Meniscus Tear

Table of Contents

    What Is a Meniscus?

    It is probably one of those body parts that you are completely unaware of until there is a problem. While it is definitely not a part of the body we discuss very often, it plays a critical role in the structure of your knee and ultimately your ability to get around.

    Your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone) are kept apart from each other by a part of your knee joint called the meniscus. This spans the area and cushions the gap between your bones. Each of your knees has two of them. One on the inside and the lateral on the outside.

    Each in your knee is constructed of sturdy fibrocartilage. This fibrocartilage looks a bit like a crescent with its C-like shape. It works like a suction cup bringing together your femur and tibia's joint surfaces.

    Types of Meniscus Injuries

    The most common type of knee injuries include traumatic tears, degenerative tears, and strain. Keep on reading to learn about each one.

    torn meniscus diagram

    Meniscus Tear- Image Credit: Mayo Clinic

    Traumatic Tears

    Traumatic tears are common sports injuries amongst athletes, particularly those who play sports like basketball and football, but they are not exclusive to athletes. They can happen absolutely anytime that you are making a movement that involves knee twisting.

    While people find themselves with traumatic tears after a variety of situations, in most cases they all involve strong knee twisting. Occasionally, kneeling or squatting can also cause a tear but it’s less common.

    Degenerative Tears

    Degenerative tears, also known as atraumatic tears are more common in older people, similar to ACL tears. Over time, it will break down and degenerate, which makes you more prone to meniscus tears.

    This degeneration can put you at an increased risk for tears that result from twisting, kneeling, and squatting. It’s worth noting, however, that these tears will be notably different from a traumatic tear and require a different type of treatment.

    It is best to see an orthopaedic specialist for such conditions as well as to speak with an ACL tear doctor as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

    Strained Meniscus

    A strain is also caused by a sudden twist of your knee while your foot is planted on the ground. This can be from a quick pivot or hard hit during sports or, less commonly, during an accident. Such an accident could also cause ankle injuries or hip pain.

    Latest Articles

    The Science Behind Deep Tissue Massage: Is It Right for You?

    deep tissue massage

    In the quest for relaxation, pain relief, and improved muscle function, many people look to deep-tissue massage as a potential solution. They say it makes…

    Read More

    The Truth About Ice Baths: Are They Beneficial or Harmful?

    ice bath

    On a mission to become the very best version of yourself? You certainly aren’t alone! In this social media era, new health and wellness trends…

    Read More

    Stress Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery Strategies

    stress fracture on foot

    Stress fractures are an all too common injury, especially for athletes. These incredibly small yet surprisingly painful cracks in the bone are caused by repetitive…

    Read More

    Sarcopenia 101: What You Need to Know About Muscle Loss

    old man with sarcopenia

    As we go through our lives, our bodies experience countless changes. Some of these changes are obvious while others can fly under the radar. One…

    Read More

    How Do You Know If Your Muscles Are Too Tight (and What To Do About It)

    tight muscle

    Muscle tightness is an annoyingly common experience. Maybe you have woken up feeling like you did a tough workout the night before. You’re achy, stiff,…

    Read More
    a man holding knee having a torn meniscus

    Receive Meniscus Tear Treatment in Singapore

    Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. They are typical issues for athletes and as you get older you have an increased chance of having a torn meniscus. While those are the most typical risk factors, it can happen to anyone at any time.

    If you are dealing with knee pain and think that you have a tear, it is crucial to seek meniscus tear treatment. Fortunately, treatment and recovery are relatively simple and you can be on the path to recovery in no time.

    Ready to find the best meniscus tear treatment in Singapore? Don’t delay another day! The orthopaedic knee specialists here at Ray of Health will create your perfect treatment plan and have you on the way to a pain-free life. We also offer treatment for shoulder pain and tennis elbow treatment.

    Contact us online, call +65 6235 8781, or connect with us on WhatsApp at +65 8028 4572.

    Common Meniscus Tear Symptoms

    Knee pain is the key symptom along with swelling. You might find that your knee feels caught or locked in a way and your entire leg may feel weak. People often describe a feeling like their knee is buckling or "giving way."

    When you have to put weight on your injured knee as well as any time you need to twist, turn, or pivot on your knee, it will likely be painful. Similarly, it may hurt to walk up or down stairs and you might notice swelling afterward.

    How is Meniscus Tear Treated?

