A meniscus tear can be a common injury for athletes, especially those who must pivot quickly and change positions frequently with sudden movements. However, this injury can happen to anyone simply from moving quickly from a squatting position, pivoting suddenly, or falling and twisting the knee. If you have a meniscus tear in Atlanta you may be wondering how this occurred or what your treatment options are. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Meniscus?
If you’ve learned you have a meniscus tear, your initial response may have been to ask what a meniscus is. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage between the shin and thighbone that provides cushion. There are two menisci in each knee. The menisci cushion the joint to make sure you feel no discomfort, but their role is also to protect the joint itself, so when you tear it you’ll experience a number of symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms?
One of the first signs of a torn meniscus is pain and swelling in the knee. The pain isn’t as severe as an ACL tear in Atlanta, and you’ll still be able to walk, but you’ll definitely know that something has been injured. There may also be swelling that worsens over time. Some people even feel stiffness in their knee that gradually gets worse, or they feel like their knee doesn’t properly support them anymore. You may not notice a popping sound, but the doctor will be able to do a test when diagnosing the tear that involves listening for a distinctive popping sound.
How Is It Treated?
A torn meniscus can often be treated without the use of surgery, especially if the tear isn’t severe. Treatment includes rest, ice, and wrapping to reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medications can also significantly reduce swelling. Massages as well as physical therapy are usually very effective treatment options as well. Severe meniscus tears may warrant arthroscopic surgery in which the surgeon can use small tools and a camera to repair the meniscus without making a large incision.
Can a Meniscus Tear be Avoided?
Anyone can get a meniscus tear in Atlanta, but those engaged in sports with frequent knee pivoting are at higher risk. The risk gets higher with age as well because the meniscus will often become thinner. Fortunately, you can decrease your chances of a tear by warming up and stretching before exercising and doing knee-strengthening exercises regularly.