A torn meniscus can be a nagging injury or just part of the aging process. The knee injury is actually very common and can occur from vigorous exercise, or even something as simple as getting out of the car. The meniscus is often a very treatable cartilage which plays a vital part of your knee joint. It’s vital because it’s located just between the cartilage surfaces of your bone and it helps to stabilize and redistribute the weight as it bears down on the joint. This part of the knee joint injury is common with as many as 200,000 reported cases. Keep in mind there’s likely significantly more people with this meniscus damage who never seeks treatment.
We’re going to cover a little bit about the knee joint structure and then share just how and why stem cell therapy from Summit Health Centers is an excellent choice for you.
A torn meniscus can happen due to injury or a degenerative process as in aging. Meniscus tear treatment and recovery can range from the typical protocol of rest, ice, compression, elevation, to exercises and getting a brace. But if the damage is too much then you’re going to want to look at stem cell therapy and avoid surgery whenever possible.
What Is the Meniscus?
The meniscus is a type of cartilage in your knee joint. The meniscus sits between the cartilage surfaces of the bone to distribute weight and to improve the stability of the joint. This is important as the knee joint is used in most activities. You’re about to discover what happens when you tear your meniscus and how these tears are treated.
The three bones that make up the knee are the femur (thigh bone), your tibia (your shin bone) and your knee cap which is called your patella. Cartilage is the softer rubbery layer that allows for the bones to have less friction and rub against each with smoothly and the goal is ultimately to protect the bones. The two menisci (The medial meniscus resides on the inner side area of your knee and the lateral meniscus is found on the outer side of your knee) work in thier respective locations to allow for smooth gliding movement by your knees.
The menisci functions as a coating for the bone that protects and stablizes. The coating is very strong and it conforms to the shape of your bones. It’s a customized protective coat resting between the femur and the tibia. The smooth gliding as well as weight distribution is important. If the cartilage is damaged it may lead to arthritis of the knee joint as well as the trade mark ‘catching’ or locking of the knee joint that often is an indication of damage.
What Does Your Meniscus Look Like?
It’s wedged in a C-shape fashion and it keeps the rounded surface of your thigh bone (femur) from grinding against the top of your tibia. There is a center section which does not get nourished by small blood vessels which is why if this is damaged it is very difficult to get this area to heal. When the blood vessels are not present it called avascular.
Common Meniscus Tears.
It’s common for athletes to experience this injury because of the tremendous stresses put on the knee joints during extreme physical exertion. The other most common meniscus tear occurs due to ‘Father Time’. In other words, the degenerative processes accompanied with just getting older.
The meniscus has a role in stabilization of the knee joint so when there is an injury to the knee such as MCL (medial collateral ligament) or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) it will often mean that the meniscus will have damage too. Sports injuries see this type of mulitple injury, but a wrong step off of the curb or even just coming down your stairs in your home may lead to this type of multiple injury to your knee.
What Is The Difference Between Cartilage Damage and Meniscus Tear?
The distinction is often when talking about a torn cartilage it is likely the meniscus vs the articular cartilage which covers the conforms to the ends of bones. The Menisci are made of cartilage and are prone to tear due to thier position within the knee, whereas the cartilage coating the ends of your bones may grind down, but are less likely to experience a tear.
Common Symptoms With A Torn Meniscus.
The pain and swelling in your knee area is a common indicator. The trademark ‘joint locking’ or ‘catching’ which may lead to not being able to straighten or bend the knee out of a locked position. The pain is intense in most cases and the ‘locking’ is occurring becuase the smooth cartilage is no longer smooth where the tear has occurred.
Here’s a short, but not complete list of the types of symptoms you may experience with torn cartilage or a meniscus tear.
- Knee Pain
- Swelling of knee
- Catching, locking, joint seizing up.
- loud pops.
- painful clicking in knee joint.
- not being able to pin point the pain location in knee
- tender to touch
- range of motion restricted
How to Diagnose and Treatment.
X-rays and MRI are the sure way to know if you have a meniscus tear, but if you’re suffering from many of the symptoms then it’s extremely likely that you’ve damaged your meniscus. Traditionally doctors will either want to cut a portion off (called a meniscectomy) or sew together the meniscus or even a transplant. All surgical options should be the last resort. The lack of blood vessels in the meniscus leads to difficulting in healing. Plus the long list of risks associated with surgery.
How We May Be Able To Help.
Regenerative medicine is a natural option, non-surgical and no drugs options to help your torn meniscus. The stem cell therapy helps your body to rebuild and repair the way that your body was intended to repair. At the cellular level. The cells go where they are needed and do what needs done. We would love to help you understand how stem cell therapy works and how this breakthrough medical technology is helping thousands of people just like you. Get the facts. Call Summit Health Centers today and discover how you too, may benefit from the power of stem cell therapy.