Torn miniscus (Tear of miniscus) : Causes & Treatment

The medial and lateral menisci are shock absorbers and force distributors located between the femur and the tibia. Consequently, menisci can tear due to traumatic injury or degenerative wear (e.g., in knee joint arthritis), and can compromise force distribution across the knee joint. A meniscal tear occurs in 2 primary planes, vertical and horizontal. Tears can cause knee pain, swelling, limited range of motion, and catching, locking, and buckling of the knee joint. Tears may lead to degenerative, arthritic changes if not already present.

Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. Athletes, particularly those who play contact sports, are at risk for meniscus tears. However, anyone at any age can tear a meniscus. When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus.

Meniscal tears are responsible for 750,000 arthroscopies per year in the US and are the most common soft tissue injury to the knee joint. Should start with <Disease Name>. This section can include <TypesOfDiseaseName> & their scientific name. Overview of the disease. Their major Causes, ages affected, gender most prone to it etc. Include some facts. For example How much percentage of people get affected every year, total types of the problem, how can a person self-determine the problem etc.)

Self diagnosis – If you’ve torn your meniscus, you might have the following signs and symptoms in your knee: A popping sensation. Swelling or stiffness. Pain, especially when twisting or rotating your knee.

How does Torn Meniscus affect your body?

There are three bones in the knee, the femur, tibia and patella. The ends of those bones are covered with cartilage (a smooth material that cushions the bone and allows the joint to move easily without pain). The cartilage acts as a shock absorber. Between the bones of the knees are two crescent-shaped discs of connective tissue, called menisci. These also act as shock absorbers to cushion the lower part of the leg from the weight of the rest of the body.

What are the Causes of Torn Meniscus?

Sudden meniscus tears often happen during sports. Players may squat and twist the knee, causing a tear. Direct contact, like a tackle, is sometimes involved.

Older people are more likely to have degenerative meniscus tears. Cartilage weakens and wears thin over time. Aged, worn tissue is more prone to tears. Just an awkward twist when getting up from a chair may be enough to cause a tear, if the menisci have weakened with age.

What are the Risk Factors of Torn Meniscus?

Strong Risk Factors :

  • Acute trauma (twisting injury)
  • Knee joint arthritis
  • Knee instability
  • Malalignment of the knee joint
  • Rough or uneven playing surface
  • Poor ground/weather conditions

Weak Risk Factors :

  • Construction work and manual labor jobs
  • Discoid meniscus

What are the symptoms of Torn Meniscus?

Common symptoms include –

  • Pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Catching or locking of your knee
  • The sensation of your knee “giving way”
  • You are not able to move your knee through its full range of motion

How is Torn Meniscus diagnosed?

  • Physical Examination and Patient History – After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will examine your knee. He or she will check for tenderness along the joint line where the meniscus sits. This often signals a tear.
  • McMurray test – Your doctor will bend your knee, then straighten and rotate it. This puts tension on a torn meniscus. If you have a meniscus tear, this movement will cause a clicking sound. Your knee will click each time your doctor does the test.
  • X-rays – Although x-rays do not show meniscus tears, they may show other causes of knee pain, such as osteoarthritis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – This study can create better images of the soft tissues of your knee joint, like a meniscus.
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How to prevent & control Torn Meniscus?

After a meniscal tear, preventive action should be taken to decrease the loading of the affected joint. Muscular conditioning helps promote strong muscles to absorb force, prevent abnormal rotation, and improve the ability to accept eccentric loads. To reduce impact, low-impact sports are suggested, along with proper footwear and appropriate training surfaces.

Treatment of Torn Meniscus Allopathic Treatment

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines – Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling.
  • Surgical Treatment 7– If your symptoms persist with nonsurgical treatment, your doctor may suggest arthroscopic surgery.
  • Knee arthroscopy – This is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. In it, a miniature camera is inserted through a small incision (portal). This provides a clear view of the inside of the knee. Your orthopaedic surgeon inserts miniature surgical instruments through other portals to trim or repair the tear.
  • Partial meniscectomy –  In this procedure, the damaged meniscus tissue is trimmed away.
  • Meniscus repair– Some meniscus tears can be repaired by suturing (stitching) the torn pieces together. Whether a tear can be successfully treated with repair depends upon the type of tear, as well as the overall condition of the injured meniscus. Because the meniscus must heal back together, the recovery time for a repair is much longer than from a meniscectomy.

Treatment of Torn Meniscus Homoeopathic Treatment

RHUS TOXICODENDON 200C and FERRUM PHOS 6C are the best medicines for a torn meniscus.

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Torn Meniscus – Lifestyle Tips

To alleviate the symptoms of a torn meniscus, RICE technique is followed :

  • Rest – Take a break from the activity that caused the injury. Your doctor may recommend that you use crutches to avoid putting weight on your leg.
  • Ice – Use cold packs for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Compression – To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage.
  • Elevation – To reduce swelling, recline when you rest, and put your leg up higher than your heart.

The exercise regimen should be slowly increased :

  • You can start with exercises that focus on a range of motion, like flexing and extending your knee as much as you can without pain.
  • You can then move on to stretches that keep your leg muscles loose.
  • Next, you begin basic exercises, as straight leg raises and toe raises.
  • If you can do all that without pain, you move onto more advanced exercises like toe raises with weights, squats, and harder stretches.

Torn Meniscus & Pregnancy – Things to know

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An untreated torn meniscus can result in instability of the knee, persistent pain, and increase your risk of osteoarthritis.

Other FAQs about Torn Meniscus

Can you walk around with a torn meniscus?

A torn meniscus usually produces well-localized pain in the knee. The pain often is worse during twisting or squatting motions. Unless the torn meniscus has locked the knee, many people with a torn meniscus can walk, stand, sit, and sleep without pain.

Will a cortisone shot help a torn meniscus?

A cortisone injection can be a helpful treatment to reduce inflammation within the joint, but it will not help heal the meniscus tear.

Does a torn meniscus get worse?

With a moderate tear, you may feel pain at the side or centre of your knee. Swelling slowly gets worse over 2 or 3 days. These symptoms go away but can come back if you twist or overuse your knee. In severe tears, pieces of the torn meniscus can move into the joint space.

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