A common type of knee injury in athletes who are into contact sports is a meniscus tear. This type of injury is not just specific to athletes, it can happen to anyone. A reference to a torn knee cartilage is nothing but a meniscus tear. Sometimes, a case of meniscus knee tear can be corrected through non-surgical procedures, but in severe cases, surgery may be necessary to find relief.
Symptoms of Meniscus Tear
When you have a meniscus tear, you can still walk around. You will know that it is a tear when you hear a popping sound. There are many athletes who continue to play with an injured knee. As the strain increases, so does the swelling and stiffness and in three to four days, there is pain and a looming sensation that the knee is about to give way.
When Do You Need Surgery
As mentioned above, a popular treatment for meniscus tears is corrective home remedies including R.I.C.E. A doctor will opt for surgery depending on the location of the tear, your overall health, age, level of activity, and the timing of the injury. In extreme cases, the entire meniscus region is removed when the joint in the knee is completely disintegrated. Surgery is always the best choice as it offers the highest promise of activity restoration.
Meniscus Tear Surgery
For people who are suffering from a meniscus tear, a common recommendation by orthopedic doctors is knee arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is also one of the most commonly performed procedures. During the treatment, a miniature camera is inserted through a small incision to offer the doctor a real-time image of the anatomy.
The tear is either trimmed (partial meniscectomy) or removed depending on the extent of wear. In a few cases, when the doctor feels that the correction can be achieved by stitching the loose ends, torn pieces are sutured together.
Successful recovery from the treatment depends on the extent and type of tear and the overall condition of the meniscus.
Is Meniscus Surgery Effective?
Repairing the meniscus through surgery offers immediate relief from pain and restores normal activity to the knee. Surgery is also the solution to preventing long-term complications like osteoarthritis if the condition is left untreated.
In all cases, the surgery is followed by a period of rest followed by walking and lastly selected exercises. Immediately after the surgery, with the assistance of a brace, the treated knee can withstand the weight.
You will be advised to walk with crutches for the first few weeks. Physical therapy is recommended immediately after the surgery. The first two weeks post-surgery is the time of limited motion. Rehabilitation is pivotal in dealing with knee recovery so that it can function optimally.
Driving can be resumed during the same period when the patient begins to walk without crutches. The full range of motion is also restored around the same time. People who play sports can resume their normal activity after three months, depending on the improvement in their condition.
It is highly likely that there may be some remnant of pain, even after a few months. This pain can be dealt with through physical therapy and in a few cases, additional surgeries may be required.
Contact Our Office
An untreated torn meniscus can lead to serious issues. If you would like to talk to an experienced orthopedic surgeon about a torn meniscus or any other knee injury, contact our office today! Dr. Kevin James will gladly help you find relief from your injuries so that you can return to all the activities you love.