Meniscal tears are a common knee injury, especially in athletes who frequently twist and spin while playing or lifting weights with one or both knees bent. Additionally, as we age, the meniscus weakens and is more vulnerable to ripping.
The meniscus itself is a rubbery, flexible C-shaped disc that cushions the knee. On each knee, there are two of these discs, which are referred to as menisci (the plural form of meniscus). The other is on the inside side, while one is at the outer edge. Together, the menisci serve to evenly distribute your weight, stabilising and balancing your knee. Your knee may feel stiff and painful if the meniscus is torn. When getting up from or shifting to a seated posture, for example, it may be unpleasant to bend your knee because it is swollen.
The severity of the meniscus damage determines how much pain, stiffness, and swelling there will be. If the rip is in a specific place, the meniscus might scar over time even if it has a weak capacity to mend itself. This is due to the fact that cartilage is difficult to mend and has a considerably lower blood supply in the centre of the meniscus.
On the other hand, a tiny tear is most likely to merely result in little discomfort and swelling. Normally, it goes away on its own in two to three weeks. Your doctor could advise elevating your leg, applying cold packs, engaging in light physical therapy, and possibly wearing a knee brace to lessen the possibility of the injury getting worse.
A doctor with specialised training in orthopaedic medicine must analyse each case before deciding whether surgery is necessary for a moderate to severe meniscus tear. The position, shape, and size of the meniscal tear all have a significant role. A locked knee and other symptoms may develop from a rip that occurs in the places with the least amount of blood flow or that causes a flap or piece of torn tissue to float around the tear. Knee surgery is frequently needed to address such problems.