What Is a Meniscal Tear?

One of the most common knee injuries is a meniscal tear. Meniscal tears can occur as people age or even if you twist or turn your knee abruptly. Whatever the cause, a meniscal tear can result in pain and swelling and can make completing your daily tasks harder. Learn the symptoms of meniscal tears and how they should be treated, here:

What is the Meniscus?

The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions the knee. There are two menisci in each knee, one at the outer edge and one at the inner edge. The menisci are important because they balance your weight evenly across your knees.

Symptoms of a Meniscal Tear

Meniscal tears can range in symptoms depending on how severe the tear is.

Minor Tears: If the tear is only minor, you may just experience slight pain and swelling which typically clears up on its own within a matter of two or three weeks.

Moderate Tears: Moderate tears may cause pain starting at the center or sides of your knee, accompanied by swelling that increases over the following days. People with moderate meniscal tears may experience stiffness in the knee as well as limited mobility, but they will still be able to walk. While some moderate tears will begin to feel better in a few weeks, if left untreated, the pain can come and go for years.

Severe Tears: If a meniscal tear is severe, it can move into the knee joint space and cause further damage or make the knee pop, lock or catch. In some cases, a severe meniscus tear can leave the knee feeling stiff, rigid or wobbly.

How to Treat a Meniscus Tear

Treatment for a meniscal tear will depend on how severe the injury is. In any case, it’s best to consult with an experienced physician to ensure the tear doesn’t worsen. During your appointment, your physician will perform a physical exam and determine if a torn meniscus is the source of any knee pain. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your doctor may recommend any of the following:

– Rest

– Wrapping the knee

– Icing the injury

– Physical therapy

– Reparative surgery

– Surgery to remove part of the meniscus

You Don’t Have to Live with Knee Pain

If you experience knee pain, the source of your discomfort could be a meniscal tear. With any orthopedic issue, you should contact an experienced physician to diagnose and assess the problem as soon as possible. At Coastal Orthopedics, we treat a variety of orthopedic injuries including meniscal tears. We can determine the source of your pain and create a custom plan to get you feeling your best again. For more information on Coastal Orthopedics, visit our About page or schedule your appointment today!