Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. This is sometimes referred to a torn cartilage. Usually, athletes who play contact sports are experiencing this. They are at high risk when it comes to this type of injury. However, anyone would be able to tear their meniscus, whether you are young or old.
There are three bones that meet your knee joints. These are the femur or the thigh bone, the tibia or the shin bone, and the patella or the kneecap. Then there are two cartilages called the meniscus which is attached and acts as the shock absorber which is located between the shinbone and the thigh bone.
The Causes of Meniscus Injury
The tear of the meniscus usually happens during sports. But what really are the causes of meniscus injury? The player might squat and in the event twist their knee in the process. Usually, a direct contact with a tackle is involved. Other causes are the degenerative meniscal tears in elderly people. This cartilage will weaken and goes thinner over time. When this cartilage is aged and worn, it will cause a tear. When the meniscus has weakened because of this, just a simple awkward movement of the legs will cause this.
The Most Common Symptoms of Meniscal Injury
You will feel a “pop” when you tear your meniscus. This will be painful but some people are still able to walk even if their knee is injured. There are even athletes who can still keep playing even with the injury. Then in the next 2 to 3 days, your knees will start to get swollen and stiff. If you do not undergo treatment, there is a possibility that a part of the meniscus might become loose which causes the slip, pop, or lock of your knee.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will assess your symptoms including your medical history. Then your knee will be examined. It will be checked for any tenderness in the joint line where the meniscus is located. Tests will be run like the McMurray Test. your knee will be bent, straightened and rotated. This will put pressure on the torn meniscus. If you have a torn meniscus, this movement will cause some clicking sound every time the doctor does the test.
Imaging tests will also be done. This is because there are many knee problems that cause the same symptoms. The doctor will require you to do some imaging tests for the confirmation of the diagnosis. The tests might include X-Rays, and an MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. This will create a clearer image of the soft tissues of your knee joint.
There are two treatments involved when you injure your meniscus. There’s a non-surgical treatment which will include RICE; rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This is commonly done when the knee injury does not hinder you from doing your regular activities. But when it does, a surgical treatment is needed. There is Meniscectomy, where the damaged tissue will be trimmed, and there is also the Meniscus Repair, which is usually done by suturing the torn pieces together. These treatments will be advised by your doctor, depending on the severity of the case.