What is the Meniscus and what role does it play in the knee?
The Meniscus is a layer of cartilage that sits within the knee joint.
Its main functions are to stabilise the knee joint and prevent degeneration of the bony surfaces. Without it the bones within your knee joint would rub together and gradually wear. Think of it as a cushion that sits within the knee joint.
In the diagram you can see the meniscus located at the heart of the joint.
How does the Meniscus become injured?
Most meniscus injuries occur during quick turning movements which puts high amounts of stress on the knee. The most common injury is a meniscus tear. As you get older the risk of meniscus tears increases. It is also common to injure the meniscus at the same time as other structures within the knee.
What symptoms will I feel if I have a Meniscus injury?
- A popping or clicking sound at the time of injury
- Swelling around the knee joint
- Difficult straightening or bending the knee
- A tendency for the knee to lock and get stuck
- A pain which gradually worsens especially when putting impact onto the knee
What are the treatment options if I am suffering a Meniscus tear?
- Reducing the inflammation around the knee itself – This can be done through treatments such as acupuncture, EMS therapy, Ultrasound, cryotherapy. You can aid this process at home by using Ice around the painful region.
- Complete rest from the painful activities/exercises
- Surgery may be required depending on the position of the tear and how bad the tear is
- Strengthening of the knee joint through specific targeted exercises
We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose an injury without any medical training. Therefore if you are unsure or just want some piece of mind please book an appointment to see an injury specialist. They will be able to correctly diagnose the problem and inform you on the appropriate steps moving forwards.