The knee is a complex joint that is needed for almost every activity. Its exquisite design allows you to move and shift your body at a moment’s notice. As with every design, though, the knee is not infallible. Knee injuries are amongst the most debilitating, and full recovery is expected but may be a gradual process. The most common injury to the knee is a meniscus tear.
Ouch! Signs that You May Have a Meniscus Tear
Meniscus tears range from minor to severe, and the symptoms match the severity. Mild discomfort and some swelling typically indicate a minor tear that should heal within a few weeks. A moderate tear of the meniscus is accompanied by gradual swelling over a few days plus pain, stiffness and limited range of motion. Intermediate tears may resolve within a few weeks, but you can look forward to occasional flare-ups without treatment. In the most severe cases of meniscus tears, a piece of the meniscus dislodges and gets trapped in the joint. Locking, popping, weakness, stiffness, and swelling are signs that your meniscus tear is pretty serious.
I Tore My Meniscus. Now What?
Minor and moderate meniscus tears typically heal with ice, rest and stabilization. Elevating your legs can also help. If you continue to have problems, physical therapy may help to stabilize the joint while the tissues heal. Surgery for meniscus tears involves repairing the tissue or removing the area of damaged tissue.
What’s My Long-term Prognosis?
Early treatment, using good body mechanics and adhering to your surgeon’s instructions improve the chances of regaining full use of your knee after a meniscus tear. You may have bouts of discomfort, and athletes should be evaluated before returning to their full schedules. The risk for reinjuring the area or tearing the meniscus in your other knee may or may not be higher after the initial tear.
Learn More About Treatments for Meniscus Tears. Contact Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery.
To learn more about meniscus treatments, shoulder arthroscopy, ankle treatments and our other services, contact Sports, Occupational, and Knee Surgery to schedule a personal consultation. We have an office in San Antonio, as well as in Schertz, Texas, and you can contact us directly at (210) 696-9000.