What Is A Meniscus And What Does It Do?
According to www.eorthopod.com, there are two menisci between the shinbone and thigh bone. The c-shaped medial meniscus is on the inside part of the knee and the u-shaped lateral meniscus is on the outer half of the knee joint. These two menisci act like shock absorbers which spread out the forces that are transmitted across the joint when walking or running. The menisci also adds stability to the knee by converting the surface of the shin bone to a shallow socket, which is more stable than its otherwise flat surface.
What Causes A Torn Meniscus And What Are The Symptoms?
A torn meniscus is an injury that often occurs when the knee joint is bent and then forcefully twisted. Typically clients will experience this injury when the force of an impact from a motor vehicle accident causes the knee to strike the dashboard of the car.
The most common symptom form a torn meniscus is pain. The pain may be felt along the edge of the knee joint where the meniscus is located, or may involve the whole knee. The tear may cause the knee to swell resulting in it feeling stiff or tight. This often occurs when fluid accumulates in the knee joint. The knee joint may also lock up if the tear is large enough. When the knee locks up the client is unable to straighten his or her knee. This happens when a portion of the meniscus tears free and gets caught in the knee.
Long term symptoms of a torn meniscus may result in the joint surface becoming worn, which may lead to osteoarthritis.
How Is A Torn Meniscus Treated?
Initially, the client is ordered to rest and anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to decrease the pain and swelling. In the event of a more severe injury the client may be prescribed physical therapy. The physical therapist will treat the swelling and pain with electrical stimulation, periods of rest with your leg elevated, and exercises to help you regain normal movement.
If the client’s knee continues to lock up after non-surgical treatment, surgery may be suggested to repair or remove the torn part of the meniscus. Surgeons prefer to repair the damaged meniscus whenever possible by either sewing the torn edges together, or by using special fasteners called suture anchors to anchor the edges together. When a portion of the meniscus is removed, this is referred to as a partial meniscectomy. A partial meniscectomy is simply a procedure to remove the damaged portion of the meniscus. The removal of the entire meniscus is avoided at all costs as this increases the risk of future osteoarthritis.
How Long Will My Recovery Be After Surgery?
Typically clients only need a few physical therapy sessions after the meniscectomy to help strengthen the knee. However, you will have weight and activity restrictions following the surgery which you should strictly adhere to.
Rehabilitation is often slower after a meniscal repair. The client can expect to visit the physical therapist two or three times a week. You may also be given a locked knee brace, and instructed to put minimal or no weight on the foot when standing or walking for up to six weeks. If everything goes as planned you will be completely recovered within six to eight weeks.
Discuss Your Case With A Lawyer
Contact Attorney Doug Stoehr if you have suffered a meniscus injury due to a car accident or a fall. To schedule a free consultation, contact our west-central Pennsylvania law firm by calling 814-515-9074 or email us.