Knee injuries Liverpool | Meniscus Injuries
Meniscus injuries can be a common injury for a sports person, sports like football and rugby etc can put a stress on the meniscus during twisting and turning actions leading to a tear. They are challenging to treat and the recovery process can be long due to their lack of vascularity meaning there is a poor blood supply to the area. These sort of injuries tend to be more common in younger patients where a common approach would be aiming to preserve the meniscus and prevent long term development of osteoarthritis.
There are a variety of treatment options for meniscus injuries which all need to be individual to the patient taking into account the pattern of the tear, associated injuries, age and the sporting or lifestyle activities of the patient.
Options for treatment?
This type of repair is suitable for specific types of meniscus injuries, the tear could often be unstable and run in a vertical-longitudinal direction on the outside of the meniscus. Another tear commonly treated with this approach is a bucket handle tear where the patient would complain of a locked knee. A quick repair here can help prevent long term loss of motion at the knee.
Once the repair is done there is a long rehabilitation protocol to follow to protect the meniscus while it is healing.
This is a partial menisectomy and is the most common form of surgery for meniscus tears. This procedure involves removing the damaged segment of the meniscus which helps relieve the pain and reduce the symptoms associated with the injury. This procedure is often indicated when the other options of masterly neglect and meniscal repair have a low chance of success.
A individulised rehabilitation post surgery is vital to ensure the best recovery and return to activities possible. The rehab is specific to the procedure that has been performed. In a partial menisectomy mobilisations should be performed within the limits of pain. Exercises for the quadriceps and hamstrings can help maintain strength and protect the knee joint. Within a few days of surgery the patient can return to low impact activities and start to advance their activity as soon as the pain and swelling allow.
If the patient has had a meniscal repair then the rehabilitation is much slower. Early weight bearing is encouraged but movements like a squat are not allowed. Low impact activities can be introduced gradually with progression to exercises like running before advancing to agility drills to stress the meniscus then specific exercises that relate to the patients sport or lifestyle.