Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Five Most Common Symptoms of a Meniscus Injury

The meniscus has the important job of cushioning and stabilizing the knee joint. Anytime it's injured, symptoms are usually severe enough to warrant a trip to an Orthopedic Surgeon. If you've injured your knee and are experiencing any, or any combination, of the below-mentioned symptoms, you might have a meniscus injury that needs to be evaluated and treated.

Symptom #1: Locking and/or popping

A torn meniscus disturbs the integrity of the knee joint. As the knee flexes and extends, the bones may hit or catch the piece of torn meniscus, resulting in an aggravating, irritating, and sometimes painful locking and/or popping sensation. Patients who experience this symptom are very aware of it, as it limits their ability to perform physical activities.

Symptom #2: Decreased Range of Motion

The femur and tibia rest perfectly on top of one another to form the knee joint. When healthy, the joint moves smoothly while flexing and extending the knee. Should a significant meniscus injury occur, the integrity and alignment of the joint will be affected and range of motion will decrease. This symptom is especially problematic for athletes.

Symptom #3: Stiffness

Patients who sustain meniscus injuries may experience a great deal of stiffness. It’s not uncommon to see patients walk with their leg completely straight to avoid the locking and/or popping discussed above.

Symptom #4 Swelling

As with all soft tissue injuries, swelling can occur immediately following a meniscus injury. After a few days, swelling should go down. However, if the injury isn’t treated properly, swelling may continue and limit knee mobility.

Symptom #5 Pain

Treating Meniscus Injuries

Ideally, meniscus injuries can be treated using conservative, non-surgical options, such as:

  • ·      Rest and activity modification
  • ·      Physical therapy
  • ·      Medications
  • ·      Bracing

Some meniscus tears are severe enough to require surgery. The goal of surgery is to repair or remove the piece of torn meniscus to restore the joint and range of motion.

Seeking Treatment for Meniscus Injuries

If you've injured your knee and are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon should be made. Once your knee has been examined, an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan can be made. When in the right hands, you can expect a full recovery.
At Advanced Bone & Joint in St. Peters and O'Fallon, our team of Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists can create a unique plan for you based on your specific injury, lifestyle and goals. Give us a call and we’ll get you an appointment ASAP.

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