Meniscal tears are common knee injuries. These tears can occur while twisting or turning quickly, usually when your foot is planted. This can sometimes cause you to experience intense knee pain and swelling in your knee joint.
If you are experiencing this kind of knee pain, schedule an appointment with OrthoNeuro. Our board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialists can evaluate your situation to determine which type of treatment is best for you.
Contact one of our many convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus, Ohio today! We look forward to helping you relieve your knee pain and get back to doing what you love.
You have 2 C-shaped pieces of cartilage that sit in your knee joint called menisci. The lateral meniscus is found on the outside of your knee joint, and the medial meniscus is found on the inside of your knee joint. The menisci function as a shock absorber between your thigh bone and shine bone.
Meniscus tears can occur through injury or aging. A meniscus injury often occurs in sports that involve twisting or changing direction quickly.
A meniscus tear can also occur while kneeling or in a deep squat position. Degenerative meniscus tears occur through aging and can occur with little or no trauma. Meniscus tears often occur simultaneously with other knee injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.
You may not experience any symptoms for the first 24 hours after you have torn your meniscus. The following symptoms may develop if you have a meniscus tear:
A physical exam is usually sufficient to diagnose a torn meniscus. You may be asked to move your knee and leg into different positions, walk around the office, or even squat to identify the tear. Your diagnosis could also include the use of imaging tests or knee arthroscopy.
Your orthopedic surgeon may request imaging tests to achieve a more accurate diagnosis.
The following imaging tests may be used in the diagnosis of a meniscus tear:
Your doctor may use arthroscopy in some cases to detect a meniscal tear. This procedure involves inserting a tiny camera through an incision in your knee. Using the same incision, it is possible for the surgeon to trim or repair your meniscus.
Conservative treatment is often suggested first when it comes to treating a torn meniscus. When a torn meniscus is associated with arthritis, it will often improve over time as you treat the arthritis, so surgery usually isn’t necessary.
When a torn meniscus presents without the symptoms of locking or a block to knee motion, it will also usually improve over time without the need for surgery.
To treat the symptoms of a torn meniscus, your doctor will recommend the following non-surgical treatments:
If symptoms persist after 3 months or if your knee locks, then your doctor may recommend that your meniscus be repaired through surgery. Surgical repair for a torn meniscus is usually successful, especially in children and younger adults.
If repair is impossible, the meniscus might be surgically trimmed. In this case, you may need to do exercises to increase and maintain knee strength and stability after surgery.
If your meniscus tear is associated with advanced, degenerative arthritis, you may require a knee replacement. A meniscus transplant might be appropriate for younger patients whose symptoms persist after surgery.
Recovering from a torn meniscus usually takes 6 to 8 weeks when conservative treatments are used. However, recovery after surgery may take anywhere from 6 weeks to 4-5 months in the event of a meniscus root repair.
If you feel you have torn your meniscus, schedule an appointment with OrthoNeuro today! Our specialists can be found at our many locations throughout Columbus, OH. We have the experience necessary to offer you the quality care you deserve.
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