Meniscus Tear Symptoms – What To Pay Attention To?
As with a piece of paper, a meniscus tear can vary in size. Thus the associated symptoms and severity of same can also vary. Oftentimes people cannot pinpoint a specific injury or activity that caused their meniscus tear, so careful observation of meniscus tear symptoms are critical in determining if you have a possible issue that should be evaluated by a physician.
If the time of injury can be identified, small tears can cause a small amount of pain. In the days following the injury, swelling will likely develop. Walking is still possible, though you may feel pain at times. Lifting, squatting or standing up can increase the severity of this pain. Knee pain after exercise is common for a meniscus tear.
Meniscus tear symptoms in a moderate sized tear include pain at the center of the knee and increased pain when twisting or bending or squatting. This pain can increase over the course of a few days and moderate meniscus tear symptoms can occur over a period of one to two weeks.
Meniscus tear symptoms in a large tear can be far more painful, and the source of tear or related injury is usually immediate and apparent. meniscus pain and knee pain are often much more intense in large tears. The knees can pop, click and catch and pieces of the damaged meniscus can come loose and begin to float around. It may be difficult to put weight on the knee and it may feel wobbly and unstable. Periods of the knee “giving away” may be frequent. Often times, large meniscus tears occur with subsequent injuries, such as ligament damage, and therefore the pain can be exponentially greater.
Meniscus tear surgery is used in larger tears or tears causing large amounts of pain. The surgery either involves reattaching the separated pieces, or removing the damaged piece. While increasing the risk for osteoarthritis, the meniscus can sometimes be completely removed, although this is rare. The size of the tear and the location of the tear will determine if surgery is an adequate treatment.
If you have meniscus tear symptoms, it is very important that you see a doctor to evaluate the severity of your injury. Your doctor will decide if the injury requires repair or surgery. Home remedies including rest, compresses, braces and ice can help alleviate symptoms in the meantime.