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What Are Meniscus Tears and How to Treat Them

Meniscus TearsMeniscus tears are common injuries affecting the knee. Athletes usually encounter this condition. It is an injury to the meniscus, which is a disc cushioning the knee. These are two menisci, one each at the outer and inner edge of the knee. Without the menisci it would be hard to ensure your knee is steady, since it is the menisci that help balance the weight of your body across the knee. With a torn meniscus, the knee doesn’t work the way it should, which means running, jumping and even walking become difficult.

Physical therapy and pain treatment are offered for meniscus tears by advanced, multispecialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NY.

How the Meniscus Tears

A meniscus tear usually occurs with the kind of movement typically involved in a basketball game. You look to pass the ball in your hands to one of your team members even as your opponent is trying to snatch it from you – turning yourself quickly by twisting your body and bending your knee but without your foot changing its position. That causes extra strain to your knee. Sometimes, one of the menisci can tear if you lift a heavy object.

Older individuals have a greater tendency to get meniscus tears since the meniscus gets worn with age. They don’t necessarily need to play sports or do heavy activity to get their meniscus torn. Actions such as squatting could cause a meniscus to tear. In such situations they’d typically feel pain while rising after squatting.

Symptoms and Kinds of Tears

Meniscus tears can be minor, moderate or severe. In all three conditions you’ll usually feel pain and swelling. With minor tears the symptoms usually disappear in a few weeks. Moderate tears cause more severe symptoms that may leave in 2 weeks or so but return with twisting or overuse of your knee, unless you get treated for it. Symptoms of moderate tear first manifest themselves through pain at the center or side of your knee accompanied by swelling that increases in a period of 2 to 3 days. Your knee could get stiff, and though you’ll be able to walk you’ll find it difficult to bend the knee.

The severe tears are more debilitating. Your knee begins popping, locking or catching. You get that strange and really uncomfortable feeling of your knee giving way. Swelling or stiffness could come right after the injury or in two to three days.

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the kind of tear you’ve had, your age, and your level of activity. There are nonsurgical treatment options such as RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation. Compression refers to wrapping your knee with elastic bandage while elevation means keeping the leg up on pillows. If the tear is too severe, surgery is carried out to repair the meniscus or remove a part of it.

Physical therapy is an important element of the rehabilitation process, in helping you get back to your day-to-day activities after your injury. It’s also important following surgery. Athletes count on this to get back to their game in full fitness. Manual, orthopedic, muscle strapping, ultrasound, TENS and manipulative therapy are some of the physical therapy procedures available.

Advanced multispecialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NY offer comprehensive but customized orthopedics, pain treatment and rehabilitation options for a range of musculoskeletal conditions including meniscus tears. Seek medical assistance as soon as you experience persistent and recurring symptoms. This helps ensure that the tear doesn’t get worse.

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