What is a meniscus tear?
The Menisci are two crescent-shaped pads of thick, rubbery shock-absorbing cartilage in your knee. You have one meniscus on each side of your knee, the medial meniscus on the inside and the lateral meniscus on the outside. Menisci lie between your shinbone and thighbone. A meniscus tear is a common injury and often happens when you play sports.
What are the causes of a meniscus tear?
A meniscus tear is a common injury, meniscus can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it. The meniscus can be torn also during activities that cause direct pressure or contact from a forced rotation. Sports like football, basketball, soccer and tennis require sudden turns and they are highly risky for a meniscus tear.
The menisci can be also worn down and tears can result from minor twisting movements or getting up from a kneeling or cross-legged position on the ground.
Degenerative meniscus tears usually develop gradually and are often found in individuals with no symptoms. Evidence suggests that degenerative tears should be considered as a sign of early osteoarthritis.
Occupations that involve frequent kneeling, squatting or stair use are risk factors for developing a degenerative meniscus tear.
Picture above: Meniscus Tear - MRI scan
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?
If you have torn your meniscus, you might have the following signs and symptoms in your knee:
pain in the knee joint (more often medially)
a popping sensation
difficulty to fully extend your knee
difficulty to bend your knee after a certain point
locking sensation in your knee
feeling of your knee giving away
Diagnosis of meniscus tear
If you have injured your knee the first thing you should do is to see a physiotherapist. If your knee is swollen , painful or you have restricted movement, is a sign that something is not right. At Physio Pattern Manchester we are going to do a thorough examination in order to find out if you have injured your meniscus and to what extent. In instances where we suspect a large meniscus tear and the patient is presenting with a lot of pain, swelling and restricted movement we may ask for an MRI scan to determine the severity of the injury / tear.
Treatment for a Meniscus tear
Treatment for a torn meniscus often begins conservatively depending on the type, size and location of your tear. The outer portion of meniscus has a good blood supply and its easier to heal specially if the tear is not big. The inner two thirds of the meniscus do not have good blood supply, this area lacks blood vessels and its more difficult to heal and very often it does not really heal.
Recommended Treatment for a meniscus tear.
Tecar Therapy https://www.physiopattern.com/tecar-therapy
Shockwave Therapy https://www.physiopattern.com/shockwave-therapy
If your knee remains painful despite rehabilitative therapy or if your knee locks you might need a surgery. The surgery is usually pretty simple, the surgeon will repair or remove part of your cartilage, and you can often go home the same day.
if you would like more information of how Physio Pattern can help with this condition, or to book an assessment please call
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