What is a Meniscus Tear?
Meniscus Tear, the common knee injury
Cory Tatman, PT, DPT, Director of Glendale physical therapy office, was asked, what is a meniscus tear? Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries with over 500,000 occurring annually in the United States. The meniscus includes two separate pieces of cartilage located on the inner and outer edge of each knee. The meniscus acts as a shock absorber and provides cushion between your thigh and shin bone.
The meniscus is typically injured in younger individuals when performing a physical activity that involves a twisting force at the knee while their knee is simultaneously flexed and bearing weight.
However, many meniscus tears occur in older adults as a result of cartilage deterioration over time as the effects of wear and tear accumulate.
Symptoms include: ’
- Acute sharp and stabbing pain in knee for a few seconds during weight bearing followed by prolonged hours of dull and achy pain in knee.
- Difficulty fully bending or straightening the knee as if the knee is locked.
- Swelling, joint stiffness, popping or catching sensations in the knee.
In most cases, non-operative treatments such as physical therapy are recommended to manage a meniscal tear. Some instances, an arthroscopic procedure to remove some of the torn meniscus or to repair the tear are warranted. Patients presenting with moderate to severe meniscal tears that occur along the outer edge of the meniscus are typically considered a good surgical candidate if conservative measures fail. Once again, these patients would then return to physical therapy for post-operative rehabilitation of their knee in order to return to their prior level of function.
Think you may have a meniscus tear? Contact any of our 4 locations to schedule for an initial evaluation to find out.