A meniscus tear is a common type of knee injury during sports or other activities. Most people experience a meniscus tear due to a traumatic event such as a major accident or sports injury. However, meniscus tears can also result from conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which cause the meniscus to wear out over time. The most common symptom of a torn meniscus is a pain in the knee that worsens with movement. Treatment may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as physical therapy. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases. If you have a meniscus tear, you should seek treatment from a doctor specializing in treating a meniscus tear in West Chester.
There are several possible causes of a meniscus tear. One of the most common causes is a traumatic event, such as a fall or sports injury. Other causes can include:
- Osteoarthritis: This condition affects the joints and can cause the meniscus to wear out over time.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints.
- Infections such as septic arthritis may also cause the meniscus to wear away.
- Use of corticosteroids: Certain steroid medications can increase the risk of a meniscus tear because they reduce inflammation and weaken the muscles around the knee.
- Tumor: A tumor can cause a tear in the meniscus by pressing on it.
The most common symptom of a torn meniscus is pain in the knee. This pain may worsen with movement and can be accompanied by swelling and stiffness. You may also feel a pop or tear in the knee at the time of injury. It may also cause other symptoms such as:
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
- A feeling that the knee is going to give out
- A grinding sensation in the knee
To diagnose a meniscus tear, your doctor may ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. Your doctor will look for the following signs:
- Warmth around the knee
- A slight limp in your gait due to pain when walking or standing up
- Grating or popping sound in the knee when you bend it specific ways
- Decreased range of motion in the knee
When torn, you can generally repair the meniscus through arthroscopic surgery. The surgeon will make small incisions around the knee area and insert a tiny camera to see how severe the tear is. They can then remove any torn meniscus showing signs of rot and smooth out any rough edges. If the tear is too large or complex to be repaired, your surgeon may recommend a total meniscectomy, which removes the entire meniscus.
If you are not experiencing any pain, your doctor may suggest rest and icing the knee. However, most people with a torn meniscus will need to undergo physical therapy to reduce pain and restore function. You may also need to wear a brace on your knee for several months after surgery or as instructed by your doctor.
In summary, a meniscus tear is one of the most common sports injuries. You can develop a meniscus tear due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, tumors, and the use of corticosteroids. It causes symptoms such as pain that may worsen with movement and can be accompanied by swelling and stiffness. Treatment includes physical therapy, wearing knee braces, and surgery.