Located in the knee, the menisci are important pieces of cartilage that help to provide cushioning and support for the joint. While rather durable, the menisci can be injured through abrupt twisting or rotation. If sudden and forceful enough, this can lead to a meniscus tear; but, can you strain your meniscus without tearing it? Let’s take a closer look at the different severities of meniscus injury and how they might be treated.
Can You Strain Your Meniscus?
While meniscus injuries most frequently happen during athletic activity, this common knee problem can also affect aging individuals with weakened knee cartilage. Aside from tearing it, can you strain your meniscus? Yes, this piece of cartilage can be strained without tearing completely. However, a strain is still a partial tear.
Depending on the particular case, a meniscus injury can range from relatively minor to debilitating. Here are some important things to keep in mind when facing a meniscus injury:
- A strained/partially torn meniscus can cause pain, swelling and reduced knee function. Fortunately, this mild sort of meniscus injury can typically be managed with conservative treatments like resting and icing the affected knee.
- A fully torn meniscus can come with worse symptoms and may require more involved treatment. Meniscal injuries are rated by grade, from 1-3, with 1 & 2 being considered mild to moderate and 3 being considered more severe.
- While many patients have success with nonsurgical treatments, surgery is necessary in some cases to fully alleviate symptoms. Surgical treatment is more likely to be needed for larger, more severe tears or those located on the inner edge of the meniscus.
Seeing an orthopedic specialist right away is crucial to enable healing for a meniscus injury that isn’t improving with at-home treatment. This professional can create an individualized treatment plan based on the location and severity of the meniscus injury, along with the individual’s age and activity level.
See Dr. Soffer for Personalized Knee Care
If you’re having continual knee discomfort, you may be wondering if it’s from strain or something more severe. In either case, an orthopedic expert like Dr. Stephen Soffer can help by precisely diagnosing your condition and prescribing treatment to help you get on the road to recovery.
Dr. Soffer completed a sports medicine fellowship with Dr. James Andrews as part of his rigorous training. Today, he is proud to offer nonsurgical strategies as well as open and arthroscopic meniscus repair surgery for patients throughout Berks County. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Soffer, call our office at 610-375-4949.