Your knee is guarded and cushioned by a cartilage known as meniscus. A meniscus tear, therefore, is an extremely painful and discomforting situation. It occurs very frequently and has emerged as one of the most commonly occurring cartilage injuries. What makes a meniscus tear an extremely common phenomenon is the way it can tear-all it takes is a twist of the knee for it to happen.
People involved in sports mostly face the brunt of this form of injury. The risk of getting meniscus torn increases with age and tends to occur at the slightest change of direction of movement. Some of the symptoms of a torn meniscus are:
1. Pain and inflammation
It goes without saying that an internal injury of the cartilage or tearing away of it would inevitably result in extreme pain and inflammation near the knee.
The extreme pain and inflammation, which follows will inevitably make it difficult to move. Since the pain occurs in the joint, you will have difficulty in walking and any forceful movement will only aggravate the pain.
3. Locking of the knee
Locking of the knee refers to a situation when you are unable to move your knee. This occurs most commonly after you have your meniscus torn.
Notwithstanding its frequency of occurrence, there are several ways, by which you can treat a torn meniscus. Some of the ways are:
1. Apply ice
In order to get some relief, applying ice is a suitable option. If you apply ice everyday for some time, it wonders in reducing swelling and the consequent pain.
2. Use a bandage
In order to control the swelling, it is important that you cover your knee with an elastic bandage.
3. Change the posture
It is important that you keep the affected knee in an elevated plane, in order to ensure an efficient blood supply and a consequent relief from pain.
Some Medical Treatments:
There are many things to consider when deciding how to treat your torn meniscus, including the extent and location of the tear, your pain level, your age and activity level, your doctor's preference, and when the injury occurred. Your medical treatment choices are:
1. Nonsurgical treatment with compression, elevation, and physical therapy. This may include wearing a temporary knee brace.
2. Surgical repair to sew the tear together.
3. Partial meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the torn section.
4. Total meniscectomy, which is surgery to remove the entire meniscus. This is generally avoided, because this option increases the risk for osteoarthritis in the knee.
5. Whenever possible, meniscus surgery is done using arthroscopy, rather than through a large cut in the knee.
Arthroscopic Surgery is the most common orthopedic process, which helps in diagnosing and treating joint problems such as in the knee, ankle, shoulder, hip, and elbow. The term "arthroscopy" is a combination of two Greek terms - 'arthro' means joint and ‘scope’ means look. Arthroscopic surgery helps examine the inside of a joint. During the surgery, a small camera and optical fiber are inserted inside the affected joint through incisions. Obtained images are then projected onto a display screen.
A healthy ACL holds the knee bones together and keeps it stable. ACL and Anterior Cruciate Ligament damages are common among athletes. ACL gets injured when it is stretched or shredded with sudden movement during the activities. An injured ACL can affect one’s daily life as the knee becomes weak to tolerate the pressure making it difficult for a person to play sports or to even walk. Minor injuries to ACL heal over time with some medications and somatic therapies. However, serious injury needs a replacement for the ACL, especially for athletes and young people who are more active. Elderly people are suggested treatments instead of surgery as they are less active. During the surgery, the torn or injured ligament is replaced with a new tissue to stabilize the injured knee. Arthroscopic surgery is typically used by the surgeons for the treatment of one’s ACL.
The toughest ligament that exists in the knee is the PCL or Posterior Cruciate Ligament. Around 20% of the knee injuries are of injured PCL. It is placed in the back or rear of the knee. An injured PCL makes it difficult for the patient to perform the most basic activities like descending stairs, walking (they walk really slowly), turning or bending activities, swollen knee, and unstable knee. PCL injuries are classified as per their severity. There are in general three grades: first-grade injuries are categorized as minor tear of PCL, second-grade injuries have substantially torn PCL, and third grade PCL injuries have non-functional or completely torn PCL. The surgery is usually given when the patient has a third-grade injury to the PCL. The first two grade injuries can be treated with fewer medications and therapies.
Menisci is the cartilage responsible for absorbing shock from the bones and stabilizing the knee. This cartilage is prone to injuries in most athletes who participate in contact sports (sports which involve direct physical contact between players). But it can also get injured while lifting heavy weights, squatting or kneeling. An injured meniscus makes it difficult to twist the knee or straighten the legs. A minor injury (grade one or two) of the meniscus is usually treated with medications and physical therapies but severity (grade three) and the location of the injury decides if the patient needs surgery or not. One might go through some lab tests before the doctor recommends for the surgery. There are three types of surgeries available for Meniscus depending upon the severity of the injury:
Arthroscopic partial or fractional meniscectomy
Arthroscopic complete or total meniscectomy
Benefits of Knee Arthroscopy Surgeries:
Arthroscopic Surgery involves less introduction of instruments into the body than open surgeries. Hence, it is less invasive.
It heals much faster.
The post-surgical phase is less painful in Arthroscopic Surgeries than in any other form.
Decreases the risk of infection and there are fewer sutures as there are minor cuts/ incisions made for the surgery.
Less damage to the skin and tissue.