What Happens When a Meniscus Injury Needs Surgery?

After the doctor has exhausted all kinds of treatment, yet you are still in excruciating pain at the knee area, the doctor may suggest that you undergo an MRI test. An MRI test is useful when an injury happens to soft tissues or affects your nervous system, and your meniscus falls into the former category. MRI test is an important step before a decision to do a meniscus surgery is made.

MRI Test for Meniscus Injury

Based on the MRI result, the doctor has about 70 to 90 percent accuracy regarding the extent of your meniscus injury. Intact meniscus is shown black in the MRI imaging. If there is a tear, it appears white. This is how the doctor determines whether your meniscus is indeed injured or not, and how serious generally.

Meniscus injury can be categorised into several grades. Grade 1 and 2 injuries cannot be seen clearly in an MRI image, meaning that the injury is not severe and may have a good chance to heal itself fully with proper rest and therapy. However, if it is Grade 3 and clearly indicated in the MRI image, the doctor might want to investigate further.

Arthroscopic Investigations

This is when the doctor makes use of an instrument called arthroscope. Comes into being from two Greek words ’arthron’ and ‘skopein’ which means ‘joint’ and ‘look at’, the function of the instrument is to look at the injured joint. Arthroscope does this with the help of a small camera and light source at the end of it, and by attaching its cable to a small TV-like screen, the doctor is able to see the injured meniscus up close.

However, to use this instrument, the doctor needs to make small incision on your knee to enable the arthroscope to be inserted into the area where the meniscus is. By using this instrument, the doctor can finally see in real how extensive the damage or tear is to your meniscus, and at the same time, the repair or treatment of your knee can begin. So, this two-in-one technique can save time and avoid inflicting several times of pain at the injured location. It is also less risky and far less invasive than open surgery: https://sgbonedoctor.com/our-services/procedures/meniscus-repair/

Different Types of Surgeries for Meniscus Repair

There are three ways a doctor may do a surgery to your torn meniscus, all possible through the same arthroscopic incision. The doctor will do basic arthroscopic repair if the tear is repairable by stitching. A type of absorbable stitch is used so that the doctor does not need to reopen the incision and remove the stitches later.

The second and third types of surgery is partial and total meniscectomy. As with other treatments requiring ‘-ectomy’ or removal of the affected area, partial meniscectomy means the doctor needs to remove a small portion of your meniscus to give chance for your knee to gain its full function again. While for total meniscectomy, unfortunately the whole of meniscus needs to be removed by the doctor.

In conclusion, the patients who need to undergo meniscus surgery have no cause to worry because it is low risk. Serious complications are almost unheard of, which means it is rare. The common precaution after surgery applies, such as taking care of the incision area to avoid infection and having proper rest.

Understanding Meniscus Injuries, Tears and Surgery

Our knee has its own shock absorbers and stabilisers. It is a pair of cartilage called meniscus, or in plural, menisci. The weight of our body is dispersed through this cartilage and it also prevents friction during our bodily movement.

If you ask where it is in our body, it is not obvious like our ankle. This C-shaped soft tissue connects our thigh bone to our shin bone and its location is considerably hidden, surrounding the kneecap bone, immediately below it. Due to its location, usually serious injuries or tears to menisci will lead to a knee surgery.

How Can Someone Get a Meniscus Injury or Tear?

When we get older it is common that the tissues and bones all over our body wear down, including at the area of our knee. Even ordinary movement and body position such as kneeling, heavy-lifting and squatting can pose certain risk of injury to the elderly.

In cases of younger people, usually athletes who undergo rigorous training, participate in sports that require much contacts between players like hockey, football or rugby, and those who take part in vigorous recreational activities like hiking or climbing, are in serious risks of meniscus tear or injury. When the knee must bear burden more than it can take, meniscus tears and injuries may occur.

What Happens When Our Meniscus Gets Injured?

