A meniscus injury refers to a tear in a knee tissue and ranges from minor to severe. The meniscus is a rubbery cartilage in the knee that serves as a cushion to keep your knee steady. A torn meniscus causes an imbalance in weight across the knee, therefore preventing it from functioning normally.
When playing sports or exercising, your knee is subject to quick twists and turns. These rapid movements can provoke a meniscus injury, especially when the knee bends while the foot is planted.
A torn meniscus also commonly occurs when lifting something heavy. Your meniscus naturally gets worn with age, which also makes it more susceptible to injury even without much activity.
Symptoms of a torn meniscus vary in severity and include minor, moderate, and severe tears. Signs of a minor tear typically go away on their own as it stimulates only slight pain and swelling.
You may notice a moderate tear when you sense pain at the side or center of your knee. The swelling gradually increases over the next few days, making your knee feel stiff and dysfunctional. You may still be able to walk but feel a sharp pain when twisting or bending the knee.
The symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks but often come back, especially if the tear isn’t properly treated.
Severe tears often involve pieces of the torn meniscus moving within the joint space. That triggers the knee to catch, pop, or lock. It’s common for the knee to feel unstable or give way unexpectedly. The onset of swelling usually occurs within two to three days, causing stiffness in the knee that makes it difficult for you to straighten it.
With any meniscus injury, medical attention is advised for a quick and thorough recovery. You can avoid the recurrence of a torn meniscus by visiting Steven E. Nolan, MD.
Treatment for a torn meniscus depends on the type and location of the tear. Dr. Nolan also takes into account your age and how active you are. Treatment options include:
Dr. Steven Nolan is an expert at performing knee surgery as it’s one of his specialties. Contact Steven E. Nolan, MD with any questions or concerns regarding your injury.
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