Question 1 Of : Can A Meniscus Tear Heal On Its Own
How The Location And Type Of Tear Affect Healing
Where a meniscus tear occurs is one of the most important things that affects healing. Tears at the outer edge tend to heal well because there is a good blood supply. The inner area lacks a good blood supply and therefore does not heal well.
The type of tear often determines whether a tear can be repaired. Longitudinal tears are often repairable. Radial tears may be repairable depending on where they are located. Oblique tears and another type called horizontal tears are generally not repairable.
Risk Factors For A Meniscus Tear Or Strain
- Age the meniscus gets worn as you age, so people over the age of 30 are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear.
- Athletes athletes who play sports such as football, basketball, soccer and tennis are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear because of the sudden stops and turns involved in playing the game.
- Osteoarthritis people who suffer from osteoarthritis are at a higher risk for suffering from a meniscus tear or strain.
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Basics Of Torn Meniscus
A torn meniscus is a tear in the cartilage of the knee. The meniscus functions to improve the fit between the femur and the tibia, to absorb shock and distribute load in the knee, and to help move lubricating fluid around the knee. The meniscus can tear from either trauma or injury or from degeneration.
The knee is made up of the femur , the tibia , and the patella . Ligaments hold the bones of the knee together and the patella lies in the quadriceps muscle in front of the knee.
Between the femur and the tibia are two pads, one on the medial side of the knee and one on the lateral side of the knee. Each of these pads is called a meniscus. See Figures 1 and 2.
The meniscus is made of fibrocartilage, which gives it a rubbery texture. Within the meniscus there are also fibers of collagen that help maintain the shape of the meniscus. The meniscus has blood supply only at its outer attachments. Therefore, about 4/5 of a meniscus has no blood supply and therefore cannot heal if it is torn.
What Types Of Doctors Treat A Torn Meniscus
The diagnosis of a torn meniscus may be made by a primary care provider with the patient is often referred to an orthopedic surgeon to either help with the diagnosis or to help with treatment decisions.
While many types of health care providers can diagnose and treat a torn meniscus, it is an orthopedic surgeon who would perform the arthroscopic surgery. For those who do not need, or choose not to have surgery, their primary care provider, the orthopedic surgeon, or a sports-medicine specialist may continue care. Often a physical therapist is involved, whether or not meniscus surgery is part of the treatment.
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When To Consider Knee Replacement
If your knee pain is chronic and worsening, recommended therapies provide insufficient relief, you find that youre unable to perform everyday activities without pain, and you have trouble walking without using an assistive device such as a cane, you might be a candidate for a knee replacement. Get the lowdown on this surgery.
What Is The Recovery Time For A Meniscus Tear Without Surgery
It could be as fast as 4 weeks for minor tears but it could also take up to 12 weeks for more severe cases.
However, an underrated part of recovery is your adherence. So, if you want to get back to your usual activities faster, I highly suggest you be diligent with your stretches and exercises and be careful not to cause further injuries.
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Braces Can Promote Healing
After a meniscus operation, braces can be used to stabilise the knee, protect it and support the healing of the meniscus. The meniscus suture requires particular protection, because a severe bending of the knee with simultaneous loading leads to high levels of shear forces, which can endanger the meniscus suture. The loading of the knee is therefore usually recommended only in a stretched position.
Modern orthoses support treatment after a meniscus fixation. The special lock function allows a therapy-appropriate loading of the knee in full extension and early functional exercises under non-weight bearing conditions as required. It is possible to switch between immobilisation and mobilisation within a defined range of movement with just a single click. Early weight bearing and mobilisation can counteract muscle atrophy.
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How To Relieve Meniscus Pain
23 February, 2021
The menisci are cartilaginous tissue in the knee joint. Its a strong and flexible tissue that helps to cushion the friction between the leg bones . Its important to know how to relieve meniscus pain because its very common and is a part of the body that can get injured easily.
In fact, its one of the main reasons people go to the doctor for pain. Normally, the pain is from a meniscus tear or tissue wear due to aging or certain diseases.
For some people who are affected by this pain, it may end up being disabling. That means it prevents them from walking or making normal movements with their knees. Therefore, in this article, well explain the main causes of meniscus pain and how to relieve it.
Can You Still Walk With A Torn Meniscus
Simple walking and other activities that do not require twisting, pivoting, rapid change of direction, etc., are generally well-tolerated after a meniscus tear. Tears can progress over time, but the rate of progression is generally gradual and highly variable. Pain is the guide. If a tear is being made worse, there will generally be associated symptoms of increased pain.
