Meniscus Tear: What You Need to Know

Running injury Male runner with knee pain

The meniscus acts as a shock absorber between your thigh and shin bone. Its purpose is to stabilize your knee and cushion the joint. However, sudden, sharp twisting, turning movements, or decelerating too quickly can result in a meniscus tear. Awareness of the symptoms and signs can ensure you receive the proper treatment and fully recover.

Signs of a Meniscus Tear

People experience a range of symptoms after a meniscus tear, depending on the location and severity of the tear. You might feel a sharp pain at the moment of injury and hear or feel a pop in your knee. Additionally, your knee may begin to swell, but not necessarily immediately; sometimes, the swelling can occur hours or days later.

Movement with a Meniscus Tear

Some people can walk on a torn meniscus, while others won’t be able to apply weight to the affected leg. In these cases, your leg may feel stiff, and you may have difficulty straightening or bending your knee fully. You may also feel your knee lock up when you move or “catch” when you walk.

An Untreated Meniscus Tear Can Lead to Complications

Every meniscus tear is different. Just because you can walk doesn’t mean your meniscus isn’t torn. If left untreated, a meniscus tear can lead to further complications that can hinder your long-term mobility and activities, such as chronic pain and knee instability.

Diagnosing and Treating a Meniscus Tear

Diagnosing a meniscus tear is typically done through a physical exam to assess your knee stability and an imaging test like an MRI.

Treatment options depend on several factors, including the severity and location of the tear and your age, activity, and related injuries. Conservative treatments, such as rest, ice, and elevation, may be suggested first. However, if unsuccessful, surgical meniscectomy may be necessary to remove the damaged part of the meniscus.

Physical therapy also plays a key role in recovery and rehabilitation. Non-surgical recovery may take weeks, while surgical repair can take several months.

Learn More About Meniscus Treatment in San Antonio, TX

The Sports, Occupational & Knee Surgery is here to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment options for your meniscus tear in San Antonio, TX. Call 210-696-9000 or contact us here to schedule an appointment today.

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