One of the most common orthopedic and sports medicine injuries is a torn meniscus, also referred to as torn cartilage in knee. The meniscus may be injured or torn through repetitious movements, exercise, or inadvertently twisting the knee. A torn meniscus is a painful injury that varies in severity, treatment options, and recovery time for each patient. Once a physician suspects a torn meniscus, the patient obtains magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make an official diagnosis or rule it out. The results of the MRI determine the appropriate treatment options that range from conservative outpatient rehabilitation, physical therapy, bracing, or knee arthroscopy.
Patients that suffer from a torn meniscus injury may resume their regular activities with caution. Torn cartilage in knee recovery time varies from individual to individual. Many patients that are runners generally get back to their exercise routine carefully and walk with a brace on. If the patient can tolerate the exercise without significant pain or knee instability, the patient can rebuild their activity level gradually under physician discretion. If the patient experiences worsening pain, swelling, or develops knee instability, he or she should consult their physician immediately. Some patients simply require a longer recovery period and must be sure to ice the knee, wrap the knee in a bandage, prop the leg up, and rest. Other patient symptoms continue to progress and eventually require a knee arthroscopy surgery. Torn meniscus injuries that require knee arthroscopy surgery are associated with a slightly longer recovery time.
Physical therapy is a classic anecdote to keep the knee joint moving, strengthen the knee, and recover stability. Patients with and without knee arthroscopy surgery benefit from physical therapy for periods ranging from a couple of months to six months or a year. Remember to be patient because torn cartilage in knee recovery time is highly variable and could change at any moment. Knee re-injury is almost always associated with prolonged rehabilitation, treatment, and possibly a knee arthroscopy.