One of the most common knee injuries is a torn or damaged meniscus. The meniscus is a pad composed of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone).
While this injury can happen to anyone, athletes are more prone to meniscus injuries because of the contact nature of certain sports, and the twisting and stop-and-go motions that put stress on the knee.
If you suspect that you’ve injured your meniscus because of swelling, knee pain, loss of mobility or range of motion, contact an orthopedic physician for evaluation.
Depending on the pattern, severity and location of the tear, physical therapy and/or surgery may be recommended to restore full range of motion.
If rehab alone doesn’t eliminate the pain and restore range of motion, your physician may recommend surgery. Typically meniscus repair is done arthroscopically, a method in which a small incision is made and the meniscus is reattached or removed using small surgical tools. Arthroscopic knee surgery has become more common because it’s minimally invasive with less of a risk of post-surgery infection. The procedure is often done on an outpatient basis, but your doctor will take into account such things as age, activity level and general health to determine your specific course of treatment.
Recovery and rehab
Rehabilitation and recovery rate varies from person to person. Generally though, you will be off your knee for roughly two weeks, followed by physical therapy and knee strengthening exercises. Rehab is important to the recovery of a knee injury, so it’s crucial for you and your doctor to discuss a rehab and recovery plan that’s right for you. Meniscus repair has a roughly 85 percent success rate given the severity and location of the tear.
Longstreet Clinic’s orthopedic specialists are experienced and qualified to assess the extent of your knee injury and prescribe the best course of action. Please call us at 678-207- 4100 or contact us online!