Meniscal tears are a familiar knee injury, particularly for athletes who constantly twist and turn quickly, with one or both knees flexed while playing or lifting weights. Unfortunately, your meniscus also manages to grow weaker as you age, making them more inclined to tears.
The meniscus itself is a pliable C-shaped disk with a stretchy consistency that buffers your knee. There are actually two of these disks, dubbed menisci, the plural for meniscus, on both knees. One is positioned at the outer edge, and the other is on the inner side. The menisci perform together to balance and stabilize your knees by helping disperse your weight evenly. When you tear a meniscus, your knee might feel rigid and painful. In addition, you might notice swelling that can make flexing your knee distressing, like when you rise from or move to a seated position.
The extent of pain, immobility, and swelling hinges on how badly the meniscus is injured. A meniscus does not hold a solid ability to heal itself and can scar over time if the tear is in a particular area. This is due to a relatively poor blood supply in the center of the meniscus and the fact that cartilage does not quickly heal.
On the other hand, a little tear is likely to generate only mild discomfort and swelling. It typically clears up in two or three weeks on its own. To promote recovery, your physician might suggest elevating your leg, employing cold packs and mild physical therapy, and perhaps wearing a knee brace to decrease the possibility of exacerbating the damage.
A moderate to severely torn meniscus might require surgical intervention. First, a doctor specially qualified in orthopedic treatment must assess each case. Much relies on the meniscal tear's area, pattern, and scope. If the tear happens within the regions with the lowest amount of blood flow or forms a flap or segment of torn tissue that hovers around the tear, it may result in a locked knee and other signs. Such damages often demand knee surgery to correct.
At our office, we concentrate on non-invasive therapy, such as targeted rehabilitation before surgery, where feasible. However, even when surgery is needed to treat a torn meniscus, newer treatment strategies such as arthroscopic surgery can considerably decrease downtime.
If you or a loved one suffers from a knee injury or requires treatment for a torn meniscus, or to understand more regarding how we are transforming the face of orthopedics in America, please contact us to schedule a personalized visit with one of our highly qualified orthopedic doctors.
We hope this helps you better understand how orthopedic specialists treat meniscal tears and how these injuries present. Contact our orthopedic professionals when you have orthopedic or sports medicine issues that need to be addressed. We are here to help you find relief from pain and the best possible treatment for your ailment. If surgery is required, our orthopedic surgeon in Orange City is here to help!