A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that may cause pain, swelling and sometimes even a “locking” sensation in the affected knee. Whether a meniscus injury happens due to an isolated incident or degeneration of the knee cartilage over time, it can interfere with a person’s ability to go about their daily life and be active. A common question about this injury is: “Can you still walk with a torn meniscus?” The answer will depend on the severity of the injury and other individual factors, but there is a chance that a meniscus tear may cause pain when walking. In this article, we’ll elaborate on the potential impacts of a torn meniscus and detail possible treatment options.
Can You Still Walk with a Torn Meniscus?
Meniscus tear symptoms can differ on a case-by-case basis. More minor tears may come with only mild discomfort and swelling, whereas more severe meniscal injuries may compromise a person’s ability to comfortably perform their daily routine, occupation and/or hobbies. Generally, patients report worse pain from squatting or twisting motions, which put pressure on the knee.
Over time, a meniscus tear may become more severe and cause further damage if left untreated. Further, certain activities may cause symptoms to flare up. Some patients might find it difficult and painful to climb stairs, or even to get out of bed.
Ultimately, the specific symptoms and the answer to “can you still walk with a torn meniscus?” will depend on the individual patient’s circumstances. This includes:
- The size & severity (grade) of the tear
- The nature/pattern of the tear (radial, horizontal, etc.)
- The location of the tear (medial or lateral)
- The patient’s age
- The patient’s activity level
- The patient’s overall health status
Along with influencing the extent of the injury’s impacts, this list will also factor in when it comes to determining the most appropriate treatment options. Conservative therapies like rest, medication and avoidance of symptom-triggering activities may be sufficient to allow a smaller, less severe meniscus tear to become asymptomatic. Surgical meniscus repair is more likely to be needed for a larger, higher grade meniscus injury – or if the inner portion of the meniscus, which receives poor blood supply, is involved.
Younger patients and active individuals generally consider surgical meniscus repair more often than older, less active patients for whom the issue does not significantly affect their quality of life. Surgery can speed the recovery process and maximize the chance of being able to fully resume recreational activities.
Trust Dr. Soffer for State-of-the-Art Knee Care
If you’re dealing with bothersome knee symptoms, seeing an orthopedic expert promptly is key to ensure you get the professional, individualized treatment needed to resolve the issue. The Reading, PA area’s trusted knee specialist is Dr. Stephen Soffer.
Dr. Soffer has undergone extensive training in orthopedics, including a sports medicine fellowship with leading sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Patients of all ages count on him for skillful, compassionate treatment of knee issues, whether or not their condition necessitates surgery. To learn more and arrange an appointment with Dr. Soffer, call our office at 610-375-4949.