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What can I do for a meniscus tear?

Symptomatic meniscal tears are usually treated surgically. If the tear is in an area of the meniscus that has good blood supply, then it will generally be repaired with sutures. Range of motion and weight bearing may be limited for the first 4-6 weeks depending on the location and extent of the tear. However, if the tear is in an area with little or no blood supply, the portion of the damaged meniscus will be resected and smoothed out. Range of motion and weight bearing is generally not limited following this procedure. If you have a meniscus tear, you will want to incorporate a combination of flexibility and strengthening techniques into your rehabiliation. First, foam roll your calves, adductors, and IT-band. Foam rolling is a form of self-massage that applies pressure to adhesions, or knots, in the muscle causing them to relax and release tension. Hold the tender spots of the muscles listed above for 30 seconds. After foam rolling, you can statically stretch your calves, adductors, and hip flexor complex. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to allow your muscles time to relax and elongate. Next, perform strengthening exercises for the foot, ankle, and hip. Single-leg calf raises will help strengthen the muscles that support your foot and ankle. Perform lateral tube walking to strengthen the muscles in your hips that help control your foot and ankle. Lastly, perform a single-leg balance exercise to strengthen the muscles of the entire leg. When performing any single-leg exercise, ensure that you keep the arch of your foot lifted while performing the exercise. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions of each of these exercises.

A twinge in the knee upon rising from a chair, a sharp pain while descending stairs, a knee that “locks” while extended: All may be caused by a tear in the cartilage of the knee joint known as the meniscus.

Rest, ice and pain relievers may help with pain and give the meniscus time to heal. However, if symptoms do not improve after six weeks, the next step may be an MRI scan to diagnose the extent of the damage. A severe meniscus tear usually requires arthroscopic surgery to remove or repair the torn cartilage and minimize the chance of further injury.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.