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Overview

A knee meniscus is a fibrocartilage that serves the purpose of separating thigh bone from tibia. This is commonly known as cartilage. Every torn meniscus has a wedged, kidney like shape.The meniscus assists with the rotational stability created by the anterior ligament. It also acts like a shock absorber as we walk, run, jerk etc.
The meniscus absorbs all this pressure and forces so that the bone surface remains safe.However, in some cases, this knee meniscus tears traumatically by twisting of flexed knee. Commonly, such trauma happens in younger athletes and takes place either anterior to posterior or might give a bucket like appearance.
However in older adults, such trauma is usually age-related. And to prevent further degeneration of torn meniscus, a surgical intervention might be required to repair the damage.
For a timely intervention, it is necessary to know more about the symptoms of the same.

 

Meniscus Tear Symptoms

The person might feel an unusual ‘pop’ when a meniscus tear happens. However, a lot of people ignore this early sign and continue playing and walking which can lead to a swollen and stiff knee. To detect meniscus tear symptoms properly, these are some more related symptoms,

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Locking of knee
  • Swollen knee
  • Feeling no sensation in the knee
  • Difficulty in moving knee fully
As soon as you identify these symptoms, you must approach a physiotherapist or doctor without further delay or else there are chances of a piece of meniscus coming lose and drifting into the joint.

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Meniscus Tear Treatment

The most suitable treatment can only be decided by your orthopedic depending upon the type, condition, size and location of tear. The outside 1/3rd of the meniscus has a rich blood supply and usually heals on its own. However, the inner 2/3rd of the meniscus lacks blood supply and might require meniscus surgery for repair.

  • Nonsurgical treatment
If your tear is small, no surgery will be required as it can heal on it’s own. You must follow a RICE routine to assure a full and timely recovery.
  • R (REST): Take a break from daily strenuous activities and take rest.
  • I (ICE): Use cold packs for 20 minutes or so on the affected area at least 3-4 times a day.
  • C (COMPRESSION): To prevent further swelling, wear elastic compression belt
  • E (ELEVATION): Recline when you lie down, put your leg higher than your heart.
  • No steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen etc
  • Meniscus surgery

If the symptoms persist even after proper RICE routine, your doctor might suggest your arthroscopic surgery.

In this, a mini camera is inserted through a small incision and after occupying a clear view, miniature surgical instruments are used to through other portals to repair the damage. The surgery can be of two types

  • Partial meniscectomy
  • Meniscus repair

Knee Cartilage Injury Treatment

1. Non surgical treatment: This includes regular exercises, NSAIDS, and sometimes steroidal injections. 2. Physical therapy: If damage is not excess, a regular exercise routine will be more than enough 3. Surgery: Those who do not respond well to above two methods will require surgery. The options available to them are,

  • Marrow stimulation
  • Mosaicplasty
  • Autologous chondrocyte implantation
  • Debridement.

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