How to Heal a Torn Meniscus Naturally – Patients frequently ask: Can you rehab a torn meniscus without surgery? The answer is “yes,” but that’s only if the tear is not a very long one. You need to understand what kind of tear you have because some will not heal on their own and cause more damage if left untreated. Steps to heal a torn meniscus naturally:
Rest: It’s crucial to rest your knee after injury. You should not participate in activities where you could cause additional strain. Ice: Apply ice to your knee for 15 minutes at four-hour intervals. Compression: To help reduce swelling, you should keep something on your leg. We may recommend using a leg cuff. If you don’t have one, an elastic band or sleeve can work as well. Elevation: Anytime you’re resting on a bed, chair or couch, you should use something to elevate your leg, such as a pillow. Medication: Taking an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help to reduce swelling and pain. It’s best not to rely on them to heal you, but they can alleviate some discomfort. Stretch: You can stretch by lifting the knee above your heart. A doctor or physical therapist may make other stretch recommendations.
An easy way to remember the first four steps is to use the mnemonic device “RICE.” To further reduce irritation in the knee, we may recommend using crutches to limit strain, twisting and bending. The next aspect of non-surgical treatment is physical therapy.
- 0.1 How long does it take for a torn meniscus to heal without surgery?
- 0.2 Can a torn meniscus heal on its own?
- 0.3 What helps meniscus heal faster?
- 0.4 Is a meniscus tear lifelong?
- 0.5 Can you live with a completely torn meniscus?
- 0.6 Can meniscus grow back?
- 1 What not to do after meniscus tear?
- 2 Can you live without a meniscus in your knee?
- 3 Is a meniscus tear career ending?
- 4 How do I know if my meniscus needs surgery?
How long does it take for a torn meniscus to heal without surgery?
Home / Healthcare News » What is the recovery time for a meniscus tear without surgery? Posted on: 25-Jan-2021 Meniscus tears are the most frequently treated knee injuries. Recovery will take about 6 to 8 weeks if your meniscus tear is treated conservatively, without surgery.
Can a torn meniscus heal on its own?
Can A Meniscus Tear Heal On Its Own? – Endurance is an important part of sports. For some athletes, playing through a little pain is a badge of honor. In the case of meniscus tears, some people think the injury will heal over time on its own. But the truth is that there are different types of meniscus tears — and some tears won’t heal without treatment.
What helps meniscus heal faster?
Strenuous exercise can tear the meniscus, a layer of cartilage in the knee. Gentle exercises — such as mini squats, standing heel raises, and hamstring curls — may help with recovery. Meniscus tears are fairly common; research suggests that around 61 in 100,000 people in the United States have this health issue.
the knee joint fit together correctlyabsorb shock from walking and other activitiesprovide stability to the knee
A tear can occur due to too much strain, sometimes as a result of exercise. Common symptoms include:
This injury is more common among military personnel on active duty and other people who are very active. The risk is generally higher among males over 40 years old.
Is walking good or bad for meniscus tear?
Precautions – If your doctor has told you that you don’t need surgery to repair your torn meniscus, you may be given the green light to walk. However, you’ll want to be very careful about movements that might worsen the tear or cause you pain. Avoid squatting and pivoting, which are likely to place too much pressure on the knee.
- If you do need surgery, weight bearing is often limited afterward.
- Be sure to pay close attention to the recommendations you receive from your surgeon.
- They may instruct you to use crutches and wear a knee brace whenever you put any weight on your knee for 4 weeks or more after surgery.
- Don’t try to push yourself beyond what your doctor and physical therapist recommend.
Your doctor is unlikely to recommend running soon after tearing your meniscus. You’ll need to give your knee joint some time to heal, regardless of whether you need surgery to repair the meniscus tear. After your knee has healed, your doctor or physical therapist may agree that you’re ready for some exercises and impact activities again.
This may come after you’ve built up some strength and developed good control over your knee when performing functional movements. At this point, you should no longer be experiencing pain during normal activities. You may need to start slow and build up while checking your knee for swelling and pain. As you recover from a meniscus tear, you’ll want to avoid any activities that might slow your recovery process.
First, remember the acronym RICE :
Is a meniscus tear lifelong?
Knee anatomy 101 – Everyone knows the knee is where the upper leg bone (the femur) and lower leg bones (the tibia and fibula) meet. But there’s a lot more to the knee than those three bones. Each knee joint includes tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other structures, including,
- Each meniscus is shaped like a C.
- The lateral meniscus is located on the outer side of the knee joint, while the medial meniscus is located on the inner side of the knee.
- Together, the menisci act like tiny shock absorbers for your knee, absorbing some of the impact when you step or put pressure on the knee.
They also improve knee stability and help facilitate smooth joint movement. The menisci are sandwiched between the surfaces of the larger knee bones (the femur and tibia). The bones are coated with a thick layer of cartilage, which also helps the joint move smoothly.
Can you live with a completely torn meniscus?
How do you know you have a meniscus tear? – The short answer is that you may not know. “You can live with a meniscus tear,” Dr. Parker says. “And it may heal on its own, or just not cause you problems.” However, you’ll know pretty quickly when it is a problem.
What are 2 signs and symptoms of a meniscus tear?
Swelling or stiffness. Pain, especially when twisting or rotating the knee. Difficulty fully straightening the knee. ‘Locked’ feeling when trying to move the knee.
Can meniscus grow back?
What are the consequences of undergoing a menisectomy? – Knee function following a menisectomy (removal of torn meniscus) is very good. The part of the meniscus removed does not grow back, but is replaced by fibrous tissue. There is an increased likelihood of developing osteoarthritis in patients who have undergone complete (total) menisectomy.
Is cycling OK with torn meniscus?
Can I cycle with a meniscus tear? – Cycling is a good exercise for recovery from a meniscus tear, as it is a very low impact and straight-lined exercise. Issues may arise if the range of movement of the knee is very limited by the injury and swelling and unable to complete the revolution of the pedal smoothly.
What not to do after meniscus tear?
Meniscal Recovery Plan – Diet : You may resume a regular diet when you return home. Start with tea or broth and advance slowly with crackers or toast, then a sandwich. If you become nauseated, return to clear liquids. Pain Control: Take pain medication as prescribed by Dr.
- Reznik. Please call our office with any questions regarding your medication.
- Ice as needed (never place ice directly on skin) and elevate leg above heart level using 2-3 pillows.
- This will also decrease swelling.
- Stop smoking : Smoking slows the healing process by interfering with the making of new DNA.
Smoking also increases the risk of infection and pneumonia after surgery by slowing your body’s white blood cells. Deep Breathing : Be sure to regularly take a deep breath and blow it out. This helps to clear the lungs after anesthesia. Knee Immobilizer : Meniscal Repair patients are to wear the knee immobilizer full time for the first 3 weeks to protect the repair for the first phase of healing.
- This includes while you are sleeping.
- It is to be removed only for physical therapy directed exercises and showers.
- Note : Patients should not flex the knee past 90 degrees for the first 3 weeks even if you therapist says it is okay.
- After 3 weeks, you will change from the immobilizer to a knee hinged brace.
This is normally done by the physical therapist; if you or your therapist is unsure about what to use or when to change your brace call Dr. Reznik’s office. Under guidance, you can then start bending the knee from 90 degrees to a maximum of 120 degrees.
When first switching to the knee hinge brace, you may need to use two crutches again for a short time to help with balance if needed. Crutches : Patients are to use two crutches for the first week, putting light weight on the operative leg with each step with the immobilizer on. Remember to put the involved foot flat on the ground.
Most patients can be fully weight bearing by the end of the first week while continuing to wear the immobilizer. After the first week, you may then increase weight as tolerated and advance to one crutch for a few days and then a cane if needed. Meniscus (cartilage) Repair patients cannot do twisting, pivoting, squatting, deep knee bends or impact activities for four months.
It is vital that meniscus repair patients do not squat for at least four months after the repair. Return to Work : People with light work (like desk or computer work with no squatting, lifting or kneeling) can return to work within a week to ten day with the brace on. The exception is for people who may have long commutes.
By staying still with the leg down for long periods, increases the risk of a BLOOD CLOT in the leg. Patients with active office work or very light labor with variable tasks can sometimes go back to work at two or three weeks, depending on lifting requirements and if their employer will make accommodations for light duty.
Heavy work, (lifting or unprotected heights) cannot usually return before 6 weeks. Most will need to be cleared by their physical therapist. The heaviest of labor, working in unprotected heights would naturally take longer. Driving: Right knee patients and left knee patients with a standard transmission car cannot drive until out of the knee immobilizer, off all pain meds and can fully weight bear without pain.
Left knee surgery patients can drive after 3 weeks if they have no pain and you are off pain all pain medications comfortable walking without crutches. Blood Clots : Those at higher risk of blood clots include those patients who have sedentary life styles, long car or train commutes, have a history of prior cancer, women on birth control pills, may be overweight or males over the age of 40.
- These patients should be taking an at least a baby aspirin per day (unless allergic or sensitive).
- Doing the exercises (ankle pumps below), using aspirin and at times compressive stockings will also reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Patients who have a history of clots in the past or three or more of the above risk factors should ask if they should be on a blood thinner post op for at least six weeks.
Call the Physician If:
You develop excessive, prolonged nausea or vomiting Fever above 101 You develop any type of rash You experience calf pain
Post-Operative Exercises : Start doing exercises while still in the recovery room. Dr. Reznik or your nurse will instruct you on what to do. At home, while resting in bed after surgery do the following every hour or with each set of TV commercials. Ankle Pumps : Pump your ankle up and down for 1 minute (like pressing on the gas pedal).
This will increase circulation and reduce the risk of developing a blood clot. If watching TV, do this during every commercial. Straight Leg Raise : Tighten your quads (muscle in the front of your thigh) with the knee immobilizer on and raise your leg 8 to 12 inches off the bed. Do at least three times a day.
Add other exercises as your therapist gives them to you. Knee bends/heel slides : With your heel on the bed, bend your knee while sliding your heel toward you. Start with bending 30-45 degrees and work toward 90 degrees during the first week. If you are in bed for extended periods, move your arms regularly.
Should you massage a torn meniscus?
MENISCUS TEAR REHAB Meniscus tears are commonly diagnosed and treated with physical therapy, chiropractic, and massage. The size and location of the tear will influence the likelihood of recovery. When treating these tears, our main rehabilitation goals include: restoring pain free range of motion, strengthening the muscles and connective tissue around the knee, identifying weak links at other locations in the body, and improving movement patterns that may cause excessive loading on the knee.
- Restoring range of motion at the knee is crucial to restore functionality of the joint.
- Without adequate range of motion at the knee, activities like stairs, walking, squatting, and running may be affected.
- Some of the tools we utilize to improve range of motion include manual therapy (such as ART, Graston, massage, cupping), active and passive stretching, and therapeutic exercises that incorporate a wide array of movement patterns.
Stiffness and pain are often reduced and eliminated as range of motion improves at the joint. By combining therapies that may reduce pain such as massage, Active Release Therapy, and Graston, we can get quicker, less painful results that ultimately result in a quicker return to your sport or activity.
Strong muscles are crucial for healthy joints. Many patients find that getting stronger is key to overcoming plateaus. Increasing muscle mass throughout the lower extremity helps minimize stress at the knee proper and may prevent certain movements that may be harmful to the joint. Muscles that fatigue and tire easily offer little protection to the joint and may allow the knee joint to buckle or twist into positions that may threaten the cartilage of the knee.
Improving endurance, strength, and rate of contraction noticeably improves the capacity of the joint. When improving these functions, patients must understand that permanent strength gains may take 8-12 weeks of focused effort. Commonly, traditional physical therapy fails to increase strength to levels that carry over to patients sport or daily habits.
The exercises should consistently challenge the muscles to encourage healthy adaptations that will help you return to your goal. Another key link in overcoming your meniscus tear is to identify other weak links above or below the knee. It’s often found that meniscus tears are associated with things like stiff/restricted ankles, weak/poorly balanced hip muscles, as well as poorly conditioned core musculature.
Tackling these problem areas helps eliminate unwanted stress to the injured knee by dissipating and spreading the load throughout multiple points throughout the body. Addressing the way you move in regards to patterns of squatting/bending, walking, and running, will help prevent future injuries.
- Meniscus tears are often treated with conservative measures and these patients are able to avoid surgery.
- To be successful, be sure your treatment plan includes a multitude of therapies instead of focusing on just one treatment approach.
- Go beyond focusing on the injury site and insist your therapist is matching their goals with yours.
If you are experiencing valgus collapse of the knee and would like to learn more please contact us. SEAN SPAULDING, DC, DACBSP, CSCS Sports Chiropractor
Will squatting make a meniscus tear worse?
Treatment for non-locking torn meniscus – Initial treatment for non-locking torn menisci usually involves management of the pain and swelling symptoms with over the counter pain medications. When a torn meniscus is diagnosed, but the knee is not locked and the patient cannot identify a specific incident associated with the onset of pain, the pain can be treated initially with over the counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
What exercises should I avoid with meniscus pain?
Avoid positions and activities that place excessive pressure on knee until pain and swelling resolve. Problematic positions include squatting, pivoting, repetitive bending (eg, climbing stairs, rising from seated position, operating clutch and pedals), jogging, and swimming using the frog or whip kick.
Can you make meniscus tear worse?
What happens if you leave a torn meniscus untreated? – Untreated tears can progress and become worse over time. Progressive meniscus loss can increase the risk that a person will develop degenerative knee arthritis. It is important to get a diagnosis and seek treatment early.
What is the average age for torn meniscus?
Meniscus tears & repairs – Mayo Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Both the inside and outside of the knee have a meniscus. The meniscus is a firm, elastic, shock absorber that helps stabilize the knee and is important for normal function of the knee joint.
- It also provides protection of healthy cartilage in the knee.
- A meniscus can become damaged due to sudden trauma.
- This can occur with turning, twisting, or pivoting activities or sports.
- It can also occur while bending the knee deeply.
- Sometimes the meniscus damage occurs more gradually as part of degeneration.
This is commonly due to “wear and tear” of the knee and the gradual decline in tissue quality that occurs with aging. Meniscus damage is most frequently seen between the ages of 15 and 30 or between the ages of 45 and 70. Damaging or losing part of the meniscus can lead to short-term symptoms related to the meniscus damage and/or longer-term symptoms of arthritis due to the lack of the knee’s normal shock absorber.
Can you live without a meniscus in your knee?
Why might I need meniscal transplant surgery? – Meniscal transplant surgery might make sense for you if your meniscus was removed in a previous surgery. (This probably happened if the damage to your meniscus was so bad that surgeons couldn’t repair it in that previous surgery.) Without a meniscus, you might gradually develop knee pain and arthritis of your joint.
- Replacing your meniscus may provide significant pain relief.
- It may also help prevent arthritis in your joint.
- This can develop when your cartilage becomes frayed and rough.
- This surgery is less invasive than knee replacement surgery.
- Meniscal transplant surgery might not make sense for you, even if you’ve had your meniscus removed.
If you already have arthritis of your knee, the procedure might not help because you may already have too much damage to your cartilage and bone. Another procedure, like knee replacement, might be more effective. You might be a good candidate for meniscal transplant surgery if the following apply to you:
You’re younger than age 55. You’re missing more than half your meniscus, or you have a large meniscus tear that is irreparable. You have significant or persistent pain with activity, or you have an unstable knee. You have only minimal arthritis, or none at all. You have a knee with normal alignment and stable ligaments. You are not obese.
Can a meniscus take a year to heal?
How Long Does It Take for a Torn Meniscus to Heal Without Surgery? – Ordinarily, your doctor or physical therapist will ask you to reduce your sports activities while your meniscus tear heals. Healing could take between four and eight weeks. However, the time depends on the severity and position of the tear. Other factors affect how long it takes to heal your meniscus as well:
AgeLifestyleDuration of the symptoms
A relatively healthy knee will be able to heal faster naturally than a weakened one. Because of this, older patients or those with other bone or joint issues may take longer to recover from a torn meniscus. Furthermore, if you notice that your symptoms are not decreasing as time passes, it could be because your meniscus is not healing on its own.
Is a meniscus tear career ending?
Conclusion: – RTP of elite soccer athletes sustaining meniscal tear is contingent on age, preinjury performance, and management approach. Those who RTP to the same league level can be expected to demonstrate equivalent field time, performance, and long-term availability as noninjured athletes.
Keywords: case-control, football (soccer), general sports trauma, meniscal tear, performance outcomes Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with nearly 129,000 athletes competing professionally and over 220 million playing recreationally worldwide.9, 10 Injuries to the meniscus are particularly prevalent in soccer players, with an incidence of 0.448 injuries per 1000 hours of playing.3 The sport-specific demands for quick cutting, pivoting, and tackling render these athletes particularly susceptible to meniscal tears.
The athlete with a meniscal tear is often treated with meniscectomy or meniscal repair, depending on the size and location of the tear. Potential sequelae of meniscal injuries include the loss of in-season competition days and diminished career longevity.
With regard to the timing of return-to-play (RTP), previous investigations have demonstrated that athletes typically RTP 1 to 3 months after meniscectomy 1, 14, 23 and 4 to 6 months after meniscal repair.2, 22 However, only 2 of these aforementioned studies have specifically isolated elite soccer players in their analyses.2, 23 It is critical to consider this high-risk patient population individually when delineating a timeline for return to sport after meniscal injury.
The ability to return to preinjury level of competition after meniscal repair is subject to debate in current literature. Several previous studies have shown that most athletes return to their preinjury level of competition at 1 year postoperatively, 18, 22 whereas others have found that many athletes never return to their preinjury levels of competition after surgery.2, 16 The current literature has largely utilized the Tegner score as a means by which to compare pre- and postinjury competition levels.2, 16, 18, 22 No studies to date have used objective data, such as goals scored or number of minutes played, to compare onfield athletic performance pre- and postmeniscal injury.
How do I know if my meniscus tear is severe?
Severe – A tear is usually labeled as severe if the meniscus has a big tear. Loose pieces may cause the knee joint to lock or catch. This level of injury may also keep you from bending or straightening your leg and can make walking difficult. Severe tears usually require surgery to repair.
How do I know if my meniscus needs surgery?
Do I Need Surgery for a Meniscus Tear? Medically Reviewed by on June 05, 2023 You have two C-shaped discs of (soft tissue) that connect your thigh bone to your shinbone. These are called menisci. They’re like shock absorbers for your bones. They also help to keep your stable.
- Athletes who play contact sports like football and hockey are prone to meniscus tears.
- But you can also get this injury when you kneel, squat, or lift something heavy.
- The risk of injury increases as you get older, when bones and tissues around the begin to wear down.
- If you tear your meniscus, your leg might swell and feel stiff.
You might feel pain when twisting your knee, or be unable to straighten your leg fully. Treatment for a will depend on its size, what kind it is, and where it’s located within the cartilage. Most likely, your doctor will recommend that you rest, use pain relievers, and apply ice to you knee to keep the swelling down.
- They may also suggest,
- This will help to strengthen the muscles around your knee and keep it stable.
- If these treatments don’t work – or if your injury is severe – they might recommend surgery.
- To be sure, your doctor will probably have an done.
- And they might look at the tear with an arthroscope.
- That’s a thin tool that has a camera and light at the end.
It allows doctors to see inside your joints. If your doctor’s exam shows your meniscus tear is mild (Grade 1 or 2), you may not need surgery. If it’s Grade 3, you probably will. Your doctor might choose to do any of the following:
Arthroscopic repair, Your doctor will make small cuts in your knee. They’ll insert an arthroscope to get a good look at the tear. Then they’ll place small devices that look like darts along the tear to stitch it up. Your body will absorb these over time. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, Your doctor will remove a piece of the torn meniscus so your knee can function normally. Arthroscopic total meniscectomy, During this procedure, your doctor will remove the whole meniscus.
is low-risk. Complications are rare. They may include injury to nerves, infections, and knee stiffness. Your doctor may prescribe to help stave off infection. They may also recommend to help prevent, You may have to wear a brace or cast to keep your knee stable.
- You’ll likely also have to use crutches for at least a month to keep weight off your knee.
- Your doctor may recommend physical therapy as part of your recovery.
- It’ll help increase your range of motion and help your knee get stronger.
- They may also share some exercises you can do at home.
- If you have a partial or total meniscectomy, you can expect your recovery to take about a month.
If your meniscus was repaired, it may take as long as 3 months. © 2023 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. : Do I Need Surgery for a Meniscus Tear?
Does Grade 1 meniscus tear need surgery?
How is a meniscus tear treated? – If your MRI indicates a Grade 1 or 2 tear, but your symptoms and physical exam are inconsistent with a tear, surgery may not be needed. Grade 3 meniscus tears usually require surgery, which may include:
Arthroscopic repair — An arthroscope is inserted into the knee to see the tear. One or two other small incisions are made for inserting instruments. Many tears are repaired with dartlike devices that are inserted and placed across the tear to hold it together. The body usually absorbs these over time. Arthroscopic meniscus repairs typically takes about 40 minutes. Usually you will be able to leave the hospital the same day. Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy — The goal of this surgery is to remove a small piece of the torn meniscus in order to get the knee functioning normally. Arthroscopic total meniscectomy — Occasionally, a large tear of the outer meniscus can best be treated by arthroscopic total meniscectomy, a procedure in which the entire meniscus is removed.