Our active lifestyles can put a lot of stress on our bodies, especially on our joints and ligaments. One of the most commonly injured parts of the knee is the meniscus – a rubbery piece of cartilage that helps with stability and cushioning between the thigh bone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). Each knee has a lateral meniscus (on the outer side of the knee) and a medial meniscus (on the inner side of the knee).
If you’ve suffered a torn meniscus and undergone surgery to repair it, patients’ most common question is, “Can you tear your meniscus again after surgery?” The short answer is yes. A 2020 study reported that 36% of medial meniscus surgeries required a repeat meniscus repair or partial removal of the meniscus after five or more years.
Meniscus Tear Rehabilitation
After surgery, meniscus surgery patients commonly undergo physical therapy as a crucial component of their recovery. This aids in enhancing joint strength, stability, and mobility, enabling individuals to resume their regular activities. Typically, postsurgical physical therapy programs span around four to six weeks.
Inadequate rehabilitation can hinder the healing process and elevate the likelihood of future injuries. It may also result in gait problems that place additional strain on the knee, resulting in discomfort.
Several factors can negatively impact rehabilitation, including:
- Failure to attend scheduled physical therapy appointments
- Neglecting to perform essential exercises
- Prematurely returning to certain physical activities
Signs of Re-injury
If you’ve had meniscus surgery and experience any of the following symptoms, there is a chance that you may have a meniscus re-tear:
- Pain in the knee or lower leg
- Swelling or stiffness
- Popping or crunching sensation when moving the knee
- Loss of range of motion in the knee joint
- Weakness or instability
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to see a doctor right away.
Prevention of Meniscus Tear
Preventing accidents can be tough, but you can do things to reduce your risk of re-injury. These include:
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
- Wearing shoes with good arch support
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding extreme or repetitive movements
- Resting when needed and avoiding activities that cause pain
Other Long-Term Problems
Re-injury of the meniscus could lead to additional damage, such as cartilage wear and tear, arthritis, or ligament damage. This is because the reduced shock absorption in the joint can lead to gradual breakdown over time.
If you’ve had meniscus surgery, following your doctor’s instructions and taking measures to protect your knee joint is crucial. This includes strengthening exercises, proper stretching, wearing supportive shoes, and getting plenty of rest. With proper care, you can reduce the risk of re-injury and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.
Get in touch with our team of experts today to learn how to take care of your joints and stay healthy!