A meniscus injury is oftentimes called as a torn knee cartilage which is considered as a common injury involving the fibrous tissue in the knee. This protective tissue serves as a shock absorber between the thigh and shinbone which ends up torn. This can occur due to abrupt, awkward twisting of the knee in certain activities. Those who engage in contact sports face the highest risk but this injury can also occur among the elderly due to the degeneration of the cartilage over time. In case you suspect that an individual has sustained a meniscus injury, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper assessment can be carried out as well as start proper treatment.
The individual will feel an abrupt, piercing pain along with tenderness that seems to worsen after 2-3 days. It is important to note that the pain becomes severe during twisting the knee or squatting while the tenderness is focused over the joint corresponding to the torn meniscus. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually given to help relieve the pain from a meniscus injury. You can learn more about pain management measures for this condition by enrolling in a class on first aid today.
In most cases, the knee becomes stiff and lacks its normal range of motion. The individual will have difficulty in straightening it and can suffer from a locking or catching sensation where it feels as if free movement is not possible.
Another initial sign of a meniscus injury is the swelling around the knee. The swelling can be managed with the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, elevation. Instruct the individual to sit with his/her leg higher than the level of the heart and utilize an elastic bandage for compression and then apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every 4-6 hours for the initial 1-2 days. You can avoid frostbite by covering the ice pack with a clean towel or cloth.
By providing the RICE method, it can effectively manage the swelling that is linked with any form of meniscus injury.
A meniscus injury often causes the knees to become unstable as if it is about to give away. It is reported that even though some cases of meniscus injury require surgery to prevent the torn piece from detaching, it can be managed with non-surgical measures especially if the knee is in a stable state. A doctor must be consulted for proper assessment and diagnosis.
Clicking or popping sound
Once the individual sustained a meniscus injury, there is a sharp pop or click. The doctor will check the knee which involves bending and then straightening and rotating it. This technique is called the McMurray test that is often utilized in diagnosing a meniscal tear.