How Meniscus Tears are Treated

Knee injuries are painful and debilitating. As one of the most common cartilage injuries to the knee, a meniscus tear is no exception. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for this injury. However, before you choose a form of treatment, it’s important to understand these options. In this article, we’ll discuss symptoms to watch for, as well as which treatment methods are best for which types of meniscus tears.meniscus tears

Recognizing Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that protects your bones by stabilizing and cushioning the joint. Considering all it takes to cause a tear is a knee twist, the meniscus is relatively fragile. However, that’s not even the worst part. In some instances, a piece of the torn cartilage gets caught in the knee joint and causes more issues than the tear itself.

So how do you know if you’re suffering from this injury? First, take a look at the symptoms below, and then call an orthopedic specialist to confirm the diagnosis. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Trouble bending your leg
  • Popping sensation upon injury
  • Locking of the knee

Treating Meniscus Tears

If you think you’ve torn your meniscus, the first thing to do is to consult an orthopedic specialist. He or she will conduct a thorough exam to determine the best method of treatment, which depends on the size and location of your tear. Here’s a breakdown of treatment options:

  • Nonsurgical treatment – Good for small tears on the outer edge of the meniscus. It includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
  • Surgical repair – Works for meniscus tears that are longitudinal, as well as some radial tears.
  • Partial meniscectomy – Needed for meniscus tears that won’t heal on their own or after repair. It removes the torn part of the meniscus only.
  • Meniscectomy – This approach removes the entire meniscus. It’s avoided if possible, because it increases your risk for osteoarthritis of the knee.

If you have any or all of the symptoms mentioned in this article, you may have a torn meniscus. Talk to an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.

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