This uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce detailed images of both hard and soft tissues within your knee. In some cases, your doctor might use an instrument known as an arthroscope to examine the inside of your knee.
The device contains a light and a small camera, which transmits an enlarged image of the inside of your knee onto a monitor. If necessary, surgical instruments can be inserted through the arthroscope or through additional small incisions in your knee to trim or repair the tear.
Treatment for a torn meniscus often begins conservatively, depending on the type, size and location of your tear. Many other tears that aren't associated with locking or a block to knee motion will become less painful over time, so they also don't require surgery.
If your pain is severe, using crutches can take pressure off your knee and promote healing. Use a cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or a towel filled with ice cubes for about 15 minutes at a time, keeping your knee elevated.
It's sometimes possible to repair a torn meniscus, especially in children and young adults. If the tear can 't be repaired, the meniscus might be surgically trimmed, possibly through tiny incisions using an arthroscope.
After surgery, you will need to do exercises to increase and maintain knee strength and stability. If you have advanced, degenerative arthritis, your doctor might recommend a knee replacement.
For younger people who have signs and symptoms after surgery but no advanced arthritis, a meniscus transplant might be appropriate. The pain and disability associated with a torn meniscus prompt many people to seek emergency care.
Show references Car done DA, et al. Meniscal injury of the knee. Usually not:A meniscus tear is an injury to the cartilage that pads the knee joint.
Regular rays are helpful to rule out other causes of your pain i.e. Fracture), but the best imaging test is an MRI of the knee. An MRI is needed to verify a meniscal tear.
Davis, M. Expert Guide to Sports Medicine, American College of Physicians Press, 2005. Davis, M. Expert Guide to Sports Medicine, American College of Physicians Press, 2005.
Courier, P. The Sports Medicine Patient Advisor, second edition, Sportsmen Press, 2004. Anytime you have any knee pain at all it is smart to visit your doctor because it can quickly become worse if not diagnosed and treated.
Normally your doctor is going to perform a physical exam and examine your knee by moving it and feeling it. The MRI allows the doctor to get a look at both hard and soft tissue in the knee and allows them to see most meniscus tears.
This actually isn’t to see if your meniscus is torn but is actually to make sure there are no fractures or broken bones causing pain. This shows the doctor is there are any flaps or cartilage moving in the knee that could be missed in an MRI.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone).
They can be damaged or torn during activities that put pressure on or rotate the knee joint. Taking a hard tackle on the football field or a sudden pivot on the basketball court can result in a meniscus tear.
Simply getting up too quickly from a squatting position can also cause a meniscal tear. According to Boston Children’s Hospital, more than 500,000 meniscal tears take place in the United States each year.
Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment options can vary from at-home remedies to outpatient surgery. Toucan help prevent this injury by doing exercises that’ll strengthen your leg muscles and using proper techniques during contact activities or sports.
Sports that require sudden turns and stops may put you at higher risk for meniscus tears. Movements like squatting or stepping can lead to injury in someone with weak menisci.
When a meniscus tear occurs, you may hear a popping sound around your knee joint. You may also experience a slipping or popping sensation, which is usually an indication that a piece of cartilage has become loose and is blocking the knee joint.
Contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, and they persist for more than a few days or occur after your knee has been injured. After you discuss your symptoms with your doctor, they’ll examine your knee and test your range of motion.
An MRI will be able to take pictures of cartilage and ligaments to determine if there’s a meniscus tear. While MRIs can help your doctor make a diagnosis, they aren’t considered 100 percent reliable.
According to a study from 2008 published in the Journal of Trauma Management & Outcomes, the MRI’s accuracy for diagnosing lateral meniscus tears is 77 percent. Additionally, a doctor may make an incorrect diagnosis that a person has a torn meniscus.
Initially, you should treat the knee injury with conservative techniques that include rest, ice, compression, and elevation, or the RICE method : Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee.
Physical therapy can help reduce pain and increase your knee mobility and stability. If your knee isn’t responding to the treatments above, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery.
Your surgeon will insert tools and a camera through the incision to repair or trim away the damaged meniscus. However, toucan begin participating in physical therapy exercises within days after surgery.
If your procedure involves a meniscal repair, the recovery and rehabilitation time is about six weeks. Surgery involves risks, and you should talk with your doctor to determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.
The recovery period will include regular visits to the doctor as well as physical therapy to strengthen the muscles supporting your knee. Toucan prevent meniscus tears by regularly performing exercises that strengthen your leg muscles.
Toucan also use protective gear during sports or a brace to support your knee during activities that may increase your risk of injury. Always use proper form when exercising or engaging in activities that may put pressure on your knee joint.
With proper diagnosis and adherence to treatment, your knee can have the mobility and function it had before the injury. Cartilage doesn’t have a significant blood supply, which can affect its ability to heal.