How to Fix a Torn Meniscus
Getting a torn meniscus is one of the worst things that could happen to you. Not only can it hurt your knee, but it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. However, there are several ways that you can get it fixed. You can either have it repaired with surgery, an MRI, or an X-ray, or you can do exercises to help you recover from the injury.
X-rays for a torn meniscus can be used to diagnose and treat meniscal tears. The knee joint is composed of three bones: the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). The menisci are wedge-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage that act as shock absorbers between the bone and the articular surfaces of the knee. They can tear from either acute or degenerative changes in the cartilage.
Typical signs of a torn meniscus include swelling and a popping sound. The torn meniscus can also cause the knee to feel unstable. It can limit your range of motion and impede your ability to perform daily activities. Some people may be able to continue playing on an injured knee, while others are forced to undergo surgery. If you suffer from a torn meniscus, you should have it checked by an orthopedic surgeon. There are many nonsurgical methods to treat a torn meniscus, but surgery is recommended when the tear is full thickness.
Standard radiography can help differentiate osteoarthritis from a meniscal injury. However, this method can be limited when it comes to diagnosing meniscal injuries. Using T2-weighted fat-saturated (TSE) sequences, standardized radiographic protocols can increase the number of meniscal lesions identified. The menisci play a crucial role in knee stability and can tear if they become worn or thin.
Another useful tool for diagnosing meniscal pathologies is ultrasound. This can provide information about the meniscal tissue, tendons, and joint cysts. It can also help determine the extent of joint effusion. It is not commonly used to detect meniscal pathologies, but it can be a good diagnostic tool for tendon injuries.
In addition to X-rays for a torn Meniscus, MRI and CT arthrography can be used to examine the knee for meniscal lesions. These techniques can detect displaced fragments of the meniscus and calcifications. They can also help determine whether the meniscus can be repaired before surgery.
X-rays for a torn knee can also help identify whether you have osteoarthritis. If you are suffering from pain, inflammation, or swelling, a corticosteroid injection can be administered to reduce the pain and swelling. It is also important to wear an elastic compression bandage to keep blood from leaking out of the knee.
MRI of a torn meniscus is an important tool to assess the stability of a torn meniscus. It can be used to determine whether a preoperative repair is necessary. It can also help to determine the extent of the injury and the likelihood of its propagation.
There are two main planes on which a torn meniscus is visualized on MR. These are the sagittal and coronal planes. Regardless of the type of tear, it is important to look for evidence of changes in the anatomy of the menisci. This will help to reduce false positives. The patient’s description of the symptoms and degree of pain can also provide some clues as to where the injury may be located.
A common complex tear involves both a radial tear and a longitudinal tear. The posterior horn of the medial meniscus is often damaged in these tears. This can be caused by synovitis or fraying. This is particularly difficult to evaluate on MRI.
Another form of a meniscal tear is a displaced meniscal loose body. This occurs in about 9 to 24 percent of meniscal tears. The displaced fragment is usually visible on a sequential series of sagittal images. It can be differentiated from a Humphry ligament by the course of the fragment. The flipped meniscus sign, which occurs when the anterior horn is displaced to the anterior margin of the tibia, is an indication of a displaced meniscal loose body.
The most accurate method of assessing a torn meniscus is with proton density-weighted sequences. The signal should be low because there are no mobile protons in fibrocartilage.
In addition to detecting a tear, an MRI of a torn meniscus can reveal subchondral edema beneath the meniscus. This edema has a high positive predictive value for a meniscal tear. The most common cause of subchondral edema is acute hemorrhage.
Finally, an arthroscopic photograph can help to confirm the MR diagnosis. The image will show a tear and fraying of the anterior and inferior flaps of the lateral meniscus. This is a very important part of the diagnosis as it is possible to have a tear with no visible resection of the meniscus.
Surgical meniscus repair is one of the latest surgical treatments for a torn meniscus. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about the best approach to treat this condition.
Whether surgery is necessary is determined by the location and severity of the tear. If the tear is located in the inner two-thirds of the meniscus, the patient may not be able to heal on his or her own. This area lacks a strong blood supply, and cannot heal without it.
The outer one-third of the meniscus has a rich blood supply and often will heal on its own. In the event that the tear is located in the middle of the meniscus, the tear can be repaired.
Surgical meniscus repair usually requires an incision, and the knee will be washed out using arthroscopic equipment. The remaining part of the meniscus will be shaved smooth and injected with a long-acting pain reliever.
Before the procedure, the doctor will check the knee for any abnormalities. He will also look at the age and health of the patient. He may order a blood test or an MRI to determine the cause of the injury.
Before the procedure, the patient will be asked to sign consent forms. He will also meet with a pre-surgical nurse to perform a physical examination.
The doctor will then plan the surgery. The surgery may be performed with general anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, or regional anesthesia. Some patients may need an electrocardiogram and blood work before the surgery.
The patient will need to bring along his or her crutches for the surgery. He or she will need to wear loose shorts or pants.
The pre-surgical nurse will also do a physical exam and will assess the vitals. The patient will be given anesthesia to relax.
During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the torn portion of the meniscus. He or she will decide whether to place sutures in the tear or repair it.
Recovery time depends on the surgical method, the patient’s health, and the patient’s response to physical therapy. After the surgery, the patient will be put on intravenous antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection. The patient can begin physical therapy within a week of the operation.
Physiotherapy for a meniscus tear can be helpful to reduce pain and swelling and help you regain strength and stability. It can also help you avoid surgery and return to normal activities. However, it is important to follow a program developed by your doctor and physiotherapist.
The first few days of treatment should be spent doing low-load exercises. These can be done every day or several times a week. When performing exercises, it is important to keep the knee straight and not strain to do the exercises. If you are experiencing pain, stop exercising and apply ice.
As your rehabilitation progresses, your physiotherapist may prescribe hip-strengthening exercises to minimize stress on the meniscus. Performing these exercises can also strengthen your hips and knees, which can help the joints re-align.
You may also use physical therapy to learn proprioception (the ability to understand the position of your body in space) exercises. This can prevent future injuries. The exercises should be challenging but safe.
You should only perform higher-load exercises a few days a week. Your physiotherapist can help you determine how much resistance to use for each exercise.
Your PT may also teach you balance exercises to retrain your body to stay in a proper position. Some of these exercises include:
When doing a range of motion exercises, you should do them three times a day as long as you are able. The exercises can be done by sitting down, standing up, or lying down. When you are able to do them, you should increase the difficulty.
A physical therapist can design a program for you to do at home. These exercises can be part of a coordinated rehab program that will speed up the healing process in the knee.
A meniscus tear can be difficult to heal. It can also affect your ability to work or participate in recreational activities. Fortunately, many people are able to get back to normal activities within a few days. But if you are suffering from a severe tear, it is important to seek medical attention.
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