Meniscal Tear Overview
A meniscus tear is a relatively common injury to the knee. The meniscus is a rubbery shock absorbing disc in your knee. It helps cushion the impact and strain you put on your knee throughout the day. Each knee has two meniscus. They are in the shape of a C and there is one on each side of the knee, the inner and outer edges of the knee. If left untreated, a tear to your meniscus can lead to ongoing or more serious problems with this important area of knee support.
Meniscal Tear may also be known as Meniscus, Torn Meniscus, Meniscus Tear.
Symptoms of Meniscal Tear
Thera are actually three different types of meniscus tears and each type has its own symptoms to look out for.
With a minor tear you will feel slight pain and minor swelling. Minor tears normally go away in two to three weeks if given proper time to heal.
A moderate tear on the other hand can cause significant pain at the center or the side of your knee. Swelling is also worse and may make your knee feel stiff and limit its movement making walking more difficult but still possible. Sharp pain is also possible if you squat or twist your knee. A moderate meniscus tear can heal in 1 to 2 weeks, however, you should take caution on squatting or twisting the knee since it can easily be reinjured. If not treated and brought back to full strength the tear can linger and the problem can persist for years.
In cases of severe tears pieces of the torn meniscus can actually end up inside the joint space and can lad to your knee locking up, catching or popping. There is an immediate loss of stability with severe meniscus tears as well where you will feel wobbly and your knee can give away without warning. Over the first few days of a severe tear there will be swelling and stiffness. As you get older and your meniscus weakens it becomes much easier to damage and symptoms can sometimes be difficult to catch. You may only experience slight pain and swelling.
- Knee Pain
- Limited range of motion
- The site of pain looks swollen.
- Loss of Stability / Support your weight
- Pain gets worse when doing activities (walking, running).
- Pain is relieved when resting (sitting, lying down).
- Pain feels worse when bending over or stooping.
- Grating Sensation (crackling or popping sounds)
Meniscal Tear Causes
Any physical activity that involves putting heavy loads or fast motions to your knee can cause a tear to your meniscus. As you age your meniscus becomes weaker and injury can occur much more easily. Strengthening exercises ands tretching can help prevent meniscus tears.
- Recent Injury or Fall.
- History of Repeated Injury
Meniscal Tear Treatments
Treatment for a meniscus tear can be based on the severity of the tear, where the tear is and what type of tear it is. How old you are and how active you are will most likely also way into the treatment type reccomended by your doctor.
Typical treatments for a meniscus tear are rest, ice, support and keeping the knee elevated. Physical therapy can also be suggested. In some cases surgery may be reccomended where the surgeon may repair the meniscus or even remove a portion of the meniscus.
Always consult an orthopedic specialist to get your best options.