One of the most commonly injured body parts in a serious accident is the knee. Your knees support a majority of your body’s weight and contain many soft tissues around the joint that can be easily damaged. A meniscus tear is one of the common types of serious injuries you may suffer, and may result in the need to file a personal injury claim.
The Basics of a Meniscus Tear
The meniscus is a tough disc of cartilage and there are two discs in each knee, located between the thigh bone and the shin bone. They conform to the surfaces of the bones on which they rest, one located on the inside of your knee (medial meniscus) and the other on the outside (lateral meniscus).
When the meniscus is stressed by pulling, jerking, or shredding it may tear or sever completely. A meniscus tear is common when the knee is abruptly bent and twisted. You may suspect you have suffered a meniscus tear when your knee appears swollen and you experience severe pain. Tenderness in the knee joint, popping or clicking of the knee, and limited range of motion are also signs of a potential meniscus tear.
Dealing with a Meniscus Tear
Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the severity of the injury and your own health. In some cases, a minor tear may be able to repair itself, in which case you will be advised to rest, apply ice, use anti-inflammatory medications, and sometimes attend physical therapy treatment. During a doctor visit, you may receive an X-ray or MRI scan of your knee to determine the health of your knee joint and meniscus.
More severe meniscus tears will require surgery to repair the damage. If the torn meniscus is jagged, the edges may be trimmed to allow the healthy cartilage to heal. The meniscus can also be repaired but results in a longer recovery period, and is not always possible because of limited blood supply. In serious cases, the entire meniscus may need to be replaced by a transplant of donor tissue.
The surgical treatments for a meniscus tear can be costly and result in additional recovery time. This means lost wages, increasing medical bills and personal losses following a serious accident. To recover compensation for these damages and suffering, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim.