Several conditions, including a meniscus tear, can cause knee pain. Symptoms of a meniscus tear may include catching or clicking sensations when moving the knee, trouble bending or extending the knee, or swelling and stiffness in the joint.
Treatment typically includes rest, physical therapy, and surgery if the injury is severe.
At the Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson, we understand the effects of meniscus tears in adults. They’re the second most common type of knee injury, affecting up to 14% of patients. Our board-certified surgeons provide expert care to help you regain strength and function so you can live without knee pain.
Meniscus tears can be painful and debilitating, leading to increased difficulty with simple daily activities. If you’re suffering from a meniscus tear, seek the advice of our experts right away. An orthopedic specialist can determine the best course of treatment for full recovery and prevent further damage.
What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is a type of cartilage in the knee joint. It’s C-shaped and acts as a cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). It absorbs shock, stabilizes the knee joint, and allows for smooth movement of the bones when you walk, run, or jump.
Symptoms of a meniscus tear
If you have a meniscus tear, you may notice:
- Difficulty extending or bending your knee
- A clicking sensation when moving
Other indications include knee pain when twisting and tenderness around the affected area.
Seek medical attention if you have any of these symptoms, as a meniscus tear can worsen without proper care.
What causes a meniscus tear?
Meniscus tears can be the result of activities involving abrupt stops or direction changes. You may also suffer an injury due to wear-and-tear on the knee joint over time or a fall or blow to the knee.
Meniscus tears are especially common among those with osteoarthritis, as the cartilage protecting the joint wears away, leaving it more vulnerable to injury.
Age, gender, and sports activities are the primary risk factors for a meniscus tear.
Certain sports involving sudden stops or changes in direction, such as basketball and football, can increase the chance of sustaining an injury. Gender also plays a role. Meniscus tears are three times more likely to occur in men than women.
How to prevent meniscus tears
To prevent meniscus tears, we recommend strengthening the muscles around the knee and increasing flexibility. You can do this through regular stretching and strengthening exercises like leg lifts, squats, and lunges.
Wearing knee pads when playing sports and avoiding activities that involve sudden stops or changes in direction can reduce your risk of injury.
Also, maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the knee joint and minimizes the chances of a meniscus tear.
Treating meniscus tears
Treatment for meniscus tears often depends on the severity of the injury, so we offer several options at the Orthopaedic Institute of Henderson.
To start, we recommend rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to reduce swelling and pain. Depending on the severity of the tear, physical therapy and rehabilitation may be necessary to help restore strength and mobility in the knee joint.
A meniscus tear could require knee surgery if the injury is severe or doesn’t heal with conservative treatment.
If you’re experiencing knee pain, seek the advice of a knee specialist. Our professionals can properly diagnose the injury and help determine the best course of treatment to ensure full recovery and prevent further damage.
If you're dealing with knee pain, don't hesitate to contact us at our office in Henderson, Nevada. Call or request an appointment online today.