A meniscus is cartilage tissue in the knee joint. It works to cushion the knee movement and help distribute body weight evenly on your knees. This cartilage can tear when you are playing sports or get injured because of, for example, a fall.
The symptoms that appear after having torn cartilage in the knee are similar to those following a meniscus tear.
The most common symptoms include:
– Pain when walking (especially up or downstairs)
– Swelling around your knee
– Feeling of instability in your knee
You should definitely consult with your doctor if you experience these symptoms since they can be caused by a more serious problem than just a torn meniscus.
The good news is that it is possible to rehabilitate your knee and get rid of your symptoms without surgery! The rehabilitation process consists mainly of physical therapy, which includes:
– Strength training to make sure you don’t put too much pressure on your knee.
– Stretching exercises to keep the tendons loose and prevent them from pulling on the knee joint.
– Exercises that put pressure on the joint to promote cartilage health.
The Best Torn Meniscus Treatment
The best treatment option for a torn meniscus is not surgery, but rather a set of exercises designed by a physical therapist after a complete examination of your knee. Through these exercises, you will strengthen the muscles around your knee, promote blood circulation and increase the health of your cartilage.
This process will definitely take a bit longer than surgery, but it is much less invasive and safer in the long run. Physical therapists are specialized in applying various techniques of physical treatment, including therapeutic exercise, manual modalities (such as massages), electrotherapy, and gait training.
A physical therapist will first do a thorough assessment of your injury before determining the appropriate treatment plan for you.
The physical therapist can teach you a set of therapeutic exercises that will help heal your knee through the rehabilitation process. Strength training is important in this case because it brings stability to your knee joint and prevents further injury from happening during treatment. Physical therapy for torn meniscus can include:
– Exercises specifically designed for strengthening and light stretching the muscles around your knee (quadriceps, hamstrings, calves)
– Lightweight cardio exercises to increase blood circulation and strengthen your heart
Physical therapists also recommend wearing a brace to support your knees when walking or doing strenuous activities. You could purchase one yourself, such as the Vive Meniscus Brace, which provides adjustable compression at the location of any pain without compromising full movement.
Manual modalities, such as massages, can also help you in the rehabilitation process. Physicians recommend a doctor-supervised therapeutic ultrasound treatment to promote healing in your knee and increase blood circulation. The doctor will apply a gel on your skin that will allow an ultrasound probe to deliver heat deep into tissues where it is needed the most.
Physical therapists use manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue massage, and muscle energy technique because these methods help restore function by removing restrictions in muscle groups around your knee joint without putting too much pressure on it.
In addition, physical therapists may recommend you to get treatments from massage therapists or chiropractors who have been taught how to perform these practices specifically for a torn meniscus injury.
Another method of treatment is electrotherapy, which can be done by a physical therapist. Electrotherapy treatments such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation help accelerate the healing process in your knee through increased blood circulation. These therapies increase cell metabolism and reduce pain associated with a torn meniscus. They also help relieve muscle spasms around your knee joint.
The best part about this treatment is that you can get these treatments at home! In fact, many physical therapists recommend that their patients use an ultrasound machine to self-treat their knees daily or even before exercising for faster results. You can purchase devices online such as a Theraband Knee Inferno Wrap in order to start healing your injury today without having to pay thousands of dollars for therapy sessions.
How Long Does It Take For A Torn Meniscus To Heal?
Some patients require two or three months of physical therapy before their knee is fully recovered. But most injuries can be treated within 2 weeks with appropriate instruction in-home care techniques by professional physical therapists.
Physical therapist not only have the expertise to design an appropriate exercise program but also recommends a set of exercises for a speedy recovery from a torn meniscus. Whether you had surgery or not for a torn meniscus, the rehabilitation process takes a lot of patience, and it’s important to know that you won’t be able to resume your sporting activities soon.