What is a meniscus?
A meniscus is a C-shaped soft disc in the knee that acts as a cushion between your thigh (femur) and shin bone (tibia). There are two menisci in each knee that work as shock absorbers to minimize stress and strain on the knee cartilage. They also serve to improve the stability of the knee.
How do I know if I’ve torn my meniscus?
A torn meniscus is one of the most common orthopedic knee injuries. Meniscus tears happen during sports or because of age-related wear and tear. The signs and symptoms include:
- A popping sensation
- Swelling and stiffness
- Pain when rotating or twisting
- Locking of the knee
How is a meniscus tear treated?
At the initial appointment, your doctor at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine will complete a physical examination and orders imaging tests to understand the site and extent of the injury better. The recommended treatment depends upon your age, activity level, and type and location of the tear.
If your tear is small and located at the outer edge of the meniscus, your doctor prescribes the RICE regimen. It involves resting your knee, using ice and compression to prevent swelling and blood loss, and elevating the knee. The doctor also prescribes some pain and anti-inflammatory medication. Many times, the pain and stiffness disappear, and you may not need surgery at all.
If your symptoms persist, your doctor at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine may suggest arthroscopic surgery. He inserts a miniature camera through a small incision that allows a clear view of the torn meniscus. He then trims or repairs the tear through another small incision and applies a protective dressing.
What happens after the surgery?
Your doctor at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine prescribes the necessary medications and gives you specific instructions to follow at home, including wearing a brace and using crutches to avoid putting added weight on the knee. The doctor also insists you follow the RICE regimen for a few days after surgery to help minimize the discomfort and speed up the healing process. You will then come for a follow-up appointment in 10-14 days.
The doctors at Star Orthopedic and Sports Medicine prescribe physical therapy during the weeks following surgery. Physical therapy will wean off the crutches and help you regain control and strength of your leg muscles.
Call to schedule an appointment today or book online so that you can return to your favorite sports activity as soon as possible.