12 Nov Meniscus Tear
Meniscus tears are one of the most common injuries in the United States. They are especially common in those who are active in sports, whether competitive or for fun. While a torn meniscus is fixable, these injuries can be career-ending for those who are professional athletes. The injury is extremely painful and takes at least a few months to heal after surgical intervention. It is important to seek treatment for a meniscus tear as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome in the healing process.
Meniscus tears usually occur when the knee rotates forcefully, mainly when weight is being applied. Each knee contains two menisci, which are essentially cartilage that help pad and cushion the knee. When the meniscus tears, there is often a feeling of extreme pain, and it can lead to trouble fully extending the knee. Treating a torn meniscus often depends on how bad the tear is. If the injury is mild, rest, ice, and medication may be enough to help it heal. However, if the tear is more severe, surgical intervention may be required.
It is important to have a torn meniscus evaluated by a physician, even if you think the tear is a mild one. Left untreated, or improperly treated, a torn meniscus can lead to instability in the knee later on in life, along with ongoing pain or osteoarthritis. In some cases, a torn meniscus can be identified simply by a physical exam – although most physicians will confirm the diagnosis with x-ray or MRI imaging. Regardless of the treatment plan, whether it be surgical or non-surgical, physical therapy is usually recommended in conjunction with the treatment plan. Physical therapy helps strengthen support muscles around the knee and can help maintain the best range of motion possible.
Surgery is usually the last resort when it comes to treating a torn meniscus. However, in cases where the knee is locking or remains too painful to bear, surgery may be recommended. In some cases, the tear is irreparable and must be trimmed to give the best range of motion. Fortunately, as medicine has advanced, stem cell therapy has become another possible treatment for a torn meniscus. Injecting stem cells into the knee may help stimulate the body to heal itself. While this kind of treatment is still being researched, it has shown a lot of promise for those suffering from a torn meniscus.
Suffering from a torn meniscus is an especially common injury in the United States, especially for those with arthritis or for those who play sports. The injury is very painful when it first occurs but is often fixable. As with most conditions, conservative treatments such as ice, medication, rest, and physical therapy are typically preferable to surgical intervention. However, there are cases where surgery is required to allow for a better range of motion to continue on in everyday life. Regardless of the extent of the injury, if you believe you are suffering from a torn meniscus, it is important to see professional medical help as soon as possible to avoid problems in the future.