Today, the medical terms “knee meniscus rupture” or “Achilles tendon rupture” in the sports news section of football are repeated as often as a penalty and a goal. Of course, football is a contact game, and one cannot do without injuries to the lower extremities, and the risk of damage during matches is much higher than during training.
And the cause of the injuries is obvious: high speeds, rapid change of direction and sharp blows. Reduce the risk of injury, play without pain, fatigue, just play comfortably, helps properly chosen shoes, knee bandaging and accurate calculation of their strength.
Human knee joint is the most complex in its structure, and for us the most important. Your knees are under a lot of stress throughout your life. But a person, and an athlete in particular, sometimes demands the impossible from his knee joint. Here and the desire to be first, and a lot of money, and the exorbitant load.
So let’s take a closer look at the problem.
In the photo on the left – a healthy knee joint. Right – meniscus damage
Causes of meniscus problems
In the cavity of the knee joint is two cartilaginous formations – menisci of the knee. Their main purpose is depreciation during movement and protection of articular cartilage. They limit excess mobility and reduce friction in the knee joint.
Causes of rupture or tearing of the meniscus: a sharp sliding blow by a heavy object on the knee, falling on the edge of the kneecap step or injury, accompanied by a sharp turning of the shin outwards or inwards.
Repeated injuries or bruises lead to chronic meniscus disease, and subsequently to a meniscus rupture. As a result of chronic microtrauma, gout, rheumatism, general intoxication of the body, degenerative changes in the meniscus develop. During an injury, the meniscus is torn and ceases to fulfill its main purpose, becoming an almost foreign body for the organism. And this body will slowly destroy the articular surface. Untreated trauma goes into a deforming arthrosis, and a person often becomes disabled.
This disease is more susceptible to footballers and sports game athletes, people who spend most of their work time on their feet.
It happens that the meniscus can be damaged as a result of a combined injury, when a strong blow falls on the knee and the lower leg turns sharply inwards or outwards.
If injuries immediately apply ice (or something cold)
Often at the initial stage of the disease such as the meniscus of the knee joint – the symptoms are similar in manifestation with other diseases of the knee joint. Only after 2-3 weeks, when reactive phenomena subside, can we speak specifically about the meniscus rupture.
- Severe pain spilled character, after a while it is located on the inner or outer surface of the knee.
- Difficult to climb and descend from the ladder.
- The trophy of muscle tissue is sharply reduced.
- When a joint is bent, a characteristic click occurs.
- The joint is enlarged. With this symptom, treatment begins immediately.
- Pain when playing sports.
- The rise in temperature in the joint.
Symptoms of damage are often non-specific, the same symptoms can occur with severe bruises, sprains, arthrosis, so the doctor requires a thorough examination of the patient.
Depending on the injury, the meniscus can tear off from the capsule, break transversely or longitudinally, and can be squeezed. The outer meniscus is mobile enough, so it is often compressed, and the meniscus is fixed in the cavity of the knee joint.
Naturally, if your knee is damaged, your movements are severely constrained.
As a result of the injury, the meniscus may tear or tear completely. Depending on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age and his life activity, the doctor chooses the method of treating the meniscus of the knee: conservative or operative.
But first aid, regardless of the severity of the injury, the victim is immediately restrained, a cold compress and the application of an elastic bandage to the region of the knee joint. To prevent or relieve edema, the patient’s leg is placed slightly above the level of the chest.
The doctor in the clinic recommends that the patient take a picture to ensure the integrity of the bones. And to eliminate the presence of internal damage, ultrasound is performed. When diagnosing meniscus lesions, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging play a special role. But a complete picture of the damage allows you to see arthroscopy of the knee joint.
If only a meniscus shift has occurred, then an experienced traumatologist will be able to quickly deal with the problem. Then plaster is applied for about three weeks, after which rehabilitation therapy is prescribed.
Traditional treatment of the disease includes non-steroid painkillers: Meloxicam, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac.
To restore the cartilage tissue to the joint, chondroprotectors are necessary, which improve metabolism in the regenerative tissue and intraarticular fluid – these are Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate. Dietary supplement Collagen Ultra prevents inflammation and is involved in the restoration of cartilage, increases its moisture-holding properties.
To grind the joint apply ointment Alazan, Ketoral, Dolgit, Voltaren, balm Toad stone.
With limited mobility and pain inside the articular bag, Ostenil is injected. Improvement occurs after the first injection. The course of treatment requires at least five ampoules.
If possible, you can use bee stings or Tentorium cream, which contains bee venom.
For full restoration of the knee joint, the patient is prescribed remedial gymnastics with an exercise therapy instructor, a course of physiotherapy and massage.
Myostimulation relaxes, strengthens the muscles of the thigh. Laser therapy and magnetic therapy improve microcirculation and metabolic processes in the cells of muscle tissue.
Physiotherapy is one of the components of complex treatment.
And at home you can do the exercises:
- Put a small rubber ball under the knee, bend the knee, squeezing the ball and straighten the knee without dropping the ball.
- Walking on all fours, overcoming a slight pain.
- Compress of honey and alcohol in a 1: 1 ratio is superimposed on the joint for two hours, fixed with an elastic bandage and covered with a warm scarf.
- A compress from a grated onion and a spoon of sugar can be applied overnight, after wrapping it with cling film and a warm scarf.
- For ten days, apply a compress from medical bile.
- Malakhov recommends making compresses from children’s urine, which relieves edema well.
- Compress from the leaves of burdock kept on his knee for up to 8 hours.
All traditional methods, like exercise – you can apply at home.
If all conservative methods of treatment have been tried, and no improvement has come, then we have to talk about surgery.
If you have a knee meniscus – is surgery really necessary?
Indications for surgery is:
- Crush meniscus.
- Rupture and displacement of the meniscus.
- Hemorrhage in the joint cavity.
- Full separation of the horns and body of the meniscus.
In the area of the meniscus body, there is insufficient blood circulation, therefore the rupture of the body of the meniscus very rarely heals, so in this case the patient will have a full or partial meniscus resection.
Arthroscopy is carried out not only to diagnose the condition of the joint, but also to treat the meniscus of the knee joint.
The most common operations are stitching and removal of the meniscus, in exceptional cases, meniscus transplants are performed,
The arthroscopic surgery has several advantages:
- Small incisions on the patient’s skin, after which no scars remain.
- Short duration of intervention, no more than two hours.
- Lack of plaster cast.
- Fast postoperative rehabilitation.
- Short hospital stay
- The operation can be performed on an outpatient basis.
In young patients it is possible to save even the meniscus torn to the lobes. And after a month of sitting and bed rest, you can begin sports activities. To do this, best exercise bikes and swimming. With the right treatment comes full recovery.
Professional athletes often choose a cardinal solution – an operation. In order for the recovery process to take place faster, it is necessary to strictly observe the doctor’s prescriptions and eat properly.