Dr. Carlos Rebollón

Treatment for
Meniscus tear

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Meniscus tear

Meniscus tear

A meniscus tear causes a number of symptoms in the patient, which can often limit their lifestyle; however, with proper care and treatment it is possible to solve the problem in a short period of time.

The meniscus tear is a very common type of injury in the knees, since any joint movement that requires twisting and turning with considerable force can cause mild, moderate or severe damage to this cartilaginous area.

Although meniscal tears can occur due to various factors and at any age, men are usually the most affected by this problem.

How to heal a meniscus tear?

In most cases, the meniscus tear can be successfully resolved by applying conservative treatment such as the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation).

Medications are also important at this point, as they will serve to relieve pain and inflammation for the first few days, giving the meniscus a chance to heal on its own.

Although most cases can be solved with rest, cold compresses, anti-inflammatories and painkillers, there may also be more complex meniscus tears that require surgery for full recovery.

Conservative treatment for meniscus tear

Tratamiento Quirurgico Para Rotura De Menisco

The diagnosis of a meniscus tear can be confirmed through a physical examination, where the specialist will place both the knee and leg in different positions to identify the cause of the discomfort; likewise, your orthopedist will likely rely on imaging tests (MRI or X-ray) to detect the exact location of the tear and rule out a ligamentous injury.

Generally, treatment begins moderately, treating the lesion according to its characteristics (type, size and location). The symptoms of the condition progressively improve with time and medical recommendations, so surgery is recommended in very few cases.

The first step in the recovery process is rest, preventing any activity that may aggravate the pain. The application of ice for at least 15 minutes every 4 to 6 hours is very useful to reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain.

In addition, the treating physician may prescribe some medications to reduce the typical aches and pains associated with a meniscus tear.

Surgical treatment for meniscus tear

If you continue to experience knee discomfort (locking, stiffness, weakness, pain, etc.) after following conventional and therapeutic treatment guidelines, you will most likely need to undergo simple surgery to repair the meniscal tear.

In Panama and other countries, the procedure for this surgery is performed by arthroscopy, making small incisions around the knee to access the internal cavity and suture the meniscus with special surgical techniques.

After surgery, the patient must comply with a rehabilitation exercise plan that will allow him/her to recover the stability, mobility and strength of the knee.

Physiotherapeutic treatment for meniscal tear

Physiotherapy has shown multiple benefits in the early treatment of meniscus tears; taking care of strengthening the articular area, helping in the recovery of movement, relieving pain and preventing future chronification.

The techniques used in physiotherapy are very varied, so the physiotherapist will be responsible for designing a plan and apply the most appropriate for each particular patient. These techniques can range from draining massages to electrostimulation therapies; maintaining the common objective of strengthening the joint and restoring regular mobility to muscles, tendons and ligaments in a short period of time.

Tratamiento Fisioterapeutico Para Rotura De Menisco

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscal tear is a tear injury that occurs when improper twisting or turning is exerted on the knee; especially when the weight of the body is falling directly on the joint area.

Each of the knees has two cartilaginous discs located between the femur and tibia, which act as a sponge to absorb the impacts of the movements made with the limb and to evenly distribute the weight of the loads; therefore, when a meniscus tear occurs, in addition to feeling pain, the person may also see some mobility functions limited.

What causes a meniscus tear?

Meniscal tears are very frequent in sports practice, since many of these activities demand a great muscular effort in legs and joints (soccer, tennis, skiing, basketball, etc.) regularly leading the athlete to take sudden and aggressive positions such as pivots, stops, turns, squats and more.

Obesity, aging and constant heavy lifting often increase the risk of experiencing a meniscal tear. On the other hand, people suffering from arthritis or other degenerative diseases are also more vulnerable to suffer from this type of problem.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

It is common that the damage caused to the meniscus does not present symptoms instantly, these may take about 24 hours to appear; even more, when it is a small tear.

The main symptoms of a meniscal tear are:

Cuales Son Los Sintomas De Una Rotura De Menisco

Clicking or popping noises at the time of injury, and subsequently with flexion of the joint.

Localized pain.

Joint inflammation caused by synovial effusion.


Limitation to fully extend the knee.

Sensation of joint locking.


Although the knee has two different menisci, the discomfort in both menisci is similar; therefore, defining the exact point of pain is something that is very difficult for patients before the consultation. However, medical expertise leads us as professionals in Panama to note the different characteristics to establish a concrete and accurate diagnosis.

What is the recovery time after treatment?

Recovery time after a meniscus tear is much less than for any other type of joint injury. Generally, conventionally treated meniscal tears are satisfactorily resolved within 2 to 3 weeks after the event.

If your meniscal tear warranted repair surgery, recovery may take 4 to 6 weeks. It should be noted that these times may vary, since each patient has his or her own particular way of healing.

Types of meniscus tears

As mentioned above, each knee has 2 menisci; one on its inner side (medial meniscus) and the other on its outer side (lateral meniscus); both are intended to prevent the femur and tibia from making direct contact or rubbing against each other.

The medial meniscus is located between the tibia and the internal femoral condyle, while the lateral meniscus is next to the tibia and the external femoral condyle.

Delving even deeper into the subject, each meniscus has an intrinsic structure composed of three parts, all of which are areas vulnerable to a tear; these parts are:

The posterior horn.

Anterior horn.

The body.

Generally, the medial meniscus (especially in its posterior horn) is the most prone to injury. To avoid a chronification of the meniscal injury, it is recommended to see an orthopedist in Panama for any abnormal symptoms in the knee area.

Tipos De Rotura De Menisco
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