What is Meniscus: Types of Meniscus, Symptoms and Treatment of Meniscus.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage located in the knee joint. It acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the joint and providing stability. The meniscus also helps to distribute weight evenly across the joint, preventing excessive wear and tear on the bones.
There are two types of meniscus in each knee: the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus. The medial meniscus is located on the inner side of the knee, while the lateral meniscus is located on the outer side. Both menisci are prone to injury, especially during activities that involve twisting or pivoting of the knee.
There are several types of meniscus injuries, including tears and degeneration. Meniscus tears can occur in different patterns, such as longitudinal, radial, or bucket handle tears. Longitudinal tears are the most common type and occur along the length of the meniscus. Radial tears extend from the inner edge of the meniscus towards the outer edge. Bucket handle tears occur when a portion of the meniscus is displaced into the joint, causing a locking sensation.
Symptoms of a meniscus injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the tear. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty bending or straightening the knee. Some individuals may also experience a popping or clicking sensation in the knee. In severe cases, a piece of the torn meniscus may become lodged in the joint, causing the knee to lock.
Treatment for a meniscus injury depends on the type and severity of the tear, as well as the individual’s age, activity level, and overall health. Non-surgical treatment options include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), as well as physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.
In cases where conservative treatment fails to relieve symptoms, or if the tear is severe, surgical intervention may be necessary. The two main types of meniscus surgery are meniscectomy and meniscus repair. During a meniscectomy, the torn portion of the meniscus is removed. This procedure is typically performed for tears that occur in the outer edge of the meniscus, where blood supply is limited and healing is unlikely. Meniscus repair, on the other hand, involves suturing the torn edges of the meniscus back together. This procedure is typically performed for tears that occur in the inner two-thirds of the meniscus, where blood supply is better and healing is more likely.
Recovery from meniscus surgery can vary depending on the type of procedure performed and the individual’s overall health. Rehabilitation typically involves a period of rest and immobilization, followed by physical therapy to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee. It may take several months for full recovery, and return to sports or high-impact activities may be delayed.
In conclusion, the meniscus is an important structure in the knee joint that helps to provide stability and cushioning. Meniscus injuries are common and can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty with knee movement. Treatment options range from conservative measures such as rest and physical therapy, to surgical intervention such as meniscectomy or meniscus repair. Recovery from a meniscus injury can take time, and rehabilitation is often necessary to restore full function to the knee.