The knee joint is made of Tibia, Fibula and Patella, and it has cartilages between the thighbone and the shinbone. These cartilages, Menisci, cushion the joints and protect them from injury. Menisci provide stability to the joint and help in the distribution of nutrients to the tissues which prevents Degenerative Arthritis. A Meniscal Tear is the tearing of Menisci that are located between Tibia and Femur. This knee injury is common among people who play contact sports, athletes and those who overuse the knee.
- Squatting of knee during sports
- Twisting of knee
- Sudden blow to the knee
- Degenerative Meniscal Tear due to age
- The Menisci weakens with age and are more susceptible to tear
- A popping sound when the Meniscus is torn
- Stiffness in joint
- Swelling Pain Tenderness around knee joint
- Locking of knee
- Difficulty in straightening the knee
- Inability to move the knee through its full range of motion
If you are feeling pain you should see an orthopedic doctor who will physically examine the tear and your medical history. He will examine the tenderness around the joint and can recommend certain tests such as McMurray test. During the test, the doctor bends, straightens and rotates the knee to confirm a Meniscal Tear. The physician may also recommend imaging tests such as x-rays, MRI to confirm the injury.
The treatment of Meniscal Tear depends upon your age, activity level and severity of the injury. The physicians may recommend either or both non-surgical and surgical treatment, depending upon the condition. A small tear on the outer edge of the Meniscus, may be treated non-surgically. You may be advised to rest and avoid using your knee. The physician may ask you to use support while walking so that you do not put weight on your leg. You may be required to wear an elastic compression bandage for a few days until the tear heals. The physicians also recommend ice packs, anti-inflammatory medications and elevation to reduce swelling.
In case the symptoms still persists after the treatment you will be recommended to undergo Arthroscopic surgery. This is a common procedure involving the trimming of damaged Meniscal tissue. Often the Meniscal tear is repaired by stitching the torn pieces. Strengthening exercises are helpful and usually recommended by the doctor after the procedure.
The knee doctors at OrthoTexas provide treatment for Meniscal Tears and a range of other knee conditions. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492-1334.