Having a meniscus tear is very common, especially for athletes. Menisci act as shock absorbers between the thighbone and shinbone. When this cartilage is torn in the knee, this is referred to as a meniscus tear. When having this injury, there are several things that you want to avoid in order to promote healing. Here are a few things to consider when having a torn meniscus.
1) See an Orthopaedic Specialist
It is important to see an orthopaedic surgeon who can analyse the problem and its severity. Different types of tears require different treatments, so you should see someone who gives a clear diagnosis and advice on how to properly treat it. Continuing to use the knee without due care can result in permanent damage. Without proper treatment, a piece of meniscus can actually come loose and obstruct the joint, causing the knee to slip, lock, or pop.
2) Avoid Forcing Your Knee into Extremes of Motion or Squat
A torn meniscus can prevent a knee from having its normal full range of motion. If it is torn, it should not be forced into a position that is painful or feels like it adds extra strain to the knee. This could cause further tears to occur.
3) When injury occurs, initiate RICE immediately
Do not forget to treat a meniscus tear or any other knee injury with the common RICE treatment. This comprises of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This will increase blood flow to the area and decrease swelling, which promotes healing.
4) Knee Arthroscopic “Key-hole” Surgery
Knee arthroscopy is a very common surgical procedure to treat meniscus tear and it is also minimally invasive. During this surgery, a very small camera is inserted through a small incision in the knee, providing the orthopaedic surgeon with a clear view of the internal knee. Miniature surgical instruments are inserted through other parts of the knee to repair the tear. It is advisable to have knee arthroscopy done if the meniscus injury is affecting your walking or daily activities.
5) Do Not Skip Rehab
A knee brace may be applied after the surgery. Crutches are important to use for about a month in order to keep weight off of the knee.
Rehabilitation exercises should be done after initial healing is complete. Regular exercise is necessary in order to restore the mobility and strength of the knee. Starting with exercises to improve the range of motion, strengthening exercises will be added into the program to fully complete healing. Rehab or physical therapy will take up to three months and it is advised to do it regularly.