What is a Meniscus Tear?
The femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) come together to form the knee joint. The joint is the largest in the body. It supports, stabilizes, and moves the lower body. The meniscus is an important piece of soft cartilage in the knee joint. The meniscus is located between the femur and tibia—serving as a shock absorber that distributes weight and protects the bones from rubbing against each other.
A meniscus tear occurs when a piece of the meniscus is torn. Most meniscus tears happen during sports and physical activities that require cutting, running, and jumping. The following are common symptoms of a meniscus tear:
- Knee instability
- An audible click when bending the knee
Meniscus tears should be seen by an Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialist as soon as possible. Delaying a diagnosis can make symptoms and the injury worse. A physical examination and MRI are used to diagnose a meniscus tear. There are several different types of tears. OIOCJ specialists accurately diagnose meniscus tears. Proper treatment is ensured.
How is a Meniscus Tear Treated?
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) are used to control initial pain and swelling. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed. The following are included in a nonsurgical OIOCJ treatment plan:
- Immobilization. Crutches and a knee immobilizer brace.
- Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises.
Surgical intervention may be recommended for some meniscus tears. During a minimally invasive arthroscopic meniscus repair, an OIOCJ specialist removes or repairs the torn meniscus. Physical therapy is prescribed two weeks after surgery. An OIOCJ approved physical therapist helps patients regain strength, flexibility, and function. To schedule your appointment with an OIOCJ specialist, call 732-276-4334 or visit our contact page.