There are signs and symptoms that we should be aware of when we suspect our meniscus is injured. We may feel a popping sensation in our knee. We may also feel that our knee is locked when we try to move it. This is because the soft tissue is no longer elastic and able to reduce friction like it was in its healthy condition and can no longer accommodate smooth movements.

Once the knee becomes locked, we will not be able to twist or rotate our knees due the pain and stiffness. The area will get swollen and the swell might spread to our whole leg. If we try to straighten our leg, it is will be very difficult and painful due to the swelling.

Are There Any First Aid Treatments for Knee Injuries?

If we find ourselves, our loved ones or anyone at all having to face this situation, the first thing that we can do to help is to provide them some ways to cool the joints and then support the knee with bandages to reduce pressure on the injured area. The next best course of action is to find a general practitioner to check the seriousness of the injury. If it is proved to be serious, then some immediate measures will be suggested by the doctors to repair or treat the injury.

Can a Meniscus Injury Heal by Itself?

Some of us probably afraid about the prospect of going to see a doctor, especially if it involves surgery. But is it necessary for a torn or injured meniscus to be treated with surgery? In fact, it is not. While the best time for injured or torn meniscus to be operated on is as soon as it was found to be in the condition, the meniscus can heal itself if the injury affects only one-third of the outermost layer of the meniscus.

However, only a doctor can determine how bad is an injury. Hence, always visit the doctor and seek advice from experts before it becomes worse, even if you think the injury is too minor to worry about.

Meniscus Repair: How It is Done and Prevention of Meniscus Injury

Your doctor delivers you his findings based on your MRI test result. Your meniscus tear is diagnosed as Grade 3 and found to be severe. Thus, there is no chances for it to heal itself like you always heard among your friends. Luckily, it does not need total or even partial removal. Your torn meniscus only requires a minimal surgery, called an arthroscopic repair. This is because the tear is not deformed and without any secondary degeneration yet, which will be a different story altogether.

Now, most of us know that meniscus repair procedure is not an invasive surgery, but you cannot imagine how it is going to be done through that small incision, and what it takes to prevent similar injuries in the future.

Meniscal Fixation or Fixing Your Meniscus

As with any other repair procedure, the main aim is to reconstruct or rebuilt the injured part, and in your case, it is the torn meniscus. The truth is, the term is quite misleading, because a torn meniscus is irreparable. The procedure only involves a fixation, made available by development of medical technology.

The fixation requires that the tear be ‘stitched’ with something. The doctors will use fixation devices that act as fasteners such as darts, screws, or arrows. This device will hold the torn parts together and over time it will be absorbed by the body. The procedure is securely done through a small incision at the knee area, and with the assistance of an instrument called arthroscope. With a tiny camera and source of light at the end of the instrument, the doctor can administer the treatment.

If you worry about the side effects of meniscus surgery or whether it will affect your active lifestyle afterwards, you might find relief in knowing that latest advancement in medical technology has made available the kinds of fixation devices that allow for tension around the repaired area. Additionally, the fixation device is now more flexible and can move along with the meniscus when you are moving, hence reducing the risk of future injury at the same spot.

How to Prevent Meniscus Injury

After surgery and recovery period of about three months, you may start exercising regularly to strengthen your muscle and tissue, hence strengthening your knee and meniscus area. Never forget to warm up sufficiently before each exercise session so that your body can tune up to oncoming pressure and force.

However, make sure that your body gets ample rests between heavy exercise days because it will need time to repair itself. Find yourself suitable shoes for your activities so that it may support your body and movements. If you want to increase the intensity of your workout, do it gradually, not abruptly.

Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that you seek your doctor’s advice first before returning to your routine especially if you are involved in contact sports such as hockey, rugby and football, or enjoy vigorous recreational activities like hiking or climbing. Although most younger patients can be active again without much concerns after meniscus surgery, your condition may be different from others.

