Common Causes for Meniscus Tear & Prevention Tips

Your knees bear the brunt of a lot of your movement. They are where your legs bend to be able to walk or run properly, they bear the weight of your body, and they are how you can make fast or quick turns and movements when you’re in motion. What happens when your knee is injured? There are a couple of common injuries found in the knee region and one of the main ones is a meniscus injury. This can vary in pain levels and treatment options depending on how bad the meniscus tear is. Here are a few things to know about the injury and treatment/prevention tips out there.

Common Reasons for a Meniscus Tear

Some of the most common reasons for this type of injury is due to sports or heavy lifting. It occurs when you turn very quickly or you twist your knee when your foot is firmly planted on the ground. This can happen in baseball as you’re trying to make that out or it can happen when you’re lifting furniture to move into a new home. It all happens as you twist your knee while it’s slightly bent and you do not move your foot. No matter what causes the meniscus tear, it can vary in levels of injury and pain.

Levels of Meniscus Injury

With just a minor injury you typically experience pain and slight swelling, but it will go away after a few weeks or so. You can make sure to ice it and give it a lot of rest to help speed the process. A more moderate level of tear or injury will cause pain at the side of the knee or middle of your knee. You will notice that the swelling gradually gets worse and it can be quite painful to bend your knee or squat.

For those with a major tear in the knee you may find that your meniscus has torn off pieces and it is now moving into the joint area. You may find your knee gives way when you’re walking and the pain and swelling continue to get worse.

Treatment and Prevention

Treating your meniscus injury is usually done with rest, elevation and with ice to keep swelling down. In severe cases surgery and physical therapy are also required. To prevent the meniscus tear, be sure you are cautious of how you move and take care to not turn quickly on your knees. Be sure to always have help when lifting items that are too heavy by yourself. Try to pick up your foot to maneuver instead of keeping it on the ground so that your entire leg can turn with you.

Knee Cartilage Injuries: Cause & Symptoms

Located in our knee are cartilage tissues that act as shock absorbers. These shock absorbers are tough but yet flexible tissues that are located throughout our body, covering all the surfaces of our joint in order to facilitate the smooth gliding motion of our bones. It is because of these cartilage tissues that we are able to jump and run without experiencing pain. One downside of it is that the tissues do not have their own blood supply. This means that once they are injured or damaged, the healing process is extremely slow. Someone who has a damaged cartilage tissue will then experience pain during periods of motion. One of the most common places of injury is the knee and we will look into the causes and symptoms in this article.

Causes:

Knee cartilage injuries are usually articular cartilage damages. The articular cartilage is a soft and springy type of cartilage located between the joints and is a common yet serious form of damage. The result is swelling, pain and loss of mobility in the knee. Injuries can occur mainly from three main forms – osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans and a sudden trauma. Osteoarthritis is a form of long-term damage and is especially targeted towards patients who have had their knee meniscus removed or are overweight. Osteochondritis dissecans occur when a part of the cartilage and a piece of attached bone breaks away from the joint. Lastly, trauma occurs during high impact activities such as sports. Sports players are at a higher risk due to the high levels of risk they face.

Symptoms:

The symptoms for a damaged knee cartilage are pretty similar to most forms of knee injuries. The first and foremost symptom is the onset of pain. This pain is increased when an attempt to straighten the knee is made, resulting in the inability to walk properly and bear full body weight on the knee itself. Swelling will also happen due to the increase in blood flow to the knee in order to combat infection. There may also be a creaking or cracking sound when you are moving the knee joint.

Cartilage damage is common among people and most people with mild damages do not seek medical help. The number of patients with this form of injury is most prevalent in patients under the age of 35 as that age group leads the most active lifestyle, with men at a much higher risk than women.