyone performing activities that involve forceful twisting and pivoting of the knee is at risk of suffering a torn meniscus. Even squatting or lifting heavy things can lead to a torn meniscus sometimes.

Diagnosis

To diagnose a torn meniscus, your doctor will likely first administer a physical exam to see if they can identify the injury. Because the meniscus is made of cartilage, it won’t show up on X-rays. But X-rays are sometimes used to help rule out other knee injuries if necessary. MRIs, on the other hand, can produce detailed images of the soft tissues in your knee, so it is the best way to detect a torn meniscus. In certain situations, your doctor may use an arthroscope to examine the inside of your knee. This instrument is a small camera that is inserted through a small incision near your knee to transmit an enlarged image of the inside your knee onto a screen.

Treatment

 Following a torn meniscus, conservative treatment methods will usually be used first, depending on the type and size of your tear. This will likely include rest, ice, and medication.  It is necessary to avoid any movement that aggravates your pain. If your pain is severe, it may be recommended to use crutches to keep weight off your knee. Ice and over-the-counter pain relievers help reduce pain and swelling. Physical therapy is also a great way to strengthen the muscles around your knee and leg to gain more support and stability in your knee joint.

 

Surgery

 Following a torn meniscus, conservative treatment methods will usually be used first, depending on the type and size of your tear. This will likely include rest, ice, and medication.  It is necessary to avoid any movement that aggravates your pain. If your pain is severe, it may be recommended to use crutches to keep weight off your knee. Ice and over-the-counter pain relievers help reduce pain and swelling. Physical therapy is also a great way to strengthen the muscles around your knee and leg to gain more support and stability in your knee joint.

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