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Meniscus Tear Repair Without Surgery: Alternative Treatments To Fix A Torn Meniscus
May 28, 2021
Each knee has two moon-shaped sections of protective cartilage, and each section is called a meniscus. Together, the menisci provide essential cushioning between the top of the shinbone and the bottom of the thighbone so that the bones do not rub against one another during movement.
The menisci can tear during strong twisting, high-impact landing, or pivoting motions of the knee. Meniscus tears are a common injury while playing sports such as football, tennis, and basketball, but they can also occur while performing regular household chores.
A torn meniscus can cause a variety of symptoms in the knee, which may include:
- A popping noise when the meniscus tears
- Pain, especially when rotating or twisting the knee
- Difficulty straightening the knee fully
If you are not experiencing excruciating knee pain, then the tear may be mild and so it may respond to nonsurgical treatments. Lets talk about some of those treatments, and where you can go in Boynton Beach for a professional medical evaluation and treatment of your knee pain.
Treatment For A Meniscus Tear
Specific treatment for a meniscus tear will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your overall health and medical history
How bad your injury is
How well you can tolerate specific medications, procedures, and therapies
The length of time it will take to heal
Your opinion or preference
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What Is The Meniscus
The meniscus is a structure in the knee joint that spans and cushions the space between the femur and the tibia . There are two menisci in each knee one on the inside and one on the outside .
Each is made of strong fibrocartilage and is shaped like a crescent or the letter C. These menisci look like suction cups that are carefully molded to the shape of the joint surfaces of the femur and tibia.
Strengthen The Muscles In And Around Your Knee
If you ask me, this is where physical therapyreally shines, as well as in improving your mobility and balance .
That being said, resistance training has shown capable of strengthening ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and other connective tissues benefits you want to have to fully recover from your torn meniscus.
However, please remember to progress gradually.
While your knee injury is still recovering, start with isometric exercises.
These are exercises where you contract your muscles without moving the joint. This helps preserve the strength of your muscles while youre unable to participate in full-on exercise. It also helps stabilize the knee.
Focus on your quads and hamstrings during this stage.
- For your quads, you could place a rolled towel under your knees and attempt to push it down. The towel helps keep your knees in a slightly bent position while preventing movement.
- For your hamstrings, the same position knees slightly bent with a rolled pillow under your knees but this time, push your heel down.
When youve graduated from using crutches, gradually progress your exercises.
First of all, you can also progress your rehab even while youre on crutches but the primary goal is to get your range of motion back to full.
But, just for the sake of strength training, I like to use getting off of crutches as a sign that I can push patients a little harder because the meniscus tear has now healed enough to allow it.
To start, try the following exercises:
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Surgery For Meniscus Tears
If you have a large meniscus tear, or youve tried physiotherapy on its own for at least three months and it hasnt helped, you may need to have an operation to repair it. Surgery may involve either repairing your torn meniscus, or removing the damaged part of your meniscus. Your surgeon will usually do the operation in a knee arthroscopy, which is a type of keyhole surgery. Youll need to have physiotherapy afterwards to get your knee back to normal, and working as it should.
Ask your doctor about the pros and cons of surgery, and how it might help you.
What’s The Treatment For A Meniscus Tear
Treatment for meniscal tears depends on the size and location of the tear. Other factors which influence treatment include age, activity level and related injuries. The outer portion of the meniscus, often referred to as the âred zone,â has a good blood supply and can sometimes heal on its own if the tear is small. In contrast, the inner two thirds of the meniscus, known as the âwhite zone,â does not have a good blood supply. Tears in this region will not heal on their own as this area lacks blood vessels to bring in healing nutrients.
Happily, not all meniscal tears require surgery. If your knee is not locking up, is stable, and symptoms resolve, nonsurgical treatment may suffice. To speed the recovery, you can:
These conservative treatments, however, aren’t always enough. If a tear is large, unstable, or causing locking symptoms surgery may be required to either repair or remove unstable edges. The procedure is usually pretty simple, and you can often go home the same day. You may need a brace afterward for protection if a repair is performed.
For 85% to 90% of people who get the surgery for a meniscus tear, the short-term results are good to excellent. But in the long-term, people who have a large meniscal injury that is unrepairable may be at a higher risk of developing knee arthritis.
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What Else Can Help
The exercises here are specifically tailored towards meniscus tear treatment. Once these meniscus tear treatment exercises feel easy, you can progress on to more generalintermediateandadvancedstrengthening exercises to help you recover fully from a torn meniscus.
