Even though you might be able to walk without your kneecaps, the knee is a crucial joint. And it’s unfortunately prone to many problems. One of those is a torn meniscus.
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that protects the bones in the joint from wear and tear. It’s fragile and can be torn with just one good twist.
Read on for our warning signs of a meniscus tear and when you should seek treatment.
Signs Of A Meniscus Tear
Meniscus tears are particularly common in athletes who play contact sports. Non-contact sports can still be risky when they involve jumping or quick changes of direction. Older athletes are particularly prone to this injury because the meniscus weakens with age.
If you’re asking yourself, “Do I have a meniscus tear?” follow our list of meniscus tear symptoms to see if you should follow up with a physician.
- Pain In The Knee
The pain might be manageable at first. In some cases, athletes even play through the injury. But the pain can increase as the joint becomes inflamed.
The pain might be worse when trying to twist or rotate the knee.
This will be another effect of inflammation. The joint will swell up, and this can contribute to other symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medication can help.
- Popping At The Time Of Injury
Because the meniscus is a piece of cartilage, you might feel a popping sensation at the time of injury. Since the meniscus isn’t where it should be, it can get caught as the knee moves back and forth. This is what causes the popping sensation.
- Difficulty Bending And Straightening The Joint
This might be the result of the pain or swelling in the joint itself. Some people don’t experience this at first but experience it later when inflammation and stiffness increase. It could, however, also be a sign of a more serious meniscus tear.
- A “Stuck” or “Locked” Feeling
If you find you can’t extend or bend your knee all the way, it’s possible that a piece of the meniscus has torn away. When this happens, the piece of shredded cartilage catches in the knee joint causing it to lock up. These cases often require more involved treatment plans.
Meniscus Tear Recovery
Treatment for meniscus tears depends on the size and severity of the tear. Surgery for a meniscus tear is a common course of treatment for cases where the tear is large or causing locking symptoms. Orthopedic specialists are the most well-equipped to judge whether surgery will be necessary.
Whether you treat your meniscus tear with surgery or more conservative treatments, it’s important to take it easy until you have a full range of motion in your knee without pain, your swelling has gone down, and your injured knee feels as strong as your uninjured knee.
Take Charge Of Your Health
The first step toward keeping yourself healthy is recognizing possible problematic symptoms, such as these signs of a meniscus tear. When you know what to look for, you know how to prioritize your health.
If you’re interested in more ways to look out for your health, explore our other health blog posts.