Treatment for Meniscal Injuries
Treatment for meniscal injuries vary depending upon the extent and location of the meniscus tear. If the tear is small and the pain and other symptoms are minor, strengthening exercises and a small regime of physical therapy may be all that’s needed to recover.
It is important to use rest, ice (cold packs for 20 minutes at a time), compression bandages, and elevation of the leg to reduce swelling. Medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling as well.
For a larger tear, knee surgery will most likely be required and recommended.
Large meniscus tears usually occur after more traumatic injury and generally requires meniscus tear repair surgery to treat the associated pain and mechanical problems. Dr. Millett will perform meniscus repair arthroscopically.
In arthroscopic surgical repair for a meniscus tear, two tiny incisions will be made and a small camera inserted so the joint can be reviewed and the torn pieces of meniscus can be repaired and/or removed. The goal is to save as much of the original, normal meniscus cartilage as possible. During meniscus repair surgery, if the torn section of meniscus is removed, then it is known as a partial meniscectomy. If the meniscus can be repaired, then the torn edges are joined back together with sutures.
Rehabilitation after meniscus surgery involves physical therapy and rest for a period of months. Specific rehabilitation will vary according to each patient’s needs. Strictly adhering to the protocol that Dr. Millett and your physical therapist design for you is essential and will optimize your results.