Most people think that if they have a torn meniscus, they should avoid any physical activity, including walking. This is not the case. In fact, continuing with normal activities may be the best way to speed up your healing process. Surgery is only necessary in severe cases.
How Do I Know If I Have a Torn Meniscus?
Only a doctor can diagnose a torn meniscus. There are a few common symptoms, though. If you experience any of these, please go see a doctor:
- Sudden pain when twisting your knee
- Severe swelling shortly after the injury.
- Pain when bearing weight on the affected knee
- A popping noise heard at the time of injury
- Difficulty bending or straightening your knee
Can Walking on a Torn Meniscus Be Harmful?
In most cases, the torn meniscus does not heal on its own. This means that a person is likely to have chronic knee pain if they do nothing about their torn meniscus. It may take several weeks before you notice any change in your symptoms after beginning treatment, but it is worth it to stick with it. There’s no going back once the tear has begun to heal. In addition, please read this post:
How Long Will It Take For A Torn Meniscus To Heal?
If you continue to walk on a torn meniscus, the body will begin to lay down new tissue. This is an excellent way for your knee to heal itself. Six weeks is likely not long enough time, but it can’t hurt! Keep in mind not all tears heal on their own and you should consult with your doctor.
What Can I Do If My Knee Still Hurts from A Meniscus Tear?
In most cases, walking will speed up your recovery. In addition, there are other treatments that may enhance the healing process:
- Resting your knee as much as possible – this allows existing cells to rebuild and repair themselves
- Elevating your leg – this reduces swelling and increases blood flow
- Using cold therapy – this helps with pain and swelling
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication – this will reduce pain and swelling
- Completing a physical therapy program – this is the best way to make sure you get back to 100% after your injury.
What is the Meniscus?
The meniscus is a c-shaped piece of cartilage that helps to cushion and stabilize your knee. It is located between your shinbone and thighbone. When you walk, it acts as a shock absorber. A meniscus tear can occur due to excessive twisting and turning of the knee. It may also happen as a result of arthritis.
How Do Torn Meniscus Injuries Occur?
- A torn meniscus is often the result of:
- Climbing down stairs with your knees bent
- Twisting or pivoting on one leg
- Landing from a jump
These movements put stress on the knee, causing it to over-extend and twist unnaturally, tearing the meniscus in the process.
Are There Different Grades When It Comes to Meniscal Tears?
There are three types of meniscal tears:
Grade I – The tissue is only partially torn; this is considered minor damage and will usually heal on its own
Grade II – The tear is more severe, but the meniscus is still attached to the knee
Grade III – The tissue is completely torn and may require surgery to repair.
What Type of Knee Sleeve Do I Need for a Meniscus Tear?
Please consult with a doctor before trying any home remedies. In most cases, a torn meniscus is easier to treat if you catch it early on.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest that you wear a knee brace or sleeve for added support and protection during physical activity. This can help ensure that the joint doesn’t go through too much stress as it heals.
What Can I Expect During Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy after a meniscus tear is based on proper rest and exercise routine to allow the joint to heal itself as quickly as possible. The main goal is to speed up recovery time by stimulating blood flow to the damaged tissue. In addition, your therapist will teach you exercises designed specifically for tears in order to strengthen the muscles around the joint and improve range of motion. Gentle massage may also be used to help reduce swelling.
Most people are able to return to their regular activities within a few weeks after completing a physical therapy program. However, in some cases, surgery may be required to fully repair the tear.
Please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your knee. A torn meniscus can often be treated without surgery, but it is important to seek medical attention if the pain does not go away. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to long-term damage and chronic knee pain.
Running on a Meniscus Tear
In most cases, you can continue running on a meniscus tear as long as it doesn’t cause too much pain. If the injury is more severe, your doctor may suggest that you take a break from running until it heals.
It is important to listen to your body and stop if the pain becomes too intense. Continuing to run when you’re injured can lead to further damage and may prolong the healing process. Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your exercise routine.
Resting is key after sustaining any injury, especially one to the knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, crutches or even a wheelchair may be necessary for a brief period of time in for the knee to properly heal. A torn meniscus can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of the injury.
The best thing you can do for your knee when recovering is physical therapy. This can help in strengthening muscles around the joint and improve range of motion. Gentle massage may also be used to help reduce swelling in the injured area.
Meniscus Tear vs ACL Tear
The symptoms for a meniscus tear and an ACL tear are very similar. The main difference is that an ACL tear will often cause more severe pain and swelling than a meniscus tear.
Both injuries require rest and physical therapy for healing. Surgery may be necessary for an ACL tear, while a meniscus tear can often be treated without surgery. It is important to seek medical attention if the pain does not go away.
Ignoring the symptoms of a meniscus tear can lead to long-term damage and chronic knee pain. Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in your knee.