Emails and Cyber security

Free email accounts provided by services like Google, Yahoo, Rediffmail or Hotmail are very useful for correspondences. They have the largest number of users around the world. Not only do these free email providers make sharing of emails easier but they also provide additional features such as sharing anything in the form of attachments, more storage space, spam filtering and protection from certain kinds of viruses.

Because these are free accounts, online cyber security in Singapore is not guaranteed at all times. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while downloading, opening or sharing emails and attachments.

Verify source – Always check the source of the mail. If the sender’s address is not familiar or trustworthy, it is best not to open that attachment. Spam emails or Spoof emails should at best be deleted without opening. If the email looks suspicious do not open it at any cost.

Keep software updated – Use reliable anti-virus software, malwares, and spywares on your computer. Update these continuously so that the protection provided by them is always up to date. Activate firewalls to get internet protection. Enable the option of automatically updating these anti-viruses on your operating system.

Cancel automatic downloads – Many email providers provide their users with the option of automatically downloading email attachments. If possible turn off this option. This would prevent viruses from affecting your computer.

Save and Scan – Always scan any kind of an attachment before opening or downloading it on to your computer. Scan the file using your computer’s own anti-virus software. Remove any viruses detected and then open the attachment.

Use separate accounts – It is advisable to have separate accounts for different purposes. Have an account for exchanging business emails and another for exchanging correspondences with your family and friends. Because business emails are sent by outsiders and from different service providers, they are more likely to have viruses that can affect your computer.

Use additional security – An effective way of maintaining email security is using certain filters and marking certain unwanted emails as ‘spam’. Block certain addresses to reduce spam emails. The spam tagging feature helps the user to review suspected emails before deleting them. Once marked as spam, those emails will not be delivered to your account as primary mail.

Be careful – Lastly, be a careful and considerate user. Do not share your details (password, email id) with anyone and everyone. Also do not share suspicious emails.

Advanced Excel – Linking, Moving / Copying and Protecting Spreadsheets

If you have a workbook with multiple spreadsheets; linking, moving or copying spreadsheets is very useful.

Linking spreadsheets helps you to access and reference data contained elsewhere in a workbook. For example, there is a spreadsheet with the data of the quarterly expenditures of your department and another spreadsheet with the total expenditures of your department. If these two spreadsheets are linked, updating the data on any one would automatically update the other one.

* Open the two spreadsheets. Select the cells in the source location (one with the quarterly expenditures) that has to be linked with the target spreadsheet (one with the total expenditure).

* Right click on the selected cells. Click Copy on the menu that appears.

* Go to the target location and select the cells where the source data has to be pasted.

* Right click on the selected cells. Click on the Paste Link icon.

Now, whenever the source data is updated the target location will automatically get updated.

Moving or Copying spreadsheets in a workbook is possible.

* On the bottom of the spreadsheet, right click the spreadsheet tab you want to move.

* On the menu that appears, click on Move or Copy.

* Go to Before Sheet on the Move or Copy window that appears. Select where you want to move the currently selected spreadsheet. Then click OK. The spreadsheet will now be placed before the selected position.

* If you want to copy the selected spreadsheet to a different location, click on the Create a Copy checkbox under Before Sheet in the Move or Copy window. Click OK. A copy of the spreadsheet is now available in the desired location.

Protecting spreadsheets is done by locking them.

* Go to Review and click on Protect Sheet. On the Protect Sheet window select Protect worksheet and contents of locked cell.

* Enter a chosen password. Click OK.

Spreadsheets can be partially protected as well, i.e. it allows others to make certain edits to certain cells.

* Select the cells you want other users to edit and Right click on them.

* Click on Format Cells … on the menu that appears.

* Click on Protection on the window that appears.

* Uncheck the Locked checkbox. Click OK.

* Now lock the spreadsheet following the Protecting spreadsheets guide.

* Check Select unlocked cells. Click OK. Only the unlocked cells can now be edited.

You can learn this and a lot more if you enroll yourself in a Microsoft Excel training course.