Your knees are complex joints that are constantly in motion, so it’s no wonder they sometimes develop problems. One of the most common knee injuries is a torn meniscus. This C-shaped cartilage cushions the space between your thighbone and shinbone and helps to stabilize your knee joint.
You may feel a sharp pain in your knee if you tear the meniscus when suddenly twisting or turning your knee. Fortunately, there are nonsurgical treatments to help you recover.
1. Consult Your Orthopedic Doctor
If you think you may have torn your meniscus, it’s vital to consult your orthopedic doctor. They will be able to confirm the diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that is right for you – which will likely begin with the most conservative (nonsurgical) treatments.
2. Rest Your Injury
The first step in treating a torn meniscus is to rest your knee and give it time to heal. You may need crutches or a knee brace to keep your weight off your injured knee.Refraining from using your injured knee can be challenging, but you must give it time to heal. Avoiding activities that stress your knee will help you recover more quickly.
3. Ice Your Knee
Applying ice to your knee can help reduce pain and swelling. Do so for 20-30 minutes at a time, several times a day. Be careful not to apply ice directly to your skin.
4. Elevate Your Knee
When you elevate your knee, you are helping to reduce the swelling with the help of gravity. It’s as easy as propping your leg up on a pillow when sitting or lying down.
5. Take Pain Medication
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can help relieve the pain and inflammation from a torn meniscus. Ibuprofen and naproxen are effective options. You can also use acetaminophen (which is not an NSAID), but it will not reduce any swelling.
Your doctor may prescribe a more potent pain medication if over-the-counter options are ineffective, including corticosteroid shots, which can relieve pain associated with swelling. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking any medication.
6. Use a Compression Bandage
A compression bandage can help reduce swelling by applying pressure to your knee. Be sure not to make the wrap too tight, as this can cause additional pain and may hinder healing by obstructing the circulation of blood to your knee and lower leg.
7. Use a Knee Brace
A knee brace can provide support and stability to your knee joint. It can also help reduce the pain from a torn meniscus. Do you participate in activities that stress your knee, such as running or playing sports? A knee brace can help support your joint and prevent further injury.
8. Attend Physical Therapy
A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will help improve the range of motion in your knee. They can also help you strengthen the muscles around your knee joint.
Your therapist may also teach you stretches you can perform daily to help prevent further injury. In addition, they may use other therapeutic methods, like the following:
- Heat and cold therapy – temperature control to help reduce pain and inflammation
- Ultrasound – uses sound waves to create heat that penetrates deep into your tissue
- Electrical stimulation – sends electrical impulses to the muscles around your knee joint
You may need surgery if these nonsurgical treatment options fail to relieve your symptoms. But doctors only recommend surgery for severe cases.
Meniscal Treatment Near You In San Antonio, TX
A meniscus tear can cause pain and discomfort, but nonsurgical treatments may help you return to your routine. You can rest your injury, use ice, and elevate it to reduce swelling. You can also take doctor-approved medication to address pain and swelling, as well as use a compression bandage or knee brace for additional support.
Are you looking for meniscal treatment near you in San Antonio? Look no further than the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our orthopedic providers are highly trained, compassionate, and excited about providing you the best possible care. You may contact our friendly staff at (210) 692-7400 to learn more about our comprehensive services. You may also use our secure online request form to book a visit with one of our orthopedic doctors near you.