Your Outlook After A Meniscus Tear

During sports or an occupation that requires heavy lifting, you may develop a meniscus tear, which can be painful, making it difficult to go about your daily activities. In some cases, a meniscus tear Oklahoma City may heal with conservative remedies, while severe cases may require knee surgery.

Meniscus Tear

When to consult your doctor

A meniscus tear is a knee injury due to sudden twisting or a hard fall, leading to a tear in the cartilage. Your knee consists of two C-shaped cartilages that cushion your thighbone and shinbone. A meniscus tear can result in stiffness, pain, and swelling, limiting mobility. You may also find it difficult to extend your knee fully. Conservative approaches like pain medication, ice, and rest sometimes relieve pain due to a torn meniscus. However, if your pain worsens over time, you may need surgery. After a meniscus tear, it may take 24 hours for you to start experiencing pain and swelling, especially if it is a small tear. Signs of a meniscus tear include feeling your knee giving away, a popping sensation, feeling as if your knee is locked in place, and pain when twisting or rotating your knee.

What to expect during a meniscus tear exam.

During your appointment at Prairie Garden Medical, your provider reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam to evaluate the cause and extent of your injury. They may examine your knee for tenderness and swelling and request you to extend it fully. The team may also use an MRI or X-rays for more accurate results. If you have a severe meniscus tear, they may suggest knee arthroscopy to get a better view of your knee. During this procedure, your doctor inserts an arthroscope through a tiny incision to assess the injury and repair it.

When to consider knee surgery

Your results will determine your treatment plan. If you have a mild meniscus tear, your provider may recommend rest, placing an ice pack on your knee, and wrapping a compression bandage to reduce swelling and elevation. They may also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to improve swelling and pain. Severe meniscus tears may require a more aggressive treatment option. The team may recommend arthroscopic surgery if your symptoms don’t improve with physical therapy, NSAIDs, and home remedies. If the tear is too severe, they remove part or all of the meniscus. As you recover your knee will stabilize and with physical therapy, you will be less likely to develop knee problems in the future.

After recovery, you can embark on your favorite physical activities. If you had surgery, you might need to wait a few months for your knee to fully recover before engaging in intense physical activity. If you had part or all of your meniscus removed, you might be at high risk of developing arthritis in the future because they will be little to no cushioning between your bones. Before knee surgery, your provider will explain the risks and benefits to ensure you know what you are getting.

For more information about meniscus tears, call the Prairie Garden Medical office or schedule an appointment online.

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