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Knee Cartilage Injury - Meniscal Tear (Torn Meniscus)
Our customizable tear sheet pads feature detailed content approved by URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program combined with educational medical illustrations. Tear sheets are proven, inexpensive handouts that facilitate informed consent and improve patient compliance while functioning as a valuable branding and contact information tool. Product Specifications: 8.5 x 11 inches, 50 tear sheets, two-sided information (full color front side, one-color back side), printed on heavy white stock, sturdy cardboard back, detailed medical illustrations in color and continuous tone, space available for overprinting of contact information (additional charge may apply). This tear sheet pad contains the following information: A meniscal tear is a tear in the meniscus. The meniscus is a shock-absorbing structure in the knee. There are two menisci (plural of meniscus) in each knee, one on the inside (medial) and one on the outside (lateral). Causes Most injuries to the meniscus are caused by trauma, usually compression and twisting of the knee. Movements that can cause trauma to the knee include pivoting, cutting, and decelerating. Because aging tends to break down the inner tissues of the meniscus, minor trauma (such as squatting) can injure the meniscus in an older person. Risk Factors • Improper techniques for jumping, landing, pivoting, and cutting • Participating in contact sports • Previous ACL injury Symptoms Torn meniscus may or may not cause symptoms. The ones that do not cause symptoms are usually small tears located in the back of the knee. Symptoms may include: • 'Popping' sound at the time of the injury • Locking up, catching, or giving way of the knee • Pain • Swelling within the knee, often called 'water on the knee' • Tenderness in the joint • Tightness Diagnosis The doctor will ask about your symptoms and how you injured your knee, and perform a physical exam. The doctor will perform physical tests to decide if there is a tear. Tests may include: • X-ray – a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body. It will not show a meniscus tear, but may show some bone abnormality. • MRI Scan – a test that uses magnetic radiation waves to make pictures of the inside of the knee. This is effective in diagnosing a meniscal tear. • Arthroscopy – a thin, lighted tube inserted through a small incision in the knee to look at the structures inside the knee. With the arthroscope, the tear will be seen and may be removed or repaired as deemed necessary. Treatment If your knee locks up and is painful, your physician may determine that surgery is necessary to remove the damaged meniscus. For knees that are stable and aren't locking, the RICE treatment may be all that is needed, at least for a period of time. RICE therapy Rest – Take a break from activities that stress the knee joint. With rest, the knee will be less painful. Some meniscal tears that occur on the outside of the meniscus will heal with time. Ice – Apply ice in 15-minute periods during the first 24 hours after the injury and for several days after if needed. This helps reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. Compression – Wrap the knee in an elastic bandage. This will help stop swelling and provide support and protection for the knee. Do not pull the elastic tightly. Elevation – Keep the injured knee raised for the first 24 hours, including during sleep. This will help drain fluid and reduce swelling. Prevention To avoid tearing a meniscus: • Learn the techniques to properly cut, pivot, slow down, and land from a jump. • Strengthen and stretch the leg muscles, including: • Calf muscles • Hamstrings • Quadriceps • Wear appropriate footwear for your sport and playing surface.