When you walk, run, kneel or play sports, the meniscus has the role to keep your knee safe. This is a piece of cartilage surrounding the knee joint in order to keep it safe and protect it from impacts. The plural form for meniscus is menisci. You have one of them in each knee and also others protecting the thighbones and shinbones.
The meniscus is a C shaped disk that has a rubbery composition. By balancing your weight across the knee, the meniscus helps to keep your knee steady. A common form of knee injury is a meniscus tear. Your knee will not be able to work right in case of a torn meniscus. A meniscus tear can be caused by turning or twisting too quickly. It can appear more often if you turn fast when the foot is planted while your knee is bent. This kind of knee injury can occur when you play sports or when you lift heavy items.
The meniscus gets worn when you age and can be more prone to injuries. A torn meniscus can give you symptoms such as a feeling of unsteadiness when you walk, swelling, and aching. We will present in this article five useful facts about torn meniscus.
1. It is easy to tear a meniscus:
If you move the wrong way it is very easy to tear a meniscus. If you turn or stop suddenly, the meniscus comes under pressure. Meniscus tears can occur when you lift heavy items, play sports, or kneel. Deep squatting exercises are a risk factor for meniscus tears. Aged people are at higher risk of developing a meniscus tear because their menisci wear off with aging.
2. The most at risk are athletes:
Meniscus injuries can be caused by rotations and twists with force and speed, such as some movements performed while turning or pivoting in sport games. This makes athletes a category at high risk of developing meniscus tears. In order to avoid knee injuries, athletes should always take care to properly warm up and stretch before exercising, or before a game, and cool down after the physical activity.
3. A variety of tests are used for diagnosis:
There are a few tests usually used to diagnose meniscus tears. X-rays might be performed despite the fact that cartilages don’t show up on this kind of exam. However, X-rays are used to rule out other types of knee or bone injuries that can manifest by similar symptoms, such as swelling, popping sounds, or an inability to straighten or bend the knee. MRI exams are performed in order to examine the cartilages and the soft tissue of the knee. Another type of diagnosis exam involves making a small incision and inserting an arthroscopy in order to examine the knee and search for tears.
4. It’s uncommon to treat meniscus tears with surgery:
There are different types of meniscus tears and only certain types are treated with surgery. There are two different areas in the meniscus, one red and one white. The red zone is the outer zone and a tear of the red zone might be treated with surgery. The white zone is the inner zone and it can’t be treated with surgery because it would not heal.
5. Non-surgical treatment is usually preferable:
Because surgery is not often used to repair meniscus tears, most doctors choose non surgical methods. For minor injuries, it is usually recommended to rest your knee, apply ice on the injured area, and take pain medication. After the meniscus injury is healing, it is usually recommended to get physical therapy in order to regain the normal functionality of the knee. However, prevention is important because a torn meniscus can be debilitating.
Lisa Holland loves to write about Health and Fitness. She recommends PMIR for providing best pain management and injury relief treatments.