Getting to Know the Meniscus
The meniscus is the cartilage found in the knee. The meniscus is very susceptible to injury or tearing, especially when doing strenuous activities. Check out the following explanation regarding what conditions can cause a torn meniscus and how to Meniskusriss Behandlung.
The meniscus is a small crescent-shaped or C-shaped pad that is attached to the top of the shinbone. In addition to maintaining the balance of the body and distributing nutrients to surrounding tissues, the meniscus is especially useful for protecting the femur and shinbone from rubbing against each other when the knee joint moves.
Causes of Torn Meniscus
A cut or tear in the meniscus is called a meniscus tear. There are several conditions that can cause a meniscus tear, including:
This injury can occur due to movements that force the knee to rotate when the foot is firmly grounded, for example, sudden twisting movements when playing football, futsal, badminton, tennis, or playing basketball.
A meniscus tear can also occur at the same time as other knee injuries, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
Meniscus tears are more common in people over the age of 30. As we age, the meniscus weakens in function and structure, making it easier to tear. This can happen even when the movement is simple, such as squatting or stepping on an uneven surface.
People with osteoarthritis or calcification of the joints are also prone to meniscus tears. In addition to the fact that most people with osteoarthritis are old, meniscus tears are also more prone to occur because of the damaged joint structure in osteoarthritis.
Meniscus Tear Signs and Symptoms
As with other knee injuries, a torn meniscus can cause you to experience the following symptoms:
- Clicking sound when an injury occurs
- Pain or tenderness in the knee
- Knee feels stiff and swollen
- Knee feels locked (unable to move or straighten the knee)
Meniscus tear diagnosis and treatment
To make sure you have a meniscus tear, you need to see a doctor. Examinations that will be carried out include a physical examination and several scans, such as X-rays, MRI, ultrasound, and arthroscopy.
Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the size and location of the tear. There are several methods to treat meniscus tears, namely conservative methods, medical treatment, to surgical procedures.
For minor meniscus tears, the treatment can be carried out using the R.I.C.E method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest (rest). Rest your knees and limit your activities. Use crutches when walking to reduce pain.
- Ice (ice). Apply ice to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every 3-4 hours, for 2-3 days or until pain and swelling go away.
- Compression (pressure). Pressure is useful to prevent swelling from getting worse. Usually, the pressure is obtained from an elastic bandage wrapped around the knee.
- Elevation (elevation). Elevating the leg is done to reduce swelling. You can sit back or lie down, and elevate your feet higher by placing a pillow under your heels.
In addition to the methods above, the use of drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help relieve pain and swelling. Given that this drug has side effects, it is recommended that you use this drug according to the advice and prescription of your doctor.
If these treatments don’t repair the meniscus tear or even make the symptoms worse, your doctor may suggest surgery such as knee arthroscopic surgery to repair the joint, relieve pain, and improve mobility or movement of the knee.
Meniscus Tear Recovery Period
The recovery time for a meniscus tear depends on a number of factors, including how severe the tear is. Generally, the recovery period from surgery takes 4–6 weeks, depending on the type of procedure performed and your health condition.
After surgery, it takes approximately 2 weeks to rest and undergo physiotherapy. This aims to strengthen the knee joint and speed up recovery so that you can return to normal activities.
Although small, the meniscus is an important part of the body to support your activities, especially walking. If you experience a torn meniscus, you should immediately consult an orthopedic doctor for safe and appropriate treatment.