Torn Meniscus Symptoms, Treatment, and Recovery

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Our knees absorb a lot of impact on a daily basis. The meniscus is one of the key components in the knee, keeping it supported, comfortable, and functional. Sometimes with too much impact or a twist in the wrong direction, a person can encounter a meniscus tear.

We’ll walk you through what that feels like, how to treat it, and detail the recovery process in this post.

Causes, Signs, and Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear

Most frequently a meniscus tear is caused by activities that include aggressive twisting and pivoting. For example, football, tennis, or basketball.

The meniscus is a c-shaped pad of cartilage under the knee, that serves as a shock absorber.

If you happen to tear or snap the meniscus, it can feel like your knee is stiff, locking up, pinching, and you will have some pain or may even develop a knee mass of fluid.

In most cases, you will quickly realize that you should get this evaluated and resolved of as soon as possible to avoid complications, and get back to everyday activities.

Meniscus Sprain vs. Meniscus Tear

Technically you can strain your meniscus, too. It will swell and feel stiff, and can be treated with icing, anti-inflammatory medications, and some stretches/exercises. If pain persists, then further investigation and treatment will be pursued.

There are a variety of tears that can occur.

The 6 most common meniscus tears:

  • Intrasubstance/Incomplete
  • Radial
  • Horizontal
  • Flap
  • Complex
  • Bucket-Handle

Our orthopedists can diagnose these tears with a physical evaluation and an MRI.

Treatment, Recovery, and Healing

Physical Therapy can be helpful to manage pain, and get mobility and rotation back up to par.

Surgery can also be done to remove part of or fix the cartilage. Most often this is an arthroscopic, minimally invasive surgery that only takes 1.5-3 months to fully recover.

JIS can diagnose and treat your injury, and help you recover

Experiencing knee pain that is limiting your day-to-day activities? Come in and see us. We’ll make sure we diagnose your situation appropriately, and take the best course of action to get you back up to 100%. Schedule an appointment online or by calling 614.221.6331

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