Meniscal tears are among the most common knee injuries, particularly in athletes. While not every meniscal tear requires surgery, many factors play a part in deciding what therapy is most suitable, including the type of tear you have and its location. For example, some tears that are slight, stable, and maintain a good blood supply might heal with physical therapy and rest. However, surgery may be your most suitable alternative in other circumstances to guarantee proper recovery and a return to everyday functions and activities.
In this blog, our experienced orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary will address what a meniscus tear is and describe the critical factors affecting your recovery in the days and weeks following surgery to mend this kind of injury.
The menisci are two rigid, C-shaped cushions of cartilage that are located between the shin and thigh bones at the knee – one on the inner side of the knee and one on the outer side. They act as a kind of shock absorber to spread forces across the knee. They also assist in stabilizing the joints, reducing the stress on the knees, and protecting the smooth ends of the bones from harm.
Meniscus tears usually happen when twisting the knee or turning quickly with the foot planted and the knee bent. In more youthful patients, the menisci are particularly tough and rubbery, and tears are typically the result of strenuous movement. However, your menisci grow thin and worn as you age, leaving them more inclined to tearing.
Your meniscus can tear in numerous different ways. Leaning on how the meniscus tears, your surgeon might elect to either extract a small piece of the torn meniscus or conduct a meniscal repair. These surgeries are conducted arthroscopically—through slight incisions, with the help of a camera—and typically involve cutting away the injured part of the meniscus or fixing the damaged tissue with sutures.
Multiple elements influence how long a meniscal tear recovery will take. These factors include:
No matter what kind of surgery you have, rehabilitation activities are almost always advised as part of your rehab. These may incorporate exercises to enhance or maintain your knee's range of motion and strengthen your leg muscles.