Each knee joint has two crescent-shaped cartilage cushions called menisci. They are crucial for supporting the knee, facilitating knee mobility, and absorbing shock from weight-bearing movements like running and walking. One of the most prevalent injuries that occur to these cartilages is known as the Torn meniscus. This injury makes the knee experience discomfort and pain. If you think you may have a torn meniscus, it’s important to visit the hospital right away for diagnosis and treatment. American Family Urgent Care near me is open for the diagnosis and treatment of torn meniscus.
If you wish to learn more about torn meniscus, the symptoms, treatments, and more, you’re reading the right post. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what a torn meniscus is, the symptoms, how it’s treated, and some of the risk factors.
What Is a Torn Meniscus?
As said earlier, the meniscus is a cartilage band that helps stabilize and cushion the knee. A tear in the meniscus can result from a sudden twisting motion, such as when you pivot on your foot during a basketball game, or from repetitive motions, such as walking or running. A torn meniscus can occur in males and females of any age, but it’s more prevalent in men.
Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus
If you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may have torn your meniscus:
- A popping or clicking sound in your knee.
- Pain or swelling in your knee joint.
- Difficulty walking or bearing weight on your knee.
- A feeling that the knee is going to break down.
A torn meniscus can cause long-term damage to your knee if left untreated; therefore, it’s important to seek medical attention when you notice these symptoms.
Risk Factors Of Torn Meniscus
There are a few risk factors that can increase your chances of tearing your meniscus. For example, age can be a factor, as the cartilage tends to weaken as we get older. Obesity is also known to increase the risk and certain sports and activities that stress the knee joint. If you have any history of injuries or arthritis in your knee, this also puts you at higher risk for a torn meniscus.
Causes of a Torn Meniscus
The meniscus can be torn due to age, overuse, or a traumatic event, such as a fall or twist. Sudden turns can also cause sudden stops, kneeling, or aggressive pivoting. A tear in the meniscus can also be caused by heavy weight lifting and deep squatting.
Categories Of Meniscus Tear
A torn meniscus can be classified based on the location of the year and the shape.
Cleavage tears run horizontally to the flat top of the tibia. This type of tear is prevalent in people above 40 and living with a degenerative knee condition.
Longitudinal tears run vertically to the top of the tibia and alongside the long axis of the meniscus.
Radial tears are often vertical to the long axis of the meniscus and the top of the tibia.
Complex tears are more complicated because the year is not in one direction. They’re usually a combination of vertical and horizontal tears.
Other meniscus tears include; bucket-handle, displaced, parrot beak, and flap tears.
Treatments Of Torn Meniscus
Treatments options are usually based on the severity of the meniscus tear.
- Non-surgical treatment
Rehab and physical therapy are typically the first lines of treatment for a torn meniscus. This involves a combination of exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles around your knee and improve your range of motion. Pain relief medications can help to ease the pain and inflammation caused by the tear.
- Surgical treatment
Surgery may be required if conservative treatments don’t work or the tear is severe. The commonly used surgical procedure that involves repairing or replacing the torn meniscus includes; meniscal repair, meniscectomy, and meniscal transplantation. The recovery time varies depending on the surgery performed but can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.
However, you can speed up recovery with the following tips;
- Reduce activities and rest the knee.
- Use a bandage to compress the knee.
- Put some ice into a towel and place it on the knee to relieve the swelling and residual pain.
- Use anti-inflammatory medications.
In conclusion, early detection and treatment of torn meniscus can help relieve the symptoms and restore the health of the knee. After proper treatment and recovery, patients with torn meniscus can return to normal activities.