Playing hopscotch, jumping rope, and playing tag are some of the most common children’s games. Chances are you probably played them in your childhood as well. But did you know that even the slightest wrong move can offset your entire balance? As a kid, you probably never had to worry about that. However, as adults, it’s very easy to tear your meniscus and twist your knee.
What’s worse is that recovery can take extremely long. Besides the constant pain, a torn meniscus can take as long as 6 to 8 weeks to heal completely. That, too, without any surgery. But what exactly is a meniscus? How do you tear it? And how can you make it heal faster? If you’re wondering the same, continue reading.
What is a Meniscus?
Your knee has two menisci inside of it. They’re these c-shaped, rubbery cushions that work as shock absorbers. Although tough, a meniscus can easily get damaged. Since the two of them are sandwiched between the shinbone and thighbone, they help with fluid leg movements. This means that when a meniscus tears or gets damaged, it can limit the movement of your leg.
How To Tell You Have a Torn Meniscus?
Sheer pain and discomfort are common symptoms associated with a torn meniscus. However, some people report not feeling any pain after the injury. So, after tearing the meniscus, you might not feel anything is amiss. Essentially it could take up to a day or two for the symptoms to show up. This includes:
- Sharp, Stabbing Pain
- Difficulty Moving Leg
- Hearing Popping Sounds
- Unable to Completely Straighten Leg
- Feeling Like Your Leg is Going to Give Way
What Causes Your Meniscus to Tear?
Exerting too much force can easily disrupt the balance of your knee and menisci. Due to constant or sudden pressure, the shock absorbers might slide out of place or tear completely. Nonetheless, here are some activities that can trigger a torn meniscus:
- Constantly Twisting Your Legs
- Rotating Knees
- Jerking Your Leg Suddenly
- Misaligned Squatting Form
- Improperly Lifting Something Heavy
- Old Age
- Accidentally Landing on The Wrong Foot
How Long Does a Torn Meniscus Take to Heal?
It’s common to wonder if you can treat a torn meniscus at home. And the answer to that is, Yes. You can absolutely treat your injured leg naturally. All it needs is proper elevation and rest. But the main question is, how long does a torn meniscus take to heal completely?
Depending on how well you take care of your injury, you can shorten the recovery time accordingly. Continuously icing it when needed, applying a warm compress, elevating it, and taking pain-relief medications can all be of big help.
However, based on your aftercare strategy, it can take as long as 6 to 8 weeks to heal a meniscus tear without surgery.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If you feel the pain becoming unbearable, so much so you can’t even stand, it’s best to visit a doctor. You might think waiting it out would help, but the quicker you get it checked out, the better it is. A medical professional can help discern if there are any other issues with your injury. They will most likely examine your knee to offer the proper treatment required.
All in all, a torn meniscus can take as long as 6 to 8 weeks to heal. However, if you want to opt for surgery to recover faster, the healing time will shorten considerably.
If you’re still curious and want a professional orthopedic evaluation, visit Rheumatology Care. Our clinic is situated at 13688 Breton Ridge St, STE H, Houston, TX 77070. It’s approximately 131 feet away from Houston Kidney Specialists Center. You can also contact us at (832) 532-9779, so we’re there to help you out every step of the way.