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4 Must-Know Tips for Recovering from a Meniscus Tear

Your meniscus is a piece of cartilage located in your knee joint between the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone). It helps transfer weight in your knee joint and helps keep your knee stable, but you might not think much about the menisci (the plural of meniscus) in your knees until one of them is torn. 

A meniscus tear is one of the most common sports injuries, and it’s often the result of a quick twist or a collision. When your cartilage tears, it can cause pain, swelling, a catching sensation, and inability to put weight on your knee.

Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP and the team here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center treat a variety of sports injuries in Glen Burnie, Maryland, including meniscus tears. If your knee hurts, we encourage you to visit us and get the expert care you need.

In the meantime, here are our top four tips for recovering from a meniscus tear.

1. Follow your treatment plan

This may seem self-explanatory, but carefully adhering to your treatment plan is one of the best tips for recovery. The more you stray from your recommended treatment plan, the longer your recovery may take.

Your specific treatment plan depends on the severity and location of your tear. Your plan may include a combination of the RICE protocol, pain management, physical therapymultiwave locked system (MLS®) laser therapy, Kinesio Taping®, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and lifestyle modifications. 

Tip: Many people find that writing down their treatment plan in a notebook or journal can help them stick with any at-home requirements and follow-up appointments.

2. Don’t skip your at-home physical therapy homework

Not all meniscus tears require surgery, but if you need surgery, physical therapy will be a big part of your recovery. And even if you don’t need surgery, physical therapy still helps restore knee functionality. 

 

Physical therapy helps with meniscal tear recovery because it helps to restore range of motion, strength, and stability to your affected knee. Our team prescribes a series of exercises to improve your flexibility, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and enhance your overall knee function. 

 

Tip: If you have trouble remembering to do your stretches at home, set a reminder on your phone or place a sticky note where you’ll see it.

3. Eat foods that support cartilage repair and wound healing

Several foods contain nutrients that may support cartilage repair and joint health. These include:

Though these foods won’t magically repair a torn meniscus, they will support your body as you heal. Your nutrition is even more important if you need surgery. Be sure to include plenty of lean protein, whole grains, and water.

4. Don’t rush your recovery

Recovering from a meniscus tear takes time and patience, and rushing through your recovery can actually delay your healing. Allow yourself both the time and space for rest and healing. 

Whether you’re ready to get back to your weekend classes at the gym, your normal running routine, or an organized sport, it’s important not to rush back to your pre-injury activities. When Dr. Hamoy gives you the green light to get back to your activities, start slow and ease back in. 

If you’re anxious to workout, there are plenty of seated arm and core workouts that won’t compromise the health of your knee. 

Help for meniscal tears

If you’ve torn your meniscus (or suspect that you have), don’t hesitate to call our Glen Burnie, Maryland, office at 659-204-5737. You can also book your appointment through our online request form.

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