A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that can cause pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. It is often caused by a sudden pivot or twisting of the knee that can tear the meniscus, which is the rubbery cushion between the thigh bone and shinbone. This type of injury is very common among athletes and seniors who have much thinner cartilage in their knees.
A meniscus tear causes chronic knee pain that won’t go away without medical treatment. Treatment for a meniscus tear is individualized to the patient. In this article, we will discuss the different methods used to treat this injury.
The RICE Method
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation are the first steps in treating a meniscus tear. It is important to rest the knee by avoiding activities that aggravate it, such as running or jumping. Applying ice packs several times a day, keeping the knee above heart level, and using compression can help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or naproxen can help manage pain and inflammation associated with meniscus tears since they are anti-inflammatory drugs that work by blocking certain enzymes in the body responsible for causing inflammation.
Working with a physical therapist on exercises designed to strengthen muscles around your knee joint will improve the mobility of your leg and make it easier for you to perform daily tasks without too much discomfort from the injury itself. Straight leg raises, quad sets and step-up exercises are just some of the physical therapy exercises prescribed to patients with a torn meniscus.
These types of injections involve injecting cortisone (a steroid hormone) directly into the knee to alleviate pain and swelling. However, corticosteroid injections only provide temporary relief from the symptoms. Physical therapy is still necessary to produce the best possible outcomes from this pain-relieving therapy.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary, depending on the size of the tear within the meniscal tissue. Surgery typically involves trimming the damaged tissue and repairing the tear. This surgery can be performed using arthroscopy, which involves using small incisions and inserting a camera into the knee so that the surgeon can see the inner structures of the knee clearly while repairing the damaged tissue. This is an alternative approach to the traditional method of making a large incision to directly view the knee’s inner structures.
Postoperative care, including rehabilitation exercises, is essential for a successful recovery from arthroscopic meniscus repair.
Meniscus Tear Treatment in San Antonio, TX
The orthopedic surgeons at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are highly skilled in the treatment of meniscus tears. We can determine which treatment works best for your knee, and make sure you are guided throughout the process of treatment and rehabilitation. To schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call our office today at (210) 692-7400, or use our convenient online appointment request form.