Meniscus Tear Q&A
What is a meniscus tear?
A meniscus tear is an injury affecting the cartilage that separates the thigh bone and shinbone in the knee. Your knee joint has two menisci, one on the inside of the knee and one on the outside.
The meniscus cushions the bones and acts as a shock absorber. A meniscus tear may occur from an acute injury or because of the degenerative changes that affect the cartilage over time.
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?
You may feel a pop sensation when you first injure the cartilage in the knee. Despite the injury, many people continue to walk or engage in physical activity following a meniscus tear.
However, about 2-3 days after the injury, your knee swells and stiffens, making it more difficult to walk. It may feel as though your knee is catching or locking. Your knee may also feel weak and unstable.
If you have knee pain or instability, schedule a consultation at Prairie Garden Medical right away so you can get the required care.
What happens during a meniscus tear evaluation?
The Prairie Garden Medical team does a thorough history and physical when you come in with concerns about knee pain following an injury. They review the details of your injury and its symptoms and examine your knee.
The orthopedic surgeons at Prairie Garden Medical perform various tests to diagnose a meniscus tear and order images such as X-rays to confirm a diagnosis.
Prairie Garden Medical has on-site radiology services.
What are the treatments for a meniscus tear?
Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the location of your tear, your age, and your level of activity. Tears in the outside portion of the cartilage have a good supply of blood and may heal on their own. However, tears on the inner part of the cartilage cannot heal on their own due to a lack of blood supply.
Initially, the team at Prairie Garden Medical recommends rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If your symptoms fail to improve with medical interventions, the team performs arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear. The team then sends you to physical therapy for rehabilitation.
For comprehensive care for your meniscus care, call Prairie Garden Medical or schedule an appointment online today.