Sometimes after a meniscus injury, the kneecap muscles get weak. This leads to patellar maltracking, a problem with how the kneecap moves, and can lead to longer term knee problems. To find out how to strengthen your kneecap muscles, visit the kneecap strengtheningsection.
If you have problems with persitent locking at the knee , or your symptoms fail to settle, you may well need surgical meniscus tear treatment, usually an arthroscopy. You can find out more about this in the Meniscus Tear section.
Page Last Updated: 11/09/21
What Does A Meniscus Tear Feel Like
Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
- Pain in the knee
- A popping sensation during the injury
- Difficulty bending and straightening the leg
- A tendency for your knee to get “stuck” or lock up
At first, the pain may not be bad. You might even play through the injury. But once the inflammation sets in, your knee will probably hurt quite a bit.
To diagnose a meniscus tear, your doctor will give you a thorough exam. They will want to hear details about how you got your injury. X-rays may be necessary, to rule out broken bones and other problems. You may also need an MRI scan, which allows a more detailed evaluation of knee cartilage.
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Natural Wear And Tear
As with all tissues in the human body, the meniscus is also subject to natural wear and tear. The elasticity of the fibrous cartilage decreases and the connective tissue of the menisci loses firmness, becomes adipose or brittle. In these cases, one simple deep knee bend or a rotation of the joint, when getting out of the car for example, can cause a meniscus tear.
Symptoms Of A Meniscus Tear Or Strain
Symptoms of mild meniscus tears or strains:
Typically, mild meniscus tears heal within two to three weeks.
Symptoms of moderate meniscus tears or strains:
- Pain at the side or center of the knee
- Inability to move the knee freely
If left untreated, moderate meniscus tears can cause problems for many years.
Symptoms of severe meniscus tears:
- Popping, locking or catching
- Inability to straighten the knee
- Knee that gives way
- Stiffness and swelling right after the incident
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Forms Of Different Meniscus Tears
The tear can be vertical, horizontal or radial:
- A vertical tear crosses the meniscus from top to bottom and runs parallel to the shape of the meniscus.
- The horizontal tear divides the meniscus into an upper and a lower part. It is also known as a cleavage or fishmouth tear.
- If the tear stretches from the thin inner edge to the thicker outer edge of the meniscus, its known as a radial tear.
How Do I Know If Ive Torn My Meniscus
The symptoms of a meniscus tear have a lot to do with the type of tear and your age. The pain can be dramatic or subtle, immediate, or delayed.
You can imagine the immediate, acute pain a snow skier or football player might experience from a fall, pivot, or tackle.
However, some cases arent a result of a specific injury. You could start experiencing pain out of the blue without any warning signs. For example, if you have a degenerative tear from arthritis, you might notice a subtle increase in pain.
If youve been in a car wreck, you might not have pain in your knee until a couple of days later, once the adrenaline has stopped pumping from the excitement of the accident. Its not unusual to have delayed onset of symptoms.
Other symptoms besides pain include:
- Knee swelling
- Feeling your knee giving way when you put weight on it
- Difficulty straightening your knee fully or feeling it catch in a certain spot
- Feeling as though your knee is locked in place when you try to move it
The catching and locking sensation in the knee is the result of a little fragment of tissue that can get caught in between your two weight-bearing leg bones. And that can also cause a sharp, stabbing pain.
Arthritic pain is usually a more stiff and achy type of discomfort.
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What Other Symptoms Accompany This Pain
When a meniscus tear occurs, in addition to pain, youll experience other symptoms. For example, leg movements will likely be limited. Itll be especially difficult to stretch or bend your leg.
In fact, when theres a tear, you might hear slight clicking sounds when you move the joint. Also, in some cases, meniscus pain is accompanied by your knee suddenly giving out. When this happens, its as if you cant hold yourself up and your knee will automatically bend.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Meniscus Tear
The history of a painful twist occurring on a slightly flexed knee will indicate the likelihood of a meniscus tear. You may also experience clicking, popping, or locking of the knee. These symptoms are usually accompanied by pain along the knee joint line and joint swelling.
A Meniscus rehabilitation program will help you regain as much strength and flexibility in your knee as possible. Your rehab program probably will include physical therapy and home exercises.
Here is a sample exercise program that you may be prescribed for your knee meniscus injury. These exercises focus on improving knee range of motion and strength and improving the overall function of your knee joint. Exercises should not cause any extra pain in your knee.* Before starting this, or any other knee meniscus exercise program, check in with your doctor and physical therapist to be sure exercise is safe for you to do.
Knee Rehab by @luqmanstherapy
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