Our knees can be very sensitive and it is not uncommon for injuries to occur. One possible knee injury you may experience is a meniscus tear. You need to understand the symptoms of a meniscus tear, how they happen, and how to treat them. Both of your knees will have two menisci on the outer edge and the inner edge of the knee. It is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. The purpose is to balance weight across the knee and to act like a shock absorber.
A meniscus tear is actually one of the most common knee injuries you can suffer. When it tears, you can experience swelling, stiffness, and pain. A tear is damage that is caused to the C-shaped cartilage in your knee that is found between the femur and the tibia bones. The tear can occur on the medal (inner aspect) or lateral (outer aspect) of the knee.
You may be wondering what causes a meniscus tear and the reality is that it can happen from a range of different activities. Any activity that causes you to rotate or twist your knee can lead to a meniscus tear. Athletes are at an especially high risk for tears as they participate in activities that can require twisting and rotating the knee repeatedly.
Older adults can develop meniscus tears with degenerative changes in their bodies. They may not have to experience a major trauma to be susceptible to a tear. Obesity can also be a factor in making someone’s knee more prone to a meniscus tear.
There are a few telltale symptoms of a meniscus tear, which include the following:
Popping or locking sensation
Feeling your knee is giving out
Being unable to straighten your knee
Overall pain, but more when twisting or rotating your knee
When you try to move your knee, it feels locked in place
You will need to seek medical care if you are experiencing pain or swelling and are unable to move your knee the way you typically would. Even if it is not a meniscus tear, you will want to have it looked at and get treatment.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose a meniscus tear. Before getting imaging, they will have you undergo an exam to check your mobility and find the exact area of the knee injury. Your doctor can then send you for further imaging for confirmation of the injury.
There are several ways to treat a meniscus tear. The first is to rest, ice, and wrap the knee while keeping it propped up on pillows. You may also need physical therapy, injections, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the injury.
If you have symptoms of a meniscus tear, you will want to contact Academy Orthopedics at 770-889-0891 to receive a proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment.