How Can I Prevent A Meniscus Tear
Meniscus tears are tough to prevent since they’re usually the result of an accident. But some precautions might lower the risks of a knee injury. You should:
- Keep your thigh muscles strong with regular exercises.
- Warm up with light activities before taking part
- Give your body time to rest between workouts. Fatigued muscles can increase your risk of injury.
- Make sure your shoes have enough support and fit correctly.
- Maintain flexibility.
To Use Or Nor To Use Anti
Inflammation is not always a bad thing. It kick-starts the healing process and is an essential part in healing. There is a reason the body produces inflammatory markers when you have injured yourself. However, if this cycle continues for too long, the unnecessary amount of swelling as mentioned above, becomes a problem.
Therefore, we suggest that you do not use anti-inflammatories in the acute phase since the onset of your injury. Let the inflammation do its job, but you may start using them after those first 48 hours to aid in the management of pain, swelling and the discomfort inflammation brings along with it.
Tips To Prevent Meniscus Tears
You can prevent meniscus tears by regularly performing exercises that strengthen your leg muscles. This will help stabilize your knee joint to protect it from injury.
You can also use protective gear during sports or a brace to support your knee during activities that may increase your risk of injury.
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How Do You Heal A Torn Meniscus Naturally
To speed the recovery, you can: Rest the knee. Ice your knee to reduce pain and swelling. Compress your knee. Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when youre sitting or lying down. Take anti-inflammatory medications. Use stretching and strengthening exercises to help reduce stress to your knee.
What Is The Rest Of The Knee Made Up Of
- Bones:;Three bones form your knee joint: thigh bone , shinbone , and kneecap .
- Articular cartilage: At the round part of the femur and tibia bones, and behind the patella, there is a cartilage covering, which makes the bones glide easily across each other to ensure smooth bending and straightening of your knee.
- Meniscus: This is also a type of cartilage, more like a disc that distributes forces through your knee. They are wedge shaped and situated on the medial and lateral of your tibia bone. The meniscus is there to help absorb shock through the knee joint, to stabilize and cushion impact through the joint.
- Tendons:;Muscles connect to bones via tendons. The;quadriceps tendon;connects the muscles in the front of your thigh to your patella. The patellar tendon stretches from your patella to your tibia.; The hamstring tendons run around the back to bend your knee.
- Muscles: The quads serve as a mobilizing unit to help straighten your knee. Important here is the VMO muscle the most inside one of the four quad muscles,;due its stability function in the knee. If the VMO doesnt activate properly, the knee will inevitably be unstable.
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Do They Put You To Sleep For Meniscus Surgery
With general anesthesia, you are unconscious in a deep sleep unable to feel pain. Regional or spinal anesthesia uses an anesthetic injected in your spine to numb the lower part of your body so you will not feel pain. You will likely have sedation to keep you relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.
How Can I Prevent A Torn Meniscus
It can be hard to prevent an accidental injury. But you can reduce your risk of a torn meniscus if you:
- Strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize your knee.
- Wear a knee brace if you know your knee is unstable or weak.
- Work up slowly to more intense exercise activity.
- Wear athletic shoes that are appropriate for the sport youre doing.
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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
How Is A Meniscus Tear Diagnosed
Your doctor will generally ask you how the injury occurred, how your knee has been feeling since the injury and whether you have had other knee injuries. You may be asked about your physical and athletic goals to help your doctor decide on the best treatment for you.
Your doctor will hold your heel while you lie on your back and, with your leg bent, straighten your leg with his or her other hand on the outside of your knee as he or she rotates your foot inward. There may be some pain. It is important to describe your symptoms accurately. The amount of pain and first appearance of swelling can give important clues about where and how bad the injury is. Tell your doctor of any recurrent swelling or of your knee repeatedly giving way.
A magnetic resonance imaging scan is often used to diagnose meniscal injuries. The meniscus shows up as black on the MRI. Any tears appear as white lines. An MRI is 70 to 90 percent accurate in identifying whether the meniscus has been torn and how badly. However, meniscus tears do not always appear on MRIs.
Meniscus tears, indicated by MRI, are classified in three grades. Grades 1 and 2 are not considered serious. They may not even be apparent with an arthroscopic examination. Grade 3 is a true meniscus tear and an arthroscope is close to 100 percent accurate in diagnosing this tear.