    Some people may be able to heal with nonsurgical treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. More severe cases, however, will require meniscus surgery. Since it can’t heal itself in most areas, it is essential to surgically repair your knee.

    Your healthcare professional will also note the kind of tear because traumatic and degenerative tears sometimes require different plans for treatment. Your specific plan will also be dependent on your unique knee injury and medical history.

    Alternatives to Surgery

    The first objectives of a non-surgical physical therapy treatment plan are usually to deal with pain management and improve your knee’s range of motion. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen are often part of the initial treatment along with other therapeutic treatments. The RICE routine of rest, ice, compression, and elevation is the gold standard for less severe knee injuries and goes a long way in reducing pain.

    As the pain and swelling decrease, the next goal is to strengthen the muscles as you regain movement in your knee. Depending on your specific knee injury, your doctor may also recommend steroid injections, hyaluronic acid injections, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections, or injections of bone marrow concentrate.

    It is important to keep in mind that the use of non-surgical treatment depends on the severity of your injury rather than your preference, so you will need to take your doctor’s advice on the right treatment. Meniscus tear surgery is required for the majority of acute, traumatic tears and fragmented degenerative tears, and it is crucial to getting rid of knee pain.

    Will a Meniscus Tear Heal On Its Own?

    Due to its limited blood supply, it doesn’t really have the ability to heal itself very well. Blood vessels are crucial for healing and your meniscus only has blood vessels in the outer third of it. This part is what we call the "red zone." The inner two-thirds, on the other hand, is what we call the “white zone” as this area lacks blood supply.

    If you hurt it within the white zone, your knee injury isn’t going to heal on its own. Unfortunately, the majority of tears happen within that white zone rather than the red zone. This means that most injuries won’t heal on their own.

    What Happens If You Don’t Treat a Torn Meniscus

    Not only do tears not heal themselves in most cases but tears that are left untreated will worsen over time. Degenerative knee arthritis is more likely to develop in people who have untreated injuries and progressive loss. That is why it is crucial to get a diagnosis and start knee pain treatment as soon as possible.

    While looking up information online is a great way to find information and narrow down which orthopaedic specialist to see, you will do more harm than good trying to solve the problem with at-home treatments and diagnosis.

    How Long Does It Take to Recover From Meniscus Surgery?

    Your knee surgery recovery time depends on the severity of the meniscal surgery and the extent of the injury. If the torn portion is simply removed, you will probably only need crutches or another type of support for a few days. If your tear is being repaired during the surgery, you will probably need to have crutches for one month to six weeks.

    Of course, these are just general tear recovery timelines. The only truly accurate guideline is the one that your doctor provides you will after assessing your case.

    Related Articles

    Stress Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, and Recovery Strategies

    stress fracture on foot

    Stress fractures are an all too common injury, especially for athletes. These incredibly small yet surprisingly painful cracks in the bone are caused by repetitive force or overuse. Unlike sudden…

    Read More

    All You Need To Know About Knee Arthritis

    knee arthritis

    What is Knee Arthritis? Arthritis is the inflammation of one of your joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common types but there are more than 100…

    Read More

    Understanding and Managing Foot Pain

    foot pain

    If you’re hobbling around with pain in the bottom of your foot that just won’t quit, you’re not alone. Heel pain, arch pain, and general foot discomfort plague millions of…

    Read More

    Frequently-Asked Questions About Meniscus Tear in Singapore

    You will have similar symptoms with both a sprain and a tear. In either of those cases, you will experience knee pain, stiffness, and swelling. If you hear a popping noise at the point of injury and you can’t move your knee, it is more likely that you have a more serious injury. When it comes to a sprain vs a tear, the tear is the more severe knee injury.

    The only way to know for sure if you have a sprain or a tear is to see a healthcare professional. Your doctor will be able to do a physical examination as well as an X-ray or an MRI, if needed, depending on your unique case.

    About the Author

    Dr. James - Orthopaedic Surgeon in Singapore

    Dr James Tan C H

    Dr James Tan is a highly skilled orthopaedic surgeon in Singapore who has more than 10 years of experience in sports injury surgery and exercise medicine. Apart from partnering with the industry to pioneer advanced and proven treatment techniques, Dr Tan has treated athletes from the Singapore National Teams and professional footballers from the Singapore Premier League and the Young Lions. He is a member of the elite Asian Shoulder and Elbow Group and a founding member of the Singapore Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Society.