Medial Meniscus – Symptoms
Medial Meniscus tear usually does not necessarily lead to a series of symptoms. However, in some cases, the patient might be able to point out exactly when they injured their knee.
Some of the possible immediate symptoms of a medial meniscus tear include:
- Acute onset of pain in the knee
- Swelling in the knee region
- Difficulty in knee movement
Other possible indicators are:
- Pain associated with walking or running long distances
- Knee popping, especially when using a staircase
- Locked knee, where in, the knee cannot be fully straightened out
- Frequent swelling in the knee area
- Buckling sensation in the knee or the feeling that the knee is unstable
Medial Meniscus – Causes
The most common cause of a Meniscus Tear is sudden twisting of the knee when the foot is set on the ground. The Medial Meniscus tear is more common than a Lateral Meniscus Tear and must be treated when diagnosed. Without proper treatment and repair, the load on the medial compartment within the knee will increase and result in further complications.
Medial Meniscus – Diagnosis
The initial step of the diagnosis for Medial Meniscus tear involves physical examination. The source of injury and the patient’s history enables the doctor to assess the stress regions in the knee.
Usually, after a physical exam, the doctor recommends an X-Ray or MRI for further diagnosis of the condition.
Medial Meniscus – Treatment
Medial Meniscus treatment involves a surgical or a non-surgical approach depending on the specifics of the case.
In case of a non-surgical treatment approach for Medial Meniscus tear, the swelling and pain usually take a couple of days to go away.
In case of a surgery for Medial Meniscus, a long term commitment to rehabilitation is necessary to enable complete recovery. Physical therapy is vital after this surgery to strengthen the muscles around the knee area, to bring back its range of motion, and retain the joint’s stability.
The recovery time after the surgery for a medial meniscus tear is dependent on various factors, including, the extent of tear, the type of tear, the age of the patient, and other injuries in the knee.
Medial Meniscus – Risks & Complications
Medial Meniscus Repair Surgery is minimally invasive and a low risk procedure. In rare cases, complications could include blood clots, knee stiffness, infection, or injury of skin nerves.
All these possible complications can be taken care of by the doctor. For instance, an appropriate dosage of antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to prevent infection.
Medial Meniscus – Pre Op Care
The Medial Meniscus repair surgery is usually an elective surgery, which means the patient can make all preparations and arrangements for assistance in an effective recovery.
- Ensure arrangements for help at home as the patient may remain immobile for the initial few days after the surgery
- Ensure there are no scratches or external wounds on the knee
- Ensure there are no existing infections
- Avoid smoking for a few days before the surgery for ensuring better healing, no blood clots, and no infections
Medial Meniscus – Post Op Care
After the medial meniscus tear repair, physical therapy is extremely important for proper recovery and rehabilitation of the patient. Physical therapy helps build the strength of the muscles in the knee, bring back its range of motion, and make the knee joint stable.
The recovery time after the surgery depends on the nature and extent of the tear, the age of the patient, and other injuries in the knee.
Including physical therapy, the patient may take upto 3 months to get completely back in action.