What Is Meniscal Tear and What Does The Treatment Involve?

Knee pain is a common complaint among athletes and active individuals. Sometimes, it goes away on its own. Other times, it requires months of treatment. If your knees hurt, the first thing you should do is to identify the cause of pain. A meniscal tear, for instance, can lead to pain and swelling of the knee joint. Its symptoms can be debilitating.

Meniscal tears treatment depends on the severity of your condition. It may include physiotherapy, home remedies, and even surgery. First, let’s see what causes this type of injury and how to recognize its symptoms.

What Is a Meniscal Tear?

The knee is the largest joint in your body and has a complex structure. Even the slight injury can affect its ability to function and cause debilitating pain.

Each knee joint has two menisci. These pieces of cartilage provide a cushion between your shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (femur). The meniscus can be easily torn or damaged during activities that rotate your knee joint or put pressure on it.

Kicking a football, for instance, may cause a meniscal tear. The same goes for heavy lifting, squatting, and sports like tennis, soccer, and basketball. These activities require sudden turns and stops, increasing your risk of injury. That’s why so many athletes seek meniscal tears treatment.

However, physically active individuals are not the only ones at risk for meniscal tears. More than 500,000 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Simply getting up too quickly from a sitting position may cause this injury. Certain health conditions, such as osteoarthritis, may increase the risk of developing meniscal tears,

Signs and Symptoms

This common knee injury causes intense pain and swelling during the first 24 hours. As soon as it occurs, you may hear a popping sound in the knee. Its primary symptoms include:

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of complications. Meniscal tears treatment works best when administrated early.

Meniscal Tears Treatment Options

Small meniscal tears usually respond quickly to physical therapy. If your tear is due to arthritis, it may improve over time. In this case, surgery is not recommended. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs, and rest.

Physiotherapy is the most widely used type of meniscal tears treatment. Studies have found that after one year following the injury, there was no significant difference between physical therapy and surgery.

The bottom line: don’t go under the knife unless it’s really necessary. A skilled physiotherapist can help you recover faster and restore your range of motion. On top of that, meniscal tears usually improve within two months or so without surgery.

Your physiotherapist will most likely recommend exercises aimed at improving joint mobility and strengthening the muscles that surround your knee. If you choose to have surgery, pre-operative physiotherapy can help with post-operative rehab.

Contact our team at 888.312.5764 to determine the best treatment options for you. We have over two decades of experience in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and musculoskeletal disorders, neurological conditions, sports injuries, and much more.

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