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.