Torn Meniscus

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Meniscus Tear Recovery After Arthroscopy

When Will My Knee Feel Better?

For several days after arthroscopy, patients will generally be asked to rest and elevate the joint while applying ice packs to minimize pain and swelling. After surgery, an exercise program is gradually started that strengthens the muscles surrounding the joint and prevents scarring (contracture) of surrounding soft tissues. The goal is to recover stability, range of motion, and strength of the joint rapidly and safely, while preventing the build-up of scar tissue. This program is an essential part of the recovery process for an optimal outcome of this procedure.

Torn meniscus facts

  • The medial and lateral menisci are two large C-shaped cartilages that are positioned on the top of the tibia bone of the knee.
  • The knee is the largest joint in the body.
  • Cartilage within the knee joint helps protect the joint from the stresses placed on it from walking, running, climbing, and bending.
  • A torn meniscus occurs because of trauma caused by forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint.
  • Symptoms of a torn meniscus include knee pain, swelling, popping, and giving way.
  • Treatment of a torn meniscus may include observation and physical therapy with muscle strengthening to stabilize the knee joint. When conservative measures are ineffective treatment may include surgery to repair or remove the damaged cartilage.
Reviewed on 6/12/2017
References
REFERENCES:

Dutton, M. Dutton's Orthopedic Examination, Evaluation and Intervention, 3rd edition. McGraw Hill Medical, 2012.

Johnson, D.H., and D.A. Pedowitz. Practical Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007.

Rodriguez-Fontan, F., et al. "Stem and Progenitor Cells for Cartilage Repair: Source, Safety, Evidence, and Efficacy." Operative Techniques in Sports Medicine 25 (2017): 25-33.

Zhang, J.Y., et al."Utilization of Platelet-Rich Plasma for Musculoskeletal Injuries." Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 4 (2016): 12.

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