The meniscus cartilage in the knee prevents the bones of the upper leg and the lower leg from grinding against each other. Each knee has two menisci; lateral meniscus and medial meniscus. The menisci on the outside of the joint is called lateral meniscus and the one on the outside is called medial meniscus. Due to aging, sports, and sudden injuries, the medial meniscus may tear.
A torn meniscus is caused when the entire body weight is on the knee and a sudden activity causes a forceful twisting or rotating of the knee. An intense sharp pain will be experienced at the time of the injury and a popping will be heard or felt. The following are some of the common symptoms of a torn meniscus:
- There will be extreme pain the inside part of the knee.
- A dull ache may be experienced all over the joint.
- There will be swelling of the knee within 24 to 48 hours after the injury.
- There will be catching or locking of the injured knee.
- It is difficult to bend the knee fully.
- There might be stiffness or tightness of the knee muscles.
- There might be muscle weakness.
For torn meniscus relief, treatments depend on the severity of the condition, the percentage of the tear, and the age of the person. The treatments for torn meniscus relief can be non-invasive or invasive. Here are 5 ways to take care of the pain and swelling:
- The initial and immediate treatment for torn meniscus relief involves keeping the injured knee at rest. Avoid any physical activity or movement that exacerbate the pain and swelling. Use walking stick or crutches while walking. This may help to relieve the pressure from the knee.
- In the first 48 to 72 hours of the injury, keep the swelling down by applying cold compresses. Ice packs can be applied in intervals of 20 minutes after every 3 to 4 hours every day. This should be done for the first two to three days or until the swelling subsides.
- In case, the pain does not subside after a week, consult a doctor immediately. There might be a need for surgery. A doctor may suggest an arthroscopic surgery for long-term torn meniscus relief.
- If no surgery is required, it may take 6-8 weeks to recover from a torn meniscus. In the case of surgery, the recovery period may range from 3 to 4 months. In either case, a doctor might suggest a knee brace or a sleeve to be worn for protecting the meniscus from further injury.
- Consult a physiotherapist who will suggest exercises and physical routines that will help to get back the normal motion of the affected knee.