Understanding And Treating Meniscus Tears- Know More!

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Meniscus tear happens mostly to those who engage in sports such as football or any other activity that requires a lot of rapid leg movements and sudden twists and turns. The meniscus is a pair of cartilage-like structures and two such cartilages make up the knee joint.

In the knee joint, you can find two C-shaped cartilages. One of them is inside the knee and the other one is outside the knee. Both of them are combinedly called meniscus and individually referred to as menisci.

Treating Meniscus Tears Thinks You Should Know!

The one outside the knee is referred to as lateral meniscus and the one inside the knee is referred to as medial meniscus. These are similar to tough rubber and help pose as a cushion in the knee joint. The two meniscus stay between the thigh bone and the shinbone and absorb the shock and friction between them. 

Meniscus tear Health

How To Diagnose A Meniscus Tear?

When the meniscus tear happens there will be a pop. you will feel that something has popped in your knee area

  • A visible inflammation will appear on the skin
  • The skin will get hard
  • You will experience pain in the area
  • There can be extreme pain when you try to twist or rotate the knee
  • You will not be able to completely straighten your knee 
  • You will feel that the motions of your knee have been restricted

A physician can identify this through a physical evaluation. The physician might try to keep your leg in different positions, move the knee in a different direction, might ask you to walk or squat. 

How To Diagnose A Meniscus Tear, Medically?

There are different tests that you can undergo to identify whether you have a torn meniscus. They are:

X-ray

Meniscus is not a bone, but cartilage. So when you have knee pain and approach a doctor, the doctor might ask you to do an X-ray test. The result of the test can show whether there is anything wrong with the bone, and if not, then the pain can be associated with the meniscus. An X-ray is to not directly identify a meniscus but to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the bones.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

In MRI scanning the images of all the tissues will be obtained. In it, you can clearly see whether the meniscus is torn. 

Arthroscopy

At times, the doctor might take an arthroscope, a device to examine the inner knee parts, and insert it into the knee.

A meniscus tear can be referred to as when the meniscus tears and this can happen all of a sudden in the case of those who play contact sports. Also, it can happen over time due to the degeneration of the meniscus.

How To Treat A Meniscus Tear?

Relative Rest

You will have to pause the sports activities for a while. Not only sports but all kinds of activities that can cause stress in the knees are to be stopped. You should not be bending, twisting, pivoting, or rotating your knee during this time. You are advised to walk using crutches to not stress the knee. 

Icing 

Icing the knee can be helpful to reduce the intensity of the pain that you feel and the inflammation that is present on the skin. To do this, keep your knee in an elevated position then you can use a cloth with ice cubes and gently place it on the knee for 10 – 15 mins per time and do this multiple times a day. You can also use ice packs, or frozen bags for this. 

Physical Therapy

Going through physical therapy helps to increase the stability of the meniscus and the knee joint. It adds strength to the meniscus.

Medication 

Some medicines can help to ease the pain and offer support to the joints. Make sure that you take only the medications prescribed by your doctor. 

Surgery 

In some cases of severe meniscus tears, and when the pain does not go away after trying everything, the doctor might suggest surgery

Read More: Physical Therapy For Marathon Runners: Is It Beneficial For Your Performance?

The Bottom Line

Meniscus tears have to be treated at the right time and delaying starting the treatment can lead to severe conditions, even knee replacement. If you feel that something is wrong with your knees and if you feel pain when you move them then you have to visit a doctor. If nothing appears on the X-ray and if you still have pain proceed to do an MRI. When treated at the proper time the meniscus tear can be healed.

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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