A meniscus tear can be a nagging injury or just part of the aging process. The knee injury is actually very common and can occur from vigorous exercise, or even something as simple as getting out of the car. The meniscus is often very treatable cartilage which plays a vital part of your knee joint. It’s vital because it’s located just between the cartilage surfaces of your bone and it helps to stabilize and redistribute the weight as it bears down on the joint. This part of the knee joint injury is common with as many as 200,000 reported cases. Keep in mind there are likely significantly more people with this meniscus damage who never seeks treatment.
We’re going to cover a little bit about the knee joint structure and then share just how and why therapy from BioLogics Health is an excellent choice for you.
A torn meniscus can happen due to injury or a degenerative process as in aging. Meniscus tear treatment and recovery can range from the typical protocol of rest, ice, compression, elevation, to exercises, and getting a brace. But if the damage is too much then you’re going to want to look at regenerative therapy and avoid surgery whenever possible.
What Is the Meniscus?
The meniscus is a type of cartilage in your knee joint. The meniscus sits between the cartilage surfaces of the bone to distribute weight and to improve the stability of the joint. This is important as the knee joint is used in most activities. You’re about to discover what happens when you tear your meniscus and how these tears are treated.
The three bones that make up the knee are the femur (thigh bone), your tibia (your shin bone), and your knee cap which is called your patella. Cartilage is the softer rubbery layer that allows for the bones to have less friction and rub against each with smoothly and the goal is ultimate to protect the bones. The two menisci (The medial meniscus resides on the inner side area of your knee and the lateral meniscus is found on the outer side of your knee) work in their respective locations to allow for smooth gliding movement by your knees.
The menisci functions as a coating for the bone that protects and stabilizes. The coating is very strong and it conforms to the shape of your bones. It’s a customized protective coat resting between the femur and the tibia. The smooth gliding as well as weight distribution is important. If the cartilage is damaged it may lead to arthritis of the knee joint as well as the trademark ‘catching’ or locking of the knee joint that often is an indication of damage.
What Does Your Meniscus Look Like?
It’s wedged in a C-shape fashion and it keeps the rounded surface of your thigh bone (femur) from grinding against the top of your tibia. There is a center section that does not get nourished by small blood vessels which is why if this is damaged it is very difficult to get this area to heal. When the blood vessels are not present it called avascular.
Common Meniscus Tears.
It’s common for athletes to experience this injury because of the tremendous stresses put on the knee joints during extreme physical exertion. The other most common meniscus tear occurs due to ‘Father Time’. In other words, the degenerative processes accompanied by just getting older.
The meniscus has a role in stabilization of the knee joint so when there is an injury to the knee such as MCL (medial collateral ligament) or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) it will often mean that the meniscus will have damage too. Sports injuries see this type of multiple injuries, but a wrong step off of the curb or even just coming down your stairs in your home may lead to this type of multiple injuries to your knee.
What Is The Difference Between Cartilage Damage and Meniscus Tear?
The distinction is often when talking about a torn cartilage it is likely the meniscus vs the articular cartilage which covers the conforms to the ends of bones. The Menisci are made of cartilage and are prone to tear due to the position within the knee, whereas the cartilage coating the ends of your bones may grind down, but are less likely to experience a tear.
Common Symptoms With A Torn Meniscus.
The pain and swelling in your knee area is a common indicator. The trademark ‘joint locking’ or ‘catching’ which may lead to not being able to straighten or bend the knee out of a locked position. The pain is intense in most cases and the ‘locking’ is occurring because the smooth cartilage is no longer smooth where the tear has occurred.
Here’s a short, but not a complete list of the types of symptoms you may experience with torn cartilage or a meniscus tear.
- Knee Pain
- Swelling of knee
- Catching, locking, joints seizing up.
- loud pops.
- painful clicking in the knee joint.
- not being able to pinpoint the pain location in knee
- tender to touch
- the range of motion restricted
How to Diagnose and Treatment.
X-rays and MRIs are the sure way to know if you have a meniscus tear, but if you’re suffering from many of the symptoms then it’s extremely likely that you’ve damaged your
meniscus. Traditionally doctors will either want to cut a portion off (called a meniscectomy) or sew together the meniscus or even a transplant. All surgical options should be the last resort. The lack of blood vessels in the meniscus leads to difficulting in healing. Plus the long list of risks associated with surgery.
How We May Be Able To Help.
