A torn meniscus is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion and shock absorber between the bones in your knee. It helps to distribute weight evenly across the knee joint and allows for smooth movement of the bones during activities such as walking or running.
A tear in the meniscus can occur when you forcefully twist or rotate the knee, or if you put too much pressure on it. When the meniscus is damaged, it can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected knee. You may also feel like your knee is locked or stuck when you try to move it. If the tear is severe, you may experience instability and find it difficult to put weight on your leg.
A torn meniscus is an issue that needs medical intervention. Here, we will detail how orthopedic surgeons, who specialize in treating soft tissue injuries, usually treat a torn meniscus.
Non-Surgical Treatment for a Torn Meniscus
Treatment for a torn meniscus depends on the severity of the injury and whether there are any other underlying issues. For minor tears, nonsurgical treatments include rest, ice, and physical therapy. You may also be given exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. In some cases, you may need to use crutches or wear a brace to support your knee while it heals.
Patients who are less physically active may do well with non-surgical treatments. However, for those who would like to recover faster and return to a physically active lifestyle, such as athletes and weekend warriors, the doctor may recommend surgery.
Surgery for a Torn Meniscus
Arthroscopic surgery may be used to treat a torn meniscus. It is a minimally invasive surgery that is completed as an outpatient procedure. During arthroscopic meniscus tear repair, the orthopedic surgeon makes small incisions in the knee and inserts an arthroscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera at its end). The surgeon then uses special instruments to trim or repair the damaged tissue. Healthy tissue is preserved during surgery, which allows the patient to recover faster from the procedure.
Aftercare following treatment for a torn meniscus includes resting the knee as much as possible while it heals, completing a physical therapy and rehabilitation program, and practicing a gradual return to normal activities as recommended by your doctor and physical therapist.
Torn Meniscus Treatment in Baltimore, MD
The board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and the licensed physical therapists at Orthopaedic Associates in Central Maryland are laser-focused on the complete healing and rehabilitation of the knee. Our doctors will recommend an individualized treatment program for you, which may include minimally invasive surgery, depending on what we conclude will give you the best possible outcome. We are committed to giving you the best results using top-notch treatments.