A meniscus is a smooth, elastic tissue that is located inside a human joint, that is disk shaped and acts as a shock absorber. It acts as a natural cushion reducing wear and tear. They distribute the joint fluid evenly, lubricating the knees.
A torn meniscus is one of the most common forms of knee injuries and can affect anyone irrespective of age or physical activity.
The knee joint, though tough, strong and made of three bones, is not flexible. During sporting activities, a sudden twist or turn can case a tear in this tissue. This can also occur to older people with little or no trauma, even when they are not engaged in any physical activity.
When this tear happens the following sensations may be experienced:
1. The knee seems to be locked when one tries to move.
2. A feeling that the knee is not going to hold and might give way.
3. Inability to straighten the knee.
4. Severe pain when rotating or twisting the knee.
5. Stiffness or swelling in and around the knee.
6. Sometimes a popping sensation.
If left untreated, part of the meniscus may slip into the knee joint and this may necessitate surgery. If untreated, the tear can increase and lead to complications.Treatment can be both surgical to stitch it together or remove part of it. Or, non-surgical like PRP, rehabilitation therapy and or wearing of mechanical braces.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a component of the blood which helps in the healing process. Plasma consists of proteins which help in cellular growth and is also that part of the blood which helps in the formation of blood clots.
PRP therapy thus involves injecting part of the blood back into the ailing joint. In some cases it is an alternative to surgery and in others a healing process. The procedure starts with a local anaesthetic to numb the area, then an ultrasound scan to find where the injection should go and then Platelet Rich Plasma is slowly injected into the problem area.This can be done during a standard doctor visit and the patient can go home or to work immediately. There is little or no pain, fast recovery and no scar tissue.
Blog reviewed by: Dr Vineeth MB
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