Any type of knee injury can throw a wrench in your daily activities. Knee injuries often prevent you from carrying out any or all of your normal activities. One type of knee injury in particular can have a large impact, the meniscus injury. The meniscus can easily tear when the knee is twisted in the wrong way. If severe, the knee may even need surgery!
Meniscus injuries and symptoms
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that can easily be damaged during activities that place too much pressure on it, or when the knee is rotated in the wrong way. Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to be an athlete to get a meniscus injury. A sudden turn, deep squat, or heavy lifting can easily cause injury to the meniscus. However, athletes are at higher risk.
As we age the meniscus naturally weakens. Thus, meniscus injuries are very commonly seen in people over the age of 30. People with osteoarthritis are also at a higher risk for meniscus injury.
So, what are some of the symptoms of a meniscus tear? As the tear happens you will usually hear a popping sound around the knee area. After the initial injury you may experience: pain when the area is touched, major swelling, inability to move the knee, locking or catching of the knee, or a feeling that your knee cannot support your weight.
If you experience any of these symptoms it is best to go to the doctor to find out the severity of your injury. An imaging test, X-Ray, MRI, or ultrasound may be ordered in order to determine the severity of your meniscus injury. Depending on the scope your injury, your doctor will then provide you with treatment options.
Meniscus Injury Treatment
Right off the bat, your doctor may suggest the typical R.I.C.E, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, as a treatment option. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be used to decrease the pain you are feeling. If the injury is not severe your doctor may prescribe simple strengthening and leg muscle exercises. However, if you injury is more severe surgery may be required.
No matter what, it is best to consult your doctor first before self-treating.
The knee is an important joint in our bodies; it keeps us active and moving. Make sure to remember these facts about meniscus tears so that you know what to do if you or somebody you know gets one.