What is Meniscus?
Meniscus is a cartilage like tissue that covers the intersection points of the femur and the tibia at the knee. It covers both inside and outside of the joint. It is not as hard as a bone, nor as soft as a cartilage, and it absorbs the pressure applied by our bodyweight to protect the knee.
Meniscus is for :
- Balancing the joint
- Dividing the body weight between the knees
- Connecting tibia and femur bones
- Absorbing the impact of our movements
- Distributing the fluids to the joint area
How Meniscus Gets Torn?
We can think of meniscal tears like knife cuts on the tissue. Generally it is torn after a physical trauma. Sports injuries, twisting of the knee, falling down are some common reasons of meniscal tears. Age also plays a role and in some cases osteoarthritis cause meniscal tears in mid aged and old patients.
Symptoms of Meniscal Tears
- Pain and swelling
- Difficulties during walking
- Dischargings and lockings on the knee joint
- Pain during doctor’s examination
- Sensitivity in some spots
- Noise coming from the joint
Diagnosis of Meniscal Tears
A simple x-ray may show the tears on meniscus. An experienced surgeon might diagnose the problem by looking at the angles of the patients bones. MRI files might be needed in some cases.
Treatment Options of Meniscal Tears
After the diagnosis the patient is asked to rest and do physical therapy and the problem is observed for some time. Painkiller medications might be given during this period. After the acute symptoms period is passed, the doctor rechecks the patient.
The most advised method for meniscal tear treatment is arthroscopy. With the help of surgical devices including a small camera, the cause of the problem is detected and treated with minimal damage to the area. The patient heals relatively fast and can get back to daily activities in a shorter period of time.