Meniscal or cartilage tear of the knee
Inside the knee joint are two rounded shock absorbers, each one called a ‘Meniscus’. If caught in a forced twisted position, one may tear. This often happens during sport if the studs of the boot are stuck in the ground and the body turns in the other direction to follow the ball, causing a strain at the knee. It is very painful and difficult to bear weight initially on the leg. The player may come off, and its best to put an ice pack on it for 5-10 minutes in an elevated position. Then bandage it up to prevent swelling lodging at the knee.
The next day, there may be difficulty straightening the knee fully, or it may ‘lock’ on you. Contact your Chartered Physiotherapist when you can, and have it assessed. Some Meniscal tears settle down, and if this is the case, Physiotherapy will help to reduce the pain and swelling and get the leg moving fully again. It is important to have full movement and to have strengthened up the leg before returning to sport.
Some meniscal tears require surgery, especially in a long standing situation. Physiotherapy is really important after the surgery to help you regain the full function of your leg. Gay Peart-Murphy in Adare Physiotherapy has many years of experience treating these injuries as she worked in Croom Orthopaedic Hospital as the Senior Physiotherapist for many years.