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How to recover from a meniscus tear; is surgery the only option?

A meniscal tear is a very common knee cartilage injury. The condition can be quite debilitating and painful because it is the primary shock absorber located between the thighbone and the shinbone.

In younger individuals a meniscus tear is usually due to participation in contact sports like football, hockey, or soccer. A sudden twisting motion at the knee may be all that is required to cause a meniscus tear. In older, individuals the injury may be due to age related wear and tear of

the meniscus.

Treatment of a meniscal tear will depend on its location and severity. Tears limited to the outer portion of the meniscus (also known as the red zone) will generally heal with conservative management because this region tends to have good blood supply.

Conservative treatment options include:

  1. Rest: Use a crutch while walking and avoid weight bearing activities on the knee as far as possible.

  2. Icing: Apply an ice pack for 15-20 minutes 3 to 4 times a day for the first 1 or 2 days after injury to reduce swelling and inflammation.

  3. Compression: Wear an elastic bandage or neoprene sleeve to support and stabilize the knee to promote healing.

  4. Elevation: Keep your knee elevated while lying or sitting using a pillow under your lower leg.

  5. Medications: Anti-inflammatory medication may be used to reduce swelling and pain. Take them only as recommended by your doctor to avoid side effects.

  6. Physical Therapy: Your doctor will recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles that support the knee.

Indication for Meniscal Surgery

If the meniscal tear is large and extends into the inner two thirds of the cartilage, which is also know as the white zone, surgical repair may be required.

Dr. Paul Jacob performs meniscal surgery via minimally invasive technique to save as much of the meniscus as possible allowing a faster return to an active lifestyle.

Dr. Jacob brings cutting edge techniques and technology to the Oklahoma City area. He has extensive training in minimally invasive, rapid recovery joint replacement as well as robotically assisted hip and knee replacement. Dr. Jacob is a pioneer in outpatient joint replacement allowing some patient to go home the same day as their procedure and recover in the comfort of their own home. The cornerstone of Dr. Jacob’s practice is to have the recovery process be easier, faster and less painful allowing his patients to get back into the game of life. Dr. Jacob is committed to bringing the highest level of orthopedic care while treating each and every patient like a family member. Providing you with patient centered care you can trust.

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