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Treatment For Meniscus Tears
If you have symptoms of a meniscus tear, it probably wont heal by itself and youll need some form of treatment. Youll usually need to go to A&E with this kind of injury, where theyll examine you and take some X-rays of your knee. You may then be referred to an acute knee clinic, which will organise any investigations and treatment;you need.
What treatment youre offered will depend on exactly where the meniscus tear is, how big it is, how severe your injury is and your age. The initial treatment will be to control your pain and swelling using the POLICE and HARM self-help measures . Further treatments for meniscus tears include physiotherapy, medicines and surgery.
You may see a physiotherapist or an orthopaedic surgeon for treatment.
What Is The Meniscus Made Up Of
The meniscus is a collagen compound structure made up of rubbery cartilage. It is a C-shaped disc between the Tibia and Femur . The meniscus acts like a cushion to protect the bone, absorb shock and stabilize the joint. Not only does the meniscus serve these purposes, but it also acts as a lubricant in the joint to make the gliding of the Femur onto the Tibia smoother.
Without the meniscus, the bones move on each other and this could cause locking , catching grinding in your knee, not to mention the lack of proper movement in your knee joint. In turn, this leads to a cascade of swelling, pain and dysfunction of your knee joint. Each knee has 2 of these disc, the outer C-shaped part is called the lateral meniscus, and the one on the inside of your knee is called the medial meniscus.
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Rehabilitation And Return To Play
If the tear is minor and the pain and other symptoms cease, a muscle-strengthening program may be recommended.; A large tear produces a flap of meniscus that may interfere with normal joint mechanics. The torn flap of meniscus can cause further damage leading to greater risk of degenerative arthritis. Due to the nature of the tear that the menisci can suffer, repair of the meniscus can be a complicated issue.
A meniscal tear that is symptomatic may need to be addressed surgically. If so, this is now done by arthroscopic surgery which allows the surgeon to remove the flap and; smooth off the surface of the meniscus, or if possible repair the torn meniscus. This will leave normal structures and decrease the likelihood of degenerative arthritic changes.
The major goal of the rehabilitation program is to normalise walking, normalise pain-free range of motion, prevent muscle wastage and maintain cardiovascular fitness.; Rehabilitation after meniscus surgery should focus on early mobilisation of the knee joint and quadriceps and hamstring strength. Weight bearing exercises should be added as directed by a sports medicine professional. Regardless of the form of surgery, rehabilitation usually includes walking, bending the legs, and doing exercises that stretch and build the leg muscles.
The Meniscus Tear Test
Before utilizing more sophisticated imaging, your doctor may guide you through a series of movements to test the overall mobility of the knee joint and pinpoint the underlying knee injury. In this way, your doctor can also rule out other possible knee injuries and conditions. The circumduction knee test is used to demonstrate knee locking, knee clicking, pain, general mobility limitations, and instability. This test will identify any protruding meniscus tags or fully adrift loose bodies in the knee. A loose body in the knee will prevent the knee from moving optimally and may also cause the knee to catch and lock up.
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Most Meniscal Tears In Adults Are Degenerative
that is, the meniscus simply wore out from years of use. Most adult patients with a torn meniscus dont even recall how or when the meniscus tear happened.
The presentation for a meniscus tear is usually entirely different in children or adolescents. Meniscus tears in children are usually traumatic and will often arise from a non-contact twisting injury.
See our posts below where we explore the different types of meniscus tears that can occur, and how we treat them.; It might surprise you that many meniscus tears do not require surgery
Meniscus Tear Recovery Time
The expected recovery time for each knee injury will depend on the patient and the severity of the injury. After arthroscopic meniscus surgery, most individuals should expect the rehabilitation process to last roughly three months. With meniscectomies specifically, patients should anticipate a flexible recovery timetable of about one month. During this time, your doctor will prescribe a series of postsurgical knee exercises to help increase knee flexibility and also strengthen the surrounding tissues. Once weve designed a regimen and meniscus tear recovery strategy for you, these exercises can be performed at home in your spare time to better accommodate your schedule and lifestyle.
Remember, we update our Sports Medicine Oregon blog monthly, so be sure to tune in often to stay up to date on the latest sports medicine news and views!
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Intended Use Of The Brace
These help prevent or reduce the risk of knee injuries, mostly in contact sports. Theyre hinged to protect knee ligaments.
Some athletes wear them during practice instead of games. They do this in hopes of avoiding any limitation in their performance.
Custom-made braces tend to be costly. So, if youre planning on wearing it to prevent injuries during sports, an off-the-shelf brace can be a good option.
There are some guidelines on what to look for in a knee brace below.
These provide stability for unstable knees, usually due to a previous ACL injury.
More recently, functional knee braces have been recommended following reconstructive surgery to reduce strain in an ACL graft.Paluska, 2000
These can restrict the range of motion of the knee. So, theyre also used to help protect and control knee movement during rehabilitation.
Grade I And Ii Meniscus Tear
A grade I or II meniscus tear is a small tear on the outskirts of the meniscus. This type of tear is generally not considered serious and there is no need for surgery, but guiding you through the phases of recovery is essential. There may still be pain, a locking sensation and loss of full range in your knee, but this is quite an easy fix with physiotherapy. We will discuss every stage of treatment shortly and the goals youll achieve.
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Can A Torn Meniscus Cause Calf Pain
Anterior knee pain, pain on the inner or outer side of the knee, and even pain in the calf are all signs of a torn meniscus. Rupture is most common following a deep knee bend, but it can also happen without it.
The fluid causes tissue inflammation, which causes discomfort, edoema, heat, and redness in the calf.
What Is The Treatment For A Torn Meniscus
The treatment of a meniscus tear depends on its severity, location, and underlying disease within the knee joint. Patient circumstances also may affect the treatment options. Often it is possible to treat meniscus tears conservatively without an operation using anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy rehabilitation to strengthen muscles around the knee to prevent joint instability. Frequently, that is all a patient needs. Patients involved in a sport or whose work is physically demanding may require immediate surgery to continue their activity. Most patients fall in between the two extremes, and the decision to use conservative treatments or proceed with an operation needs to be individualized.
Torn meniscus due to injury
The first steps in treatment after the acute injury usually include rest, ice, compression, and elevation . This may help ease the inflammation that occurs with a torn meniscus. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen , may help relieve pain and inflammation. It is important to remember that over-the-counter medications can have side effects and interactions with prescription medications. It is reasonable to ask a health care professional or pharmacist for directions as to which over-the-counter medication might be best for someone’s particular situation. Rest and elevation may also require the use of crutches to limit weight-bearing.
Degenerative joint disease
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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:
The Meniscus Is A Shock Absorber
The meniscus functions as a shock absorber.; In the picture to the right, you can see how weight-bearing or walking forces the meniscus to move towards the outside of the knee when pressure is applied.; This is how the meniscus takes the stress off of the articular cartilage on the end of the bones. We call these hoop stresses.; As you put weight on the leg, the femur or thigh bone contacts the meniscus. The meniscus distends outward. That takes a lot of the stress off of the tibia or shin bone.; Without a meniscus present, all the weight from the femur would contact the tibia, and the cartilage on the ends of the bones would start to wear away.;;
The image at left reveals a normal meniscus sitting between the femur above and the tibia below. The;meniscus is a C-shaped;structure in your knee that is made of fibro-cartilage. It;acts as a cushion;for the knee;when its bearing weight.
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Understanding What Is A Meniscus Enables You To Understand How A Tear Can Affect Your Knee
If a friend tells you they have a torn cartilage they are probably referring to a torn meniscus. ;When the meniscus is not functioning correctly, or it is split, then you may feel pain with turning, pivoting or twisting. ;Also, you may develop a feeling of knee instability or a feeling that the knee wants to give way. ;
Unfortunately, the meniscus does not possess significant regenerative capabilities. ;That means that the meniscus tissue can wear out over time.;
Because the body does not possess the ability to heal a meniscus these tears rarely heal on their own. ; When a tissue has poor regenerative potential, the likelihood of suffering a degenerative or attritional meniscus tear is very high. ;Simply stated that means that our meniscus can simply wear out and tear from the cumulative stress that we have put on our knee throughout our lives.;;
Thats why the majority of you do not recall any specific injury to the knee when I see you in the office.;;