How a doctor treats a meniscus tear will depend on the type of tear you have, the size and specific location of the tear.
If your tear is small and on the outer edge of the meniscus, it may not require surgical repair. As long as your symptoms do not persist and your knee remains stable, non-surgical treatment may be all that is required.
RICE. The RICE protocol is effective for many sports-related injuries. RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- Rest: Patient should refrain from participating in demanding physical activities, particularly the activity that caused the injury.
- Ice: Use cold packs of crushed ice for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day with at least one hour between icing sessions.
- Compression: To prevent additional swelling and blood loss, wear an elastic compression bandage. Consult a doctor to insure that you are doing so safely and correctly.
- Elevation: To reduce swelling, recline when resting, elevating the injured extremity (leg) above the level of the heart.
Non-Steroidal Medicine: Medication like ibuprofen and aspirin may be used to reduce pain and swelling.
If symptoms continue after non-surgical treatment, consult a doctor. They may recommend arthroscopic surgery or another course of treatment.
Knee arthroscopy is a commonly performed surgical procedure in which a miniature camera is inserted through a small incision to explore the injury internally. This provides a clear view of the inside of the knee and allows the surgeon to inserts small surgical instruments through other portals to trim or repair the tear in a minimally invasive surgical procedure.