A meniscus is a cartilage that is disk-shaped. It acts as a shock absorber. There is one lateral meniscus in each knee. It plays a role of a natural cushion between shinbone and thighbone. Excess wear and tear is prevented inside the knee joints by these two cushions. The joint fluid is evenly distributed by the meniscus. The knee is also nourished and lubricated by meniscus. The torn meniscus is a very common reason for knee surgery.
The symptoms of torn meniscus include:
- Tenderness at the side of joints.
- Knee pain which is usually found on only one side of the knee.
- Knee swelling
- Locked knee which is not able to bend
- A knee that cannot be straightened fully or catches during movement
- A pop, click or grinding inside the knee when it is moved
- A knee that feels very weak or buckles.
Both the knees are inspected by the doctor for comparing the uninjured one with the injured one. The injured knee is checked for signs of tenderness, fluid and swelling inside the knee joints. The doctor also checks for snaps and clicks within the joints. The knee’s range of motion will also be evaluated by the doctor for seeing the sensitivity of meniscus to pressure. If the results of the examination are suggestive of torn meniscus, some more tests also have to be taken.
- Knee X-rays for checking bone injuries including fractures.
- A CT scan or an MRI can also be suggested, as torn meniscus is shown up in these tests.
- Arthroscopy may also be done for looking inside knee joints and examining the meniscus.
There are many ways to overcome torn meniscus even though the risk factors are more. The risks of torn meniscus can be prevented by stretching or warming up before participating in athletic activities.
Exercising is very important for strengthening the muscles around the knee. Other exercising methods like yoga can also be very beneficial. As the body requires good activity to remain fit and fine brisk walking and jogging will also be vey beneficial.