The connection between the shinbone and the thigh bone is made with the help of cartilage, soft tissue in the form of C-Shaped discs. The name of this connection is the meniscus. Normally, these are called shock absorbers for the human bones. The stability of the knee also depends upon these discs.
Sportsman or athletes who are habitual of playing different games, like hockey and football, are more vulnerable to getting meniscus tears. On the other hand, there is even more probability of getting the disease when you lift some heavy object, kneel or sit in a squat posture. Also with age, then the tissues and bones around the knee start to worn out, the chances of getting injured also increases.
When the meniscus is torn away, there appear slight swelling on the knee and it gets stiff as well. Even pain arises when the person tries to straighten the leg or twist the knee to one side.
How to Treat Meniscus Tears:
The overall treatment of meniscus tears depends upon:
- The kind of treatment
- The size of the tear
- The location in the cartilage
The first thing a doctor recommends is to take ample rest and use a pain reliever. At the same time, using ice on the knee can reduce swelling to a greater extend. Physical therapy is another recommended step suggested by the surgeon for keeping a knee stable and ongoing.
If even these initial remedies do not work, then better to go for the surgical procedure as suggested by the doctor. But before that, an MRI needs to be performed for highlighting the diagnosis.
If during diagnosis, the injury to the knee is of Grade 1 or 2 with mild symptoms then no surgery is advised. If the injury is of Grade 3 and severe, then preferably go for surgical treatment.
The Repair Process of Meniscus Tear Treatment:
The doctor advises following the treatment and repair process, each depends upon the condition of the injury.
Arthroscopic total meniscectomy:
The procedure involves complete removal of the entire meniscus from the joint.
With smaller cuts in the knees, an arthroscope will be inserted inside the knee to check for tears. Then smaller devices, like darts will be used for stitching purposes. The absorption will be done during this time.
Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy:
The procedure involves removal of a smaller portion of the meniscus for allowing the knee to function smoothly.
Generally, the process of meniscus repair involves low risk and is not complicated at all. The injury is common to skin nerves, leads to knee stiffness and can also cause infection. The medical specialist may also recommend some antibiotics for the treatment of infection. Meanwhile, for preventing the process of blood clotting, some compression stockings are also advised.
The Recovery Period:
The recovery time could take a month and during that, it is advised to walk with the help of crutches.
Secondly, some sessions of physical therapy can also help in quick recovery and for making knee strong.
Depending upon the surgery, whether it is a complete replacement or partial replacement, the total knee recovery time vary from one month to three months.