So you managed to tear your meniscus playing basketball with your buddies. How would you treat it? You could go the allografting route or try physiotherapy first (or even combine the two).
Don’t worry; this isn’t one of those choose-your-own-adventure situations. You don’t have to pick between allografting and physiotherapy for your torn knee meniscus. The specialists at Quality Recovery can guide you about the differences and help you decide which is best for you.
What Can Cause a Torn Meniscus?
The meniscus is c-shaped cartilage in your knee that helps to stabilize the joint. If you have a torn meniscus, several things could be the cause. The most common causes of a torn meniscus are:
- Twisting or rotating the knee while bearing weight on it is usually how sports injuries occur.
- Gradual wear and tear over time can also cause a tear in your meniscus. A degenerative condition called osteoarthritis can weaken cartilage and lead to tears.
When Should You Seek Help?
You will know when you have an injury if you experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Swelling around your knee joint
- Stiffness in the knee
- Popping noises
- Knee locking up (unable to move)
- Difficulty straightening out the knee
Allografting: As Tricky as it Sounds?
Allografting is when healthy meniscus tissue is taken from a recently deceased donor and applied to the