Why do meniscus tears require surgery?

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10:30 AM

Why do meniscus tears require surgery?

One of the more common types of injuries that occur related to your knee is a meniscus tear. This is when the cartilage that cushions your shinbone from your thigh bone is torn. This can occur because of a forceful twister rotation and can be extremely painful.

What makes this type of injury so common is that it can occur anywhere. You do not need to be participating in a sport or doing heavy labour around your house to rotate your knee in such a way as to tear the cartilage. This can occur when you fall on a step wrong, when you are doing gardening, even out for a walk. Plus, it can happen to people of all ages. Boys and girls in their teens as well as elderly men and women suffer meniscus tears.

Doctors use medical devices to help diagnose and prevent these types of injuries, but they can still occur anyway.


What to Do about a Meniscus Tear?

If you have torn your meniscus, you are likely going to find that your doctor will recommend you getting surgery. A lot of patients do not want to undergo a surgical procedure and are looking for alternatives to going under the knife. This may be you, as you wonder if you really need to have surgery for a meniscus tear. The reality is, you do.

A little anatomy is important to explain this first. There are two discs of cartilage that connect your thigh bone to your shinbone. These are known as menisci. They act as a type of shock absorber for your bones. This also helps to keep your knee stable.

If you should tear your meniscus, on few things will occur. While you will still be able to walk, even run, you are likely going to find that your leg will swell and feel stiff. Even though you are able to still twist your knee, you will find that it will be painful to do so. However, you will find that it is difficult to straighten your leg completely and that your leg may feel unstable.

For some, this may be acceptable. They are okay with not having a full range of motion or suffering from some pain and discomfort, choosing that option over having surgery. However, one must understand that this is not the way to deal with such an injury.

Such an injury can lead to damage to your nerves, infections, and knee stiffness. It can also limit your mobility and make your leg unstable. This could lead to you falling or tripping, potentially getting hurt further, maybe even more seriously.

While the injury to the meniscus itself may not be too significant for you, the concern is the potential for further injury or infection. This is where the real risk lay.


There Is Minimal Risk in the Surgery

One thing that needs to be understood is that this is considered to be a very low risk type of surgery. You may be on crutches for as long as a month to keep weight off the knee and you will likely have to wear a brace to stabilize your leg for a few weeks, but there is minimal risk of any complication. Therefore, the benefits far outweigh the potential side effects.