Each knee has two moon-shaped sections of protective cartilage, and each section is called a meniscus. Together, the menisci provide essential cushioning between the top of the shinbone (large lower leg bone) and the bottom of the thighbone (upper leg bone) so that the bones do not rub against one another during movement.
The menisci can tear during strong twisting, high-impact landing, or pivoting motions of the knee. Meniscus tears are a common injury while playing sports such as football, tennis, and basketball, but they can also occur while performing regular household chores.
A torn meniscus can cause a variety of symptoms in the knee, which may include:
- A popping noise when the meniscus tears
- Pain, especially when rotating or twisting the knee
- Difficulty straightening the knee fully
If you are not experiencing excruciating knee pain, then the tear may be mild – and so it may respond to nonsurgical treatments. Let’s talk about some of those treatments, and where you can go in Boynton Beach for a professional medical evaluation and treatment of your knee pain.
Nonsurgical Treatment for a Meniscus Tear
Treatment depends on the size, type, and location of the tear, but nonsurgical treatments are often used to treat the injury initially. They include the following:
Some meniscus tears improve over time with rest, activity restriction, and keeping the knee and leg elevated when possible. It is particularly important to avoid activities that involve twisting, rotating, or pivoting the knee in any way. Walking aids such as crutches may be recommended to take pressure off of the knee and to promote healing.
Using a cold compress or ice pack can help to reduce swelling and pain in the knee. Elevate the knee and leg, wrap the ice pack in a towel (in order to prevent frostbite due to direct skin contact), and place the wrapped ice pack on top of the injured area of the knee for 15 minutes at a time. Do this four times per day.
If the ice pack is too cold to the point of causing pain, remove it right away. It should feel numbing and soothing, but not painful in any way.
Over-the-counter pain-relief medications may help to relieve the knee pain and to reduce inflammation while the cartilage heals. However, taking too much can cause liver damage, so talk to your orthopedist about which medicine would be best while your knee heals.
PRP Therapy (Injection Therapy)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary procedure that is particularly effective in treating knee injuries. For this treatment, your orthopedic doctor will obtain a small sample of your blood from your arm, process the blood in a centrifuge, and then administer the concentrated platelets directly into the point of pain in your knee via injection. This method harnesses the body’s own healing blood cells, the platelets, to stimulate the natural repair process.
Meniscus Tear Treatment in Palm Beach County
If you have a knee injury or knee pain and are looking for effective treatment, visit our experienced medical team here at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (561) 733-5888 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!