Your knee health is crucial for numerous aspects of your life. From walking and standing to playing sports, this joint supports your body and allows you to move. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage piece on each knee that acts as the shock absorber between the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone). Unfortunately, this meniscus may sometimes tear because of sudden twisting, pivoting, knee degeneration with age, or hyperextension of the knee. If you suspect you have a meniscus tear West Chester, it is important to understand the warning signs to seek immediate care. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Popping Sound or Sensation
You may notice a loud popping sound or sensation when you initially sustain a knee injury. These signs happen once the tight ligament tears. As with a rubber band, once this tissue tears, it snaps, resulting in the popping.
When the ligament is intact, your knees bend smoothly. However, once you tear the meniscus, the injured tissue sticks up, catching you as you move. Therefore, you might feel or hear a quitter pop as you walk or bend your knee.
2. Pain While Trying to Stand or Sit
With a meniscus tear, you might or might not feel pain, particularly on the first day. However, you might notice a change the following morning after keeping your knee inactive overnight.
Once you begin noticing discomfort, it is generally not constant. When the leg rests in a bent or straight position, you might not experience discomfort. The pain generally begins once you try straightening or bending your leg. You might also experience pain as you walk because every step flexes the knee.
If possible, avoid moving your leg frequently. Applying ice also helps alleviate discomfort. If you need to move around, avoid jerky, sharp motions that may intensify your discomfort or further knee injury.
3. Swelling Around The Knee
Swelling around the knee is another key symptom that might not be noticeable immediately. This swelling happens because the body’s immune system receives the signal that the region is injured. The body responds by sending extra blood, cells, and lymph to repair the meniscus tear.
4. Tenderness and Feeling Warm to Touch
You might also experience redness and tenderness around your knee cap, along with swelling. You might realize your skin feels warmer than other areas on your leg. These symptoms are all part of the body’s immune response to try and correct the issue itself.
If you experience swelling and joint tenderness, utilize ice therapy and raise your leg. You may wrap the knee using an elastic bandage as you move around, but ensure you do not wrap it overly tight.
5. Inability to Extend the Lower Leg
Another warning sign of a meniscus tear is the difficulty of completely extending your lower leg. If you try forcing yourself to extend your lower leg, you may experience intensifying pain. Besides, you risk tearing your ligament even further.
The meniscus is crucial to your knee’s mobility and function. Therefore, if you tear your meniscus, it will undoubtedly have a daunting effect on your overall life quality and can sideline you for long if you are an athlete. After examining your condition through a physical exam and imaging studies, your specialist will suggest the best care plan. Luckily, most meniscus tears are treatable with conservative measures, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid injections, and RICE therapy. However, you might have to undergo surgery if your tear is serious.