If an individual continues to run with a torn meniscus, it will only worsen the injury since the meniscus is a knee cartilage which is the substance that helps absorb shock while running. The meniscus cartilage also provides cushioning on the bones that comprise the joint, thus they do not rub together when the knee is bent and straightened.
A torn meniscus not only disrupts the ability of the knee to stabilize the joint movement, it also causes pain once the knee bends and makes it unsuitable for weight-bearing activities such as running. Once an individual is suspected with a torn meniscus, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Signs and symptoms of a torn meniscus
When an individual ends up with a torn meniscus, he/she might end up with a popping or tearing sensation in the knee that is followed by joint pain that can range from moderate or severe.
Even though some individuals are still capable of walking or running, these movements can cause pain and can feel as if the affected knee is too weak to continue supporting the body weight. In just a short span of time, a torn meniscus can stiffen and swell which prevents the individual from running. Proper assessment by a doctor is required in order to determine the degree of damage on the knee.
Managing a torn meniscus
Depending on the location and size of the tear, the doctor might prescribe several treatment options. Small-sized tears or tears that are located where a blood supply is abundant can heal on their own.
It is vital to stop all running activities and apply an ice pack to reduce the pain and swelling experienced by the individual. The affected knee must be allowed to rest in an elevated position. These are the best treatment options for a torn meniscus. After 2-3 weeks, the doctor might recommend rehabilitative exercises such as leg extensions to straighten out the knee.
What happens when running with a torn meniscus?
The individual should not return to his/her exercise program until the doctor will allow him/her to do so. If the individual continues to run with an unhealed meniscus tear, he/she is at risk for long-term or lasting damage to the knee. Some of this damage would require knee surgery that has a 5-month recovery period.
What is meniscectomy?
When it comes to chronic cases of meniscus injuries that are aggravated by running or exercising once the cartilage has not fully healed, meniscectomy is carried out by a doctor arthroscopically.
The doctor will take away or trim out the damaged cartilage from the rest of the healthy meniscus cartilage in an attempt to reduce the pain in the knee and eliminate the popping and weakness. Many individuals who undergo this procedure can recover and able to return to normal activities as well as sports.