A sort of injury that affects the knee joint is a meniscal tear. Two menisci, or C-shaped pieces of cartilage, are located in the knee joint and serve as shock absorbers and weight distributors. When one of these cartilage fragments is ripped or harmed, a meniscal tear results.
causes of meniscal tear:
Sudden twisting or pivoting motion of the knee. Such as during sports or other physical activity, can result in meniscal tears. They can also happen as a result of the knee joint’s gradual deterioration over time.
There are several other causes of meniscal tears, including:
- Trauma: Direct trauma to the knee joint. Such as a sports injury or a fall, which can result in meniscal tears. A meniscal tear can also result from an abrupt twisting or bending motion.
- Age-related degeneration: The menisci in the knee joint may deteriorate and become more prone to tears as people age. This is frequently caused by the joint degrading over time.
- Repetitive stress: Meniscal tears are more likely to occur during certain activities that place repetitive stress on the knee. Such as jogging or jumping.
- Improper body mechanics: Meniscal tears can occur as a result of improper lower extremity mechanics or alignment. Which increases stress on the knee joint.
- Genetic factors: Meniscal tears may be more likely to occur in some persons because their menisci may be weaker or more prone to injury from birth.
- Obesity: Obesity or being overweight can place additional strain on the knee, which raises the risk of meniscal tears.
Sign and Symptoms of meniscal tear:
Depending on the extent of the tear, the person’s general health, and their level of activity, a meniscal tear can present a wide range of signs and symptoms. Some common signs and symptoms of a meniscal tear include:
- Pain: The initial indication of a meniscal tear is frequent pain. Sharp or dull pain may be experienced along the knee’s joint line.
- Swelling: Knee joint swelling is another typical sign of a meniscal injury. The swelling could only affect the region surrounding the knee or it might reach the ankle or foot.
- Stiffness: Meniscal tears frequently present with stiffness in the knee joint, especially in the morning or after extended hours of sitting.
- Catching or locking sensation: The knee joint may catch or lock as a result of a meniscal tear, making it challenging to fully extend or bend the knee.
- Weakness: Meniscal tears frequently manifest as knee joint weakness, especially when getting out of a chair or ascending stairs.
- Clicking or popping: When they move their leg, some patients could feel a clicking or popping sound in their knee joint.
- Limited range of motion: The range of motion in the knee joint may be restricted as a result of a meniscal tear, making it challenging to engage in regular activities like jogging or walking.
Treatment for meniscal tear:
Meniscal tears can be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation, physiotherapy, and, in rare circumstances, surgery, depending on the degree of the tear, the person’s general health, and how active they are.
Physiotherapy is predominantly used when a meniscal tear is less severe or if the patient wants to avoid surgery. The following conditions may be treated with physiotherapy for meniscal tears:
- Range of motion exercises: These exercises can ease stiffness and increase knee joint flexibility.
- Strengthening exercises: Strengthening activities can help in enhancing the knee joint’s stability and lower the risk of additional damage.
- Balance exercises: Proprioception can be improved through balance exercises, which can also lower the chance of falls and other accidents.
- Low-impact exercises: Exercises with low impact, like swimming or cycling, can help to increase cardiovascular fitness without adding to knee joint stress.
- Manual therapy: Joint mobilization and other manual treatment methods can assist to increase circulation, and lessen pain, and stiffness in the knee joint.