Do you feel pain in your knees associated with a popping sensation whenever you try to move? You might have a meniscal tear, one of the most common knee injuries. Many people commit the common mistake of leaving it untreated because the pain seems tolerable. But over time, it can lead to more serious orthopedic problems.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a meniscal tear, you must immediately consult an orthopedist for diagnosis and treatment.
Let’s learn about the meniscal tear and where you can go for effective treatment in San Antonio, TX.
What Is aMeniscal Tear?
There are two pieces of C-shaped fibrous cartilage called the meniscusin each of your knees. They act as a cushion that absorbs the friction between your shinbone and thighbone.
Forceful activities, such as constant squatting and heavy lifting, may cause it to rotate or twist, resulting in a tear.
Its symptoms may include the following:
- Pain and swelling
- Popping sensations
- Locked knees or difficulty stretching
- Weakness, as if your knees will give away
Anyone can experience a meniscal tear, but athletes and construction workers are especially at risk. Constant encounter with the injury increases your chance of developing knee arthritis.
Diagnosis For Meniscal Tear
An accurate diagnosis can jump start your recovery. Once you start showing symptoms, it is easy to suspect a case of a meniscal tear.
Your doctor may spot the signs on a regular physical exam. However, specific diagnostic tests can help reveal a more detailed and accurate analysis.
1. MRI Test
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that shows a picture of your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It can help detect a meniscal tear and determine the need for surgical intervention.
However, an MRI can still sometimes miss vertically oriented tears. In that case, you may need further examination.
Some doctors prefer to use arthroscopy in diagnosing meniscal tears in a patient. It is more effective in determining the location and size of the damage.
Your surgeon will make a small incision on your knee, where they will insert an arthroscope. This device will transmit an enlarged image of the inside of your knee.
Treatment For Meniscal Tear
Treatment for meniscal tears depends on the severity of the condition. Some heal over time, so long as you do nothing to worsen it.
Here are your treatment options:
1. Home Remedies
Since meniscal tears are often a result of forceful activities, refrain from aggravating movements to rest the injury. Take time to lie in bed and elevate the affected knee. You may also:
- Use crutches – to take pressure off your knee
- Apply ice – to reduce pain and swelling, making your recovery quicker
- Take pain medication – take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
If medication is not improving your condition, maybe it is time to consider going for physical therapy. It is still a conservative treatment, but your doctor will guide you if you pursue this option.
Typically, physical therapy will last around four to six weeks, depending on the severity of the tear. You will also need to commit to some at-home exercises.
Your orthopedic doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery when the tear needs urgent treatment. Sometimes, it is possible to repair or trim your meniscus through arthroscopy.
However, if the condition has already advanced and you are experiencing complications, you might require a more invasive procedure. In some younger patients, a meniscus transplant may be possible.
Meniscal Tear Treatment in San Antonio, TX
Do you need meniscal treatment near you around San Antonio, Texas? You may seek diagnosis and treatment at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our healthcare providers are highly trained, experienced, and passionate about helping you improve your quality of life after an injury.
Call our friendly staff at (210) 692-7400 to learn about our comprehensive healthcare services. You may also use our secure online form to request an appointment with the best orthopedic doctor near you.
We look forward to helping you move right back into the rhythm!