Meniscus is a C-shaped fibrous cartilage found between the bones and protects the joint surface. It limits the joint flexion and extension, helps in lubricating the joints, and acts as a shock-absorption system. It has no blood supply of its own, and cannot heal by itself.
A meniscus tear will occur when it tears away from its spot such as a radial tear or flap tear. The tear may also occur during physical exertion activities such as running, turning, squatting or twisting or from a sudden impact. It may also tear with age as the cartilage weakens over time. Likewise, a simple twist of the leg can also cause a tear.
How do you know if you have meniscal tears?
You will not experience the symptoms immediately but some may feel popping sound when the injury occurs. After a few days, you will get to experience:
- Stiffness or locking of the knee
- Swelling and pain
- Weakness in the knee
- Reduced range of movement
It depends on the severity of the injury, and you may require one to two treatment approaches.
For minor tears, rest is all you need. You may have:
- Rest from physical activities that strain the knee
- Compression of the injured area to treat swelling
For severe tears, the surgical intervention includes Arthroscopy that either stitches the torn meniscus together (full meniscus repair) or trims away the injured tissue (partial meniscectomy).