Meniscus is soft, elastic disc which is C- shaped and offer protection to knee. Currently meniscus tear is common knee injury which is caused by different ways. Meniscus tear hurts a lot and person affected cannot do regular everyday work as usual. Meniscal tears are related to past injuries and treated according to tear. A physical exam can reveal meniscal tear but in some conditions X- ray or MRI scanning is necessary to find out tear. Doctor even checks both knees to find out tenderness and movement to check stability when beginning the treatment for torn meniscus.
Meniscus tears are differentiated in to three types, like- minor tear, moderate tear and severe tear.
Minor tear– minor tear is less painful when compared to other two and completely curable within two weeks to three weeks. Person may experience slight swelling and pain when suffering from minor tear.
Moderate tear– moderate tear is slightly painful and affects bending of knee. Swelling lasts more than 3 days and will become stiff, making normal bending little tough. But regular exercises are done with difficulty. While diagnosed with moderate tear, person should not over indulge in physical activities that strain knee and can last years when not treated.
Severe tear– in sever tears, small torn and shredded pieces of meniscus moves in to joint space causing knee catch, knee lock or knee pop. It is not possible to straighten the knee in such condition without proper treatment. In this case, swelling leads to stiffness and causes disruption in regular work.
Treatment for meniscus tear
- Treatment for meniscus tear depends on various factors like type of tear, place of tear and type of tear.
- Sometimes the treatment for torn meniscus is also related to age and physical activity of the sufferer.
- Swelling caused by meniscal tear can be reduced by placing ice or tying tightly with elastic bandage or placing pillow under knees.
- Serious tear require surgery to remove part of meniscus.
- Few meniscus tears are cured by non- surgical treatment.
- Tears at the outer edge are cured well because of the good blood supply.
- Minor tears are curable on own when followed by proper rest in little time.
- When swelling caused by tear lasts more than three weeks require surgery and tear is sewn to normal.
- Inner part of the meniscus does not have proper blood supply and healing is not possible on own without getting treated.
- In some cases, torn meniscus float in to the joint causing lock and bending of the leg is not possible without surgery.
- Meniscus repair is more successful in younger people than older since latter have less stability in ligaments and even healing takes longer time.
- When meniscal surgery is performed on time after diagnosis reduces the chances of arthritis.
- People feel normal post meniscal surgery as stress is reduced on the knee.
- In case of weakened meniscus, meniscus transplant is done by collecting the piece of meniscus from donor and transplanted to recipient’s knee.