A meniscus tear is common in accidents that affect the knee. A torn knee cartilage can be a debilitating injury because it challenges your balance, mobility, function. The function of the knee cartilage or meniscus is to absorb shock and provide stability to your knee joint.
When the cartilage tears, the symptoms are hard to ignore. It is common to experience pain, swelling, and weakness in the affected knee. You may also feel your knee “catch” when you bend or extend the knee because of dispersed cartilage fragments in the joint.
Recovery from a meniscus tear depends on the severity of the tear.
Treating A Meniscus Tear
A minor tear on the outer part of the meniscus may be treated using conservative treatment methods, such as RICE (rest, ice therapy, compression, and elevation), followed by a physical therapy plan for rehabilitation.
A meniscus tear may also be treated surgically, especially if the tear causes the meniscus to break into separate pieces. In such a situation, the torn meniscus must be reconstructed or removed. Sometimes, a clear diagnosis cannot be made until the knee is opened up through surgery. If an orthopedic surgeon recommends arthroscopy, they usually combine diagnosis and treatment into one procedure.
A partial meniscectomy may also be recommended for this type of injury, in which the surgeon trims away the damaged parts of the meniscus. Finally, your surgeon may recommend the meniscus be repaired using stitches.
It is difficult to determine how serious your meniscus tear is on your own. You will need to see an orthopedic specialist to get an accurate diagnosis.
Following surgery, it is recommended that you ice and elevate your knee. You may need to wear a brace afterward and use an assistive device, like a walker or crutches. Once you recover a little and your surgeon gives you permission, you will begin physical therapy to complete the rehabilitation of the injured knee. Patients who undergo a surgical meniscus repair may take longer to heal. Depending on other factors, such as the overall health of the patient and how strictly the physician’s instructions are followed, complete recovery may take anywhere from two to five months. During this time, you will need to use assistive devices, do regular physical therapy, and refrain from playing sports and partaking in strenuous activities.
There are risks associated with every surgical procedure, which is why it’s best to discuss your treatment options with an experienced surgeon. When performed by a highly-skilled and experienced orthopedic surgeon, a meniscus tear surgery can prove to be highly successful and effective.
Meniscus Tear Treatment in Austin, TX
At All-Star Orthopedics of Austin, our highly-skilled and experienced orthopedic care team, headed by Dr. Carolyn Hyde, are experts at treating meniscus tears. We combine proven traditional methods with highly advanced techniques for the most successful outcomes. We perform meniscus tear surgery as an outpatient procedure, so you can recover in the comfort of your home.
To request an appointment, call All-Star Orthopedics of Austin at (512) 346-4933 or request an appointment now. We look forward to serving you in our clinic.