The meniscus is located on top of the tibia and faces towards the bottom of the femur. The medial and lateral menisci are two crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structures that help the meniscus. They help to provide stability and reduce friction during movement. Another function of the meniscus is to disperse the body's weight across the knee.
The meniscus is made up of fibrocartilage, which consists of a mixture of white fibrous tissue and cartilaginous tissue. Fibrocartilage is the only type of cartilage that contains Type 1 collagen in addition to the normal Type 2.
Top view of meniscus
Many people want the "quick fix", but is it the best choice? Athletes or people whose jobs require them to use their legs are more likely to want the "quick fix". In this case, an orthopedic surgeon will recommend that you have arthroscopic surgery. Surgeons recommend surgery for the inner part of the meniscus because there is no direct blood supply to this area. It's the fastest way to get you back to living pain-free, but it comes with risks and your orthopedic surgeon will tell you that.
The procedure is called meniscectomy (Figure A). The surgeon will perform a partial removal of the menisci (or meniscus) where it has been torn. In the short term you feel better because the torn tissue has been removed, and that was the reason you were feeling the pain. Remember, that part of the meniscus will never grow back. Now that the meniscus (fibrocartilage) has been removed it leaves that section of the tibia exposed. As a result, you now have the tibia and femur rubbing against one another causing friction. Also, the natural cushion the meniscus provides between the bones has been removed and the weight of your body is no longer being dispersed evenly across the knee. Degeneration, such as Arthritis, can start to develop where the menisci / meniscus has been removed. The meniscus could experience another tear, or worse it could eventually lead you to having knee replacement surgery.
Meniscectomy Figure A. (Patellar ligament, ACL, PCL have been removed to better demonstrate procedure)
Torn meniscus surgical tools inserted.
Remove torn meniscus by cutting out section.
Shave and trim excess damaged meniscus tissue.
Meniscus repair (Figure B) is the second type of surgical procedure that can be performed on a meniscus injury. Instead of removing the part of the meniscus that has been torn, the surgeon will suture the tear back together. He or she will first clear any debris and clean up any smaller tears. At this point the surgeon will insert an anchor through the meniscus tissue and attach it to the capsule of the joint. The sutures will be pulled down and tightened. Several sutures may be used to stitch the meniscus back together and will act like an anchor keeping it in place.
Meniscus Repair Figure B. (Patellar ligament, ACL, PCL have been removed to better demonstrate procedure)
Meniscus surgical tools inserted. Put meniscus back into place
Anchors inserted into the capsule of the tibia. Small tear sutured.
In worst case scenarios surgery may be your only option, but for most meniscus tears conservative treatment works best! Letting your body heal naturally is your best chance of having a better recovery. Using King Brand's® combination therapy can help speed up your recovery time. Starting with our RCCE process (Rest, Cold, Compression and Elevation) you can begin the healing process without the use of anti-inflammatory medications or surgical procedures. Our custom-designed Knee ColdCure® Wrap and RigiGel® fit the shape of your knee and provide you with deep cooling and long-lasting relief that will help in the reduction of pain and swelling. Once you have managed the pain and swelling (inflammation) with King Brand's® Knee ColdCure® technology you can move to the next step and use our patented BFST® (Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy®). Our Knee BFST® Wrap uses our Energy Web® technology to produce EMR (Electro Magnetic Radiation) that stimulates blood flow to deep tissue injuries. Increased blood flow provides injured tissue with nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood which helps damaged tissue repair itself.
If surgery is the only option for you, our products can help with your recovery. As stated above, our Knee ColdCure® compression product will help reduce the pain and swelling after your surgery. When the pain and swelling are gone, use our Knee BFST® product to help increase blood flow to the area and speed up your recovery time.
(Click image to enlarge)
Try to remember that you need to stay off the leg that has the meniscus tear until it has properly healed. Use crutches so you do not walk while your leg is trying to heal. Another option is to have your leg put into a cast, to guarantee you will not move your leg during the healing process, (your surgeon may even do this after surgery). The minimum time you should be off your leg is 6 to 8 weeks. After 6 to 8 weeks you should consult a physiotherapist about starting exercises that will help to rebuild strength and prevent another meniscus tear. Continue to use King Brand's® combination therapy through your recovery process with the physiotherapist.
You don't have to wait. You can heal much more quickly with the right treatment at home. King Brand Healthcare Products® are the innovators of Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy® (BFST®). Blood flow brings oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the injured area - a requirement for the body to heal itself. Unfortunately blood flow is restricted while an injured meniscus is at rest, which in turn limits the body's ability to heal. Physical activity will promote blood flow but all too often it also results in minor but frequent re-injury, which extends your healing time and greatly increases the amount of scar tissue that develops. With a King Brand® Knee BFST® therapy device, blood flow can be stimulated in the injured meniscus area while you're at rest. With improved blood flow, and without physical activity and the risk of re-injury, you can recover from your meniscus injury at a rapid rate.
The number one problem with pain killers is that they mask the pain and make you think you are okay to return to your normal activities, which can cause you to re-injure your meniscus. This only makes things worse. It is understandable that people need relief from pain, so if you have to take pain killers try to restrict them to times when you are asleep.
King Brand Healthcare Products® manufactures a ColdCure® cold compression wrap specifically for treating Meniscus-related pain. This innovative device is incredibly soothing and protects your knee from further injury.
NSAIDs such as ASA, acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often used to treat pain, but these drugs do nothing to treat the actual condition. In fact, NSAIDs are known blood thinners and make the bleeding worse for fresh tissue injuries. Cortisone injections are used in extreme cases, but these too are intended to address pain and do not promote healing of the injury itself.