Meniscus tears affect about 1 million Americans every year. At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, located in Fremont, Menlo Park, and Los Gatos, California, we understand that dealing with a meniscus tear is a painful and challenging experience. Whether you're scheduled for meniscus surgery or exploring non-surgical options, taking steps to care for your injury is essential for a smoother recovery and better outcomes.
Read on to gain some valuable guidance on managing and caring for your meniscus tear in the period leading up to surgery.
Rest and protect your injured knee
Immediately after a meniscus tear, give your knee some much-needed rest. Avoid activities that strain your knee, such as running, jumping, or strenuous exercises. We may also recommend using crutches to minimize weight-bearing on the affected knee, reducing the risk of further damage.
Ice and elevation
To reduce pain and swelling associated with a meniscus tear, apply ice to the affected knee for 15-20 minutes every few hours. Elevating your leg while applying ice can help further reduce swelling. Remember to use a towel or cloth to protect your skin from direct contact with the ice.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage the discomfort associated with a meniscus tear. We’ll guide you when starting a medication regimen and help you determine the best options based on your specific condition and medical history.
We may recommend physical therapy as part of your pre-surgery care plan. Physical therapists teach you exercises and stretches that strengthen the muscles around your knee, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. These exercises can optimize your knee's condition for surgery and improve postoperative outcomes.
Wearing a compression bandage or knee brace provides stability to the injured knee and controls swelling. Ensure the bandage is not too tight — it should promote circulation without causing discomfort or numbness. We can offer some options if you’re unsure what type to get.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are essential for supporting your body's natural healing processes. Excess weight can place additional stress on your knee joint, potentially worsening your meniscus tear. A nutritious diet can also provide the necessary nutrients for tissue repair.
As your surgery approaches, maintain open and transparent communication with your orthopedic specialist at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics. Keep us updated on any changes in your symptoms, pain level, or condition. Contact us immediately if you experience any signs of infection or worsening symptoms, such as increased pain or fever.
Also, remember that your meniscus experience is unique, and you should contact us for a pre-surgery plan that meets your needs. At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, George Thabit, III, MD, Nic Gay, MD, Masi Reynolds, DO, and April Mancuso, MD, are committed to providing comprehensive care and guidance throughout your orthopedic journey from diagnosis to recovery.
Schedule at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics by calling or using this website. Visit one of the offices in Fremont, Menlo Park, or Los Gatos, California.