Regenerative medicine is a natural option, non-surgical, and no drugs options to help your torn meniscus. The regenerative therapy helps your body to rebuild and repair the way that your body was intended to repair. At the cellular level. The cells go where they are needed and do what needs to be done. We would love to help you understand how regenerative therapy works and how this breakthrough medical technology is helping thousands of people just like you. Get the facts. Call BioLogics Health today and discover how you too, may benefit from the power of regenerative therapy.
Let’s take a closer look at some information regarding the challenges associated with having a tear in your meniscus.
A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries, and also one of the most painful. If you tore your meniscus, you likely felt it right away and knew that something’s up.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what a meniscus tear is, how it’s caused, and what treatment methods are available should you experience this type of injury.
What’s a Meniscus Tear and What Caused it?
Your meniscus is the piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your femur and your tibia. Each of your knee joints has two menisci. These can pretty easily be damaged or torn during a number of activities, like sports, or anything that places pressure on the knee joint.
While it’s common to injury your meniscus while playing sports, you can also damage it by doing things like standing up too quickly. That said, the meniscus is most commonly torn during activities that cause any kind of pressure or a forced twist or rotation, like a sudden pivot or turn.
Athletes who play sports, as well as active people who do the following types of activities, are most prone to meniscus tears:
- ice skating
- rock climbing
But you don’t have to be doing an activity listed above in order to get a torn meniscus because it can happen by just going up and down the stairs or stepping off of the curb.
How to Know When You Tear Your Meniscus
As we mentioned, you’ll likely know right away if you tear your meniscus, but here are the most common signs and symptoms:
- A popping sensation
- Pain while twisting or rotating
- Difficulty straightening the knee
- Feeling like your knee may “give out”
Common Treatment Methods for Meniscus Tears
Treating a meniscus tear will be dependent on the severity of your injury, your dependence on your knee, and your personal preferences. Let’s go through some of the common treatment options.
One of the first things that your doctor may recommend when you tear your meniscus is a course of pain medications. While pain pills can successfully alleviate the pain you’re feeling in your knee, they do not have the ability to heal your meniscus or even treat the damaged cartilage. This means that pain pills are only effective at treating the pain associated with your tear, not the root cause of the problem.
The other downside to using pain killers as your treatment method is that they’re highly addictive. Opioid addiction is at an all-time high right now, with millions of people depending on these dangerous pills to get through their day.
Cortisone injections or cortisone shots are similar to pain pills in that they’re used to immediately take the edge off the pain you’re feeling from your meniscus tear. With reduced pain, you may be able to function better and won’t struggle as much to perform your normal activities.
Cortisone shots can be very effective at reducing pain, for a time—within a few weeks to a few months, the effects will wear off and you’ll be in the same painful predicament because the cartilage tear will still be a factor.
Gel shots are similar to cortisone shots in that they don’t cure the problem, they ease the pain and reduce the inflammation that causes the pain. As soon as the gel shots wear off, the pain and inflammation return.
Physical therapy is another common form of treatment for a meniscus tear. Depending on what type of tear you suffered and the severity of your tear, you may be able to experience relief from physical therapy by using exercises that strengthen the muscles around your knee and help you to regain range of motion. Physical therapy is a long-term commitment to treatment several times per week for weeks to see a marked improvement.
Meniscus Repair Surgery
Your meniscus tear can be repaired arthroscopically, where the surgeon sutures the torn edges of your meniscus back together and into place. Surgical intervention to repair a meniscus usually has a high success rate, however, the recovery time is between three weeks and six months to regain full use of your knee, which is inconvenient for those who need to get back on their feet quickly, like athletes.
Regenerative Health Care
Regenerative cells harvested from the tissue a healthy umbilical cord (Wharton Jelly) contains cells that have the ability to repair and rebuild injured tissue and ligaments. This solution is completely natural, as they are naturally occurring within our bodies.
More On Regenerative Options for Meniscus Tears
Although research into the use of regenerative medicine, for meniscus tears is still relatively new, research is being conducted daily into its benefits and effects. So far, the research is stunning. All medical fields continue to do research even years after they are getting great results. This allows them to find additional ways to help people.
With just a simple injection into the knee, patients are seeing significant improvement in their pain, symptoms, and inflammation.
Joint pain injections are a completely natural, non-invasive treatment option that’s non-habit forming and without many, if any, side effects. Knee pain sufferers all over are turning to regenerative options as their first line of defense and alternative to committing to an invasive, expensive surgery that requires weeks of rehab, with no guarantee of success.
In the coming years, we’ll surely know more about regenerative options and their effectiveness at healing damaged tissue and ligaments, but the early studies are exciting and are giving knee pain sufferers everywhere a glimmer of hope that there may be a safer, more effective way to treat their knee pain.