Meniscal tears are amongst the most commonly encountered knee injuries. The meniscus in the knee is usually damaged by a twist occurring on a slightly flexed knee. Athletes especially, and those who play contact sports have a greater risk for meniscal tears. However, anyone from any age group can tear a meniscus. When individuals discuss torn cartilage within the knee, they are probably making reference to a torn meniscus. Meniscus tears are a special risk for older athletes since the meniscus weakens with age. More than 40% of people 65 or older have them.
Anatomy of the knee
Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Two wedge-shaped bits of cartilage behave as “shock absorbers” in between your thighbone and shinbone. They are called meniscus. These are tough and rubbery to aid in cushioning the joint and to maintain stability.
Description of a meniscal tear
Menisci tear in different ways. For instance, how the tear appears, also the location of where the tear happens in the meniscus. Sports-related meniscal tears often occur together with other knee injuries, which include anterior cruciate ligament tears. In fact, a meniscal tear is one of the most frequently occurring cartilage injuries of the knee.
Cause of a meniscal tear
Sudden meniscal tears most likely happen during sports. Players may squat and twist the knee, resulting in a tear. Direct contact, such as a tackle, might possibly be involved. The elderly are more inclined to have degenerative meniscal tears. Cartilage weakens and wears thin with time. Aged, worn tissue is far more susceptible to tears. Even an awkward twist when standing up from your chair can be enough to result in a tear, should the menisci weaken with age.
Symptoms of a meniscal tear
You would possibly feel a “pop” if you tear a meniscus, however, most people can still walk with their injured knee. Many athletes continue playing with a tear. Over several days, your knee will gradually become stiff and swollen. The most typical signs and symptoms of meniscal tear are:
• Stiffness and swelling
• Catching or locking of one’s knee
• The feeling of the knee “giving way”
• You’re not capable of move your knee through its full range of movement
• Without physical therapy, a bit of meniscus can become loose and drift into the joint. This tends to cause your knee to slip, pop, or lock.
Treatment for a meniscal tear
Combined with the kind of tear, age, activity level, as well as associated injuries will factor into your course of action. In the event your tear is relatively small and around the periphery, it may possibly not require surgical repair. Provided that your symptoms don’t persist plus your knee is stable, chiropractic treatment may very well be all you need. The RICE protocol is beneficial for almost all sports-related injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. In the case where your symptoms persist with nonsurgical treatment, your chiropractor might point to arthroscopic surgery.
To make an appointment with one of our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med please call our clinic on 9817 2005.