Meniscus Tear Q & A
What is a Meniscus Tear?
A meniscus tear is a knee injury. It is one of the most common cartilage injuries to the knee. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the joint, protecting bones from normal wear and tear.
A dramatic twist of the knee could lead to a meniscus tear, breaking a piece of the shredded cartilage, catching in the knee joint, and causing it to lock up.
You may get meniscus tear from:
- A severe blow to the knee
- A forcefully twist or knee rotation
- Degenerative tears
- Deep squatting
Meniscus tear—which is a high-risk tear for older athletes since the meniscus weakens with age—could happen to individuals involved in contact and non-contact sports—football, soccer, volleyball, etc. More than 40% of people with 65 years of age or elder have a Meniscus tear.
What are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?
You may experience:
- A popping sensation
- Pain particularly when twisting or rotating your knee
- Stiffness or swelling
- Difficulty bending or straightening the leg
- Knee locked up in a place
- Reduced range of motion
How is Meniscus Tear Treated?
Treatment for meniscus tear may be advised depending on the size and location of the tear. Although, not all meniscus tears require surgery.
If your symptoms have subsided and your knee is stable, you can continue to rest. Follow ice and compress therapy on your knee, keep the leg at elevation, and medications followed by strengthening exercises to help reduce stress on the knee.
In severe cases, when the tear is large, unstable, or causing locking symptoms, knee surgery could be required to restore the knee functioning fully. Post-surgery, rehabilitation, and home exercises are crucial to improve strength, mobility, and range of motion.
If you suspect a meniscus tear, schedule a consultation with Phoenix Orthopedic Group by phone or online today.