Meniscus Tear Surgery: Treatment & Symptoms

Meniscus Surgeries: Knee & Joint Pain
The meniscus is a cartilage present in the knee, which acts as a shock absorber, lubricates the knee joint and limits the flexing and extension of the joint. Interestingly, the knee is the largest joint of the body as well as the most complex joint. No doubt, the knee joint takes up the whole weight of the body and undergoes maximum stress while standing, walking or running. It is inevitably vulnerable to injuries and in severe cases meniscus surgery may be offered.  

The complexity of the knee joint is because it is made up of many components, each prone to injuries. Basically, three bones meet to form the knee joint: femur, tibia and patella. A wedge shaped cartilage acts as a shock absorber between the femur and tibia, known as the meniscus. Meniscus tear is among the most common knee injuries. If the injury persists after non-surgical meniscus treatment, you might be asked to go for an arthroscopic meniscus surgery.  

Symptoms of Meniscus Tear
Twisting or over-flexing of the knee might lead to a torn meniscus. Emergent meniscus tears often happen in those involved in sports.   A player may twist or turn the knee, causing a meniscus tear. On the other hand, in old people, degenerative meniscus tear is common.   An awkward fall or movement of the knee might be enough to cause a torn meniscus. One can walk even with a meniscus tear, as it   doesn’t cause much discomfort initially. It is important to get the tear diagnosed at an early stage. Walking with a torn meniscus can   escalate the injury at a later date needing meniscus surgery. The following are the symptoms of a meniscus tear:
  • Pain in the knee joint while walking or bending the knee
  • Knee pain, which gets worse with excess activity
  • Difficulty in sitting down, standing up or squatting
  • Swelling of the knee joint
  • Inability to move the knee to its full range of motion
Without proper treatment a piece of the meniscus might come loose and require meniscus surgery. Knee recovery takes time and the natural process of recovery varies from person to person. While rapid knee recovery is seen in children, it is slow amongst the elderly. Meniscus tear surgery is more commonly seen in aged people due to the inability of their body to repair itself.

Meniscus Tear Surgery
It is imperative to visit a doctor if symptoms like knee pain, swelling of the knee joint, difficulty in walking, running and changing postures persist for a long time. Initially tests like Knee MRI and Knee Joint X-ray will be done. In many cases the McMurray’s Test is done initially. The McMurray’s Test involves: making the patient lie on their back while pressure is applied to the injured joint, keeping the knee bent. Pain in the inner part of the joint under such conditions would mean inner meniscuses tear. Persistent pain will require a meniscus repair surgery.

First aid treatment for any joint injury includes:
  • Applying ice to reduce swelling
  • Drugs used to reduce pain and swelling
  • Injections to reduce inflammation
  • Physical therapy

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