What To Do About A Torn Meniscus

By St Helena Sports Medicine
July 15, 2018

Meniscus Treatment Napa CAIf you love playing sports, you know there’s always a little risk of injury. Those risks go up when your favorite games involve tackles or other contact. If you recently heard a “pop” in your knee and are trying to figure out how serious the damage is, keep reading. You may have torn a meniscus.

What is a Meniscus?

Your knee joint is formed of three bones: your femur, tibia, and patella. Menisci are the two wedge-shape pieces of cartilage located between your femur (thigh bone) and your tibia (shinbone), where they act as shock absorbers. This cartilage is tough and rubbery to keep the joint stable and to help cushion the joint during impact.

What causes it?

One of the most common knee injuries is a tear of the meniscus. Athletes who play contact sports are especially at risk, though athletes of most sports are at risk for this injury. Sometimes a torn meniscus is simply referred to as torn cartilage in the knee. This kind of injury can happy to people of all ages, so active kids can also be at risk for a torn meniscus. A “pop” feeling in the knee generally describes a meniscus tear.

How to identify it?

You can identify a mild to moderate meniscus tear because it will likely be painful at first. Then, you will notice your knee swelling, which can last from two days to three weeks. Getting up from a kneeling or squatting position might be painful, and you may feel stiff.

Sometimes, the symptoms will go away after a time. Since there aren’t nerve endings in cartilage, you may move on with your life and forget about the injury.

If you tear your meniscus more seriously, a piece or pieces of the meniscus can drift into the joint, leaving you unable to straighten your knee completely. You may also experience popping or catching in the knee, or “gravelly” sounds when you move your knee. Most seriously, your knee could feel unstable and wobble, or give out from underneath you.

If your Meniscus tear is serious, you may want to consider surgery. Call us today at (707) 258-2547 to schedule a consultation.

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