Ways to Treat Meniscus Tears

Ways to Treat Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is the cartilage that sits inside your knee between the thighbone and shinbone. They act like shock absorbers for your knee and cushion knee bones and joints. A meniscus tear can be caused by sudden twisting of your knee or arthritis. They are common knee injuries and mostly affect athletes. At the time of injury, a meniscus tear usually feels like something has popped into your knee. You may also experience knee pain or stiffness and be unable to bend or straighten your leg fully. The Spine Center Atlanta treats your meniscus tear depending on your symptoms and the size of your tear. There are many treatments for meniscus tears, including.

Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)

RICE regime helps to treat various symptoms of a meniscus tear. Resting help reduce pain. your doctor may recommend using a cane for a few weeks to keep weight off your knee. During the first days after tearing your meniscus tear, applying ice around the injury and elevating your knee can help reduce swelling. Wearing a compression bandage can also help reduce swelling.

Medications

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen can help minimize inflammation and pain resulting from a meniscus tear. Acetaminophen helps reduce pain but not inflammation.

Physical therapy

After joint inflammation has subsided and you can walk without much pain, your doctor can recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy restores knee strength and flexibility. Stretching your knee and leg can help restore the full range of motion to your knee. Low-impact exercises like stationary biking can help reduce pain, improve mobility and restore function to the region around your meniscus tear. Small meniscus tears require about four to eight weeks of physical therapy while severe ones need eight weeks or longer.

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Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections can help ease knee pain. They are injected directly into your knee to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Your provider may combine corticosteroids with a small amount of anesthetic to help relieve pain immediately but it can resume after a few hours. Doctors use corticosteroid injections for a short period because long-term use can weaken the soft tissue in your knee and cartilage deterioration. Corticosteroids can also increase blood sugar levels, hence not suitable for patients with diabetes or other metabolic issues.

Meniscus tear surgery

Partial meniscectomy

Partial meniscectomy is the most common type of surgery for a torn meniscus. This procedure involves your surgeon trimming off the torn part of the meniscus, leaving behind as many meniscus tissues as possible.

Meniscus repair

Depending on the type and condition of your meniscus, your surgeon can stitch back the torn part of your meniscus. Surgeons mostly use meniscus repair in younger patients because the tissues require time to heal back together. The recovery period for a meniscus tear takes longer than that of a partial meniscectomy. After meniscus repair surgery, you can be on crutches for about two weeks and in a brace for six weeks.

A meniscus tear can result from sudden knee twisting or weakening of knee cartilage due to arthritis. Rest, ice, compression, elevation, medications, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and surgery can treat meniscus tears. Schedule an appointment at Spine Center Atlanta for meniscus tear treatment to relieve your knee pain.

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