Meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage in the knee that acts like a shock absorber. The following article provides information on the treatment of meniscus tears.
In each of our knees, a C-shaped cartilage is present at the outer and the inner edge. These act as cushions and keep the knee joint stable. Meniscus tears can develop if the knee is twisted beyond the normal range of motion. In majority of cases, activities involving sudden stops and turns, kneeling, and actions which involve aggressive pivoting, can cause the knee to twist or rotate forcefully, thereby causing the cartilage to develop a tear. This might give rise to symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, or pain while twisting or rotating the knee.
The pain might even be felt while walking or performing any weight-bearing activity. Most people who suffer a torn meniscus feel as if their knee has been locked in place, which makes it difficult for them to straighten the knee fully. In milder cases, non-surgical treatment might suffice. This would involve rest coupled with drug therapy, and application of heating pads or cold packs to the affected knee. Surgical intervention might be required in severe cases.
First of all, the activities which seem to aggravate the pain must be completely avoided, especially the activities wherein there’s a risk of twisting the knee. It is wise to make use of crutches, as they help in taking the pressure off the affected knee. This will ensure faster healing.
The use of ice has been one of the age-old treatment options for a torn meniscus. It helps in reducing pain and the swelling. Get some ice cubes and wrap them in a towel. Apply the ice on the aching area for about 15 minutes. Repeat the method every 4 – 6 hours, the first couple of days after the injury. Never apply the ice directly on the affected area. You can also take OTC medication to help ease the knee pain.
Going for physiotherapy sessions might also prove beneficial. Certain knee-strengthening exercises cam also be performed to stabilize the affected muscles around the knee, and improve the range of motion. The use of orthotic devices might also help.
Surgery is recommended when the conservative treatment options don’t give the desired results. The procedure involves repairing the torn meniscus. At times, the meniscus might have to be trimmed. The recovery time tends to be longer in case of an open surgery. If an arthroscopic surgery is performed, hospital stay is usually not required, and the patient might be discharged on the same day. However, it may take weeks or months for a complete recovery.
It is essential to take rest and follow the guidelines suggested by the doctor. The affected person must refrain from performing activities that may aggravate the symptoms of the condition.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.