What is the Meniscus?
A “C” shaped rubbery cushion lies within the knee joint, which we refer to as cartilage. This is called the meniscus, and it acts as a shock absorber in the knee joint. Tears in this cartilage are another common knee injury known as a knee meniscus injury and are often seen in contact sports such as football and rugby. A tear is usually the result of twisting the joint while bearing weight, so you may also experience an injury during weight training or within a workplace where strength and movement are needed, such as builders.
What causes knee meniscus injuries?
Any activity that would cause you to twist and turn while bearing weight or at speed. For example, avoiding a tackle during a football game or carrying a heavyweight upstairs and negotiating a bend towards the top.
It tears when the foot is planted on the ground, but the knee joint twists to route and change direction.
How do I know if I have a knee meniscus injury?
Those experiencing symptoms of a knee meniscus injury often cannot straighten their knee joint fully and feel a “locking sensation” due to swelling.
Other symptoms of Knee Meniscus are –
Popping sensation when moving the joint
Decreased range of movement
Pain radiates typically from the side or centre of the knee, which increases when twisting, squatting and sitting.
A health care professional will conduct these tests and establish a treatment plan tailored to your needs. You must always seek advice from a healthcare provider if you have trouble standing or the swelling has not subsided after 48 hours, or you have a deformity.
Rehab for Meniscal injuries
If the Meniscal is torn and is left untreated, the cartilage can ”fray” and become thinner, resulting in long term knee damage such as arthritis.
Recovery from Meniscal tears takes typically 6-8 weeks. Again, rest, ice and medication can help recovery at home; however, we suggest you are assessed by a medical professional and gain a treatment plan that suits you.
Physiotherapy is key to recovery. An exercise plan can be tailored to your needs and will include exercises you can do at home to improve your range of motion as well as preventive exercises. Ensuring your knees are well looked after is incredibly important; injuries left untreated can result in long term problems that can become untreatable.
If you feel you need help with recovery or are unsure what type of knee meniscus injury you have sustained, get in touch today.