The knee is back in the spotlight. Due to its anatomical location, it is a frequent object of domestic and sports accidents. Its main function is to shorten and lengthen the limb, as well as to position the foot correctly in space. This role often makes him vulnerable, even in minor accidents such as crooking or simply squatting. The result is in most cases a damaged or torn meniscus.
Role and function of the menisci
The knee is a complex joint in which the bones of the lower leg and thigh are articulated. The menisci are two / inner and outer, made of cartilage and have a crescent shape. They are located in the joint between the bones that make it together. In this way, they help to better distribute the load from the thigh to the lower leg, giving additional stability and smoothness of movement in the joint. In its outer part, the menisci are woven into the joint capsule and are supplied with blood. Lesions in this area are often treated conservatively, with rehabilitation. In its inner part, the menisci become avascular. Surgery is often required in this area due to the poor regenerative capacity of the tissue. Statistically, the frequency of involvement of the inner (medial) meniscus compared to the outer (lateral) is significantly higher. Often in practice a lesion of the meniscus is not considered in isolation, but in combination with the affected anterior-cruciate ligament.
Torn meniscus – symptoms
A torn meniscus can cause acute blockage of the knee, as well as chronic symptoms, joint pain and swelling. In case of joint blockage and swelling, unfolding is limited. The range of motion in the joint is also limited in terms of flexion. Often the patient experiences knee instability, leading to impaired support function. The clinical picture can occur without joint blockage and affecting the supporting function of the limb. This depends entirely on the location and manner of involvement of the meniscus.
Treatment for a torn meniscus can be conservative or operative. Conservative treatment takes place entirely in the form of physiotherapy and kinesitherapy, where after overcoming the pain and swelling, a key place is occupied by building strong thigh muscles. Surgical treatment is performed arthroscopically. Depending on the location and degree of involvement, at the discretion of the operator, the meniscus may be sutured or the site of meniscus involvement may be thoroughly cleaned by removing the affected area. Here, too, the recovery period with kinesitherapy is extremely important for the success of the surgical intervention. Applying adequate physical load to the affected joint, in accordance with the operative intervention, is key for the maximum functional recovery.
Prevention of knee injuries
- maintain a stable weight, if necessary – adjust;
- make sure you warm up enough before a workout;
- train consciously for strong thigh muscles;
- observe the principle of gradual loading;
- allow the body to recover after a workout;
- eat well.