A meniscal tear affects the cartilages or menisci that are positioned amidst the femur and tibia bones in the lower leg. The menisci provide stability and distribute the body weight by preventing the bones from rubbing together. Additionally, the menisci also help distribute nutrients into the tissues and cartilage covering the femur and tibia bones.
What are the causes?
A meniscal tear is brought about by abrupt twisting or other movements that might occur from sports or other related injuries. These injuries are common among individuals over 30 years old.
As part of the aging process, the meniscus deteriorates and injuries occur easily even from simple movements. The tears can also occur from degenerative ailments such as osteoarthritis.
Management of a meniscal tear
The treatment for a meniscal tear is aimed on controlling the pain and inflammation. The standard treatment is the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
During the initial days after the injury, an ice pack must be applied every 3-4 hours for 30 minutes to reduce the pain and discomfort. Compression is done by wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage. Non-steroidal ant-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are given to reduce the swelling.
In some cases, arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose the pain linked with a meniscal tear and one of the widely used forms of treatment if there is intense and frequent pain. In case the menisci are impaired, the knee becomes unstable and arthritis develops. Surgery might be the ideal option in preserving the knee from further damage.
Some of the main benefits of this form of surgery includes pain relief and improved mobility. Take note that repairing the meniscal tear with arthroscopic surgery is a safe procedure and allows the individual to maintain a normal and active lifestyle.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a meniscal tear is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this type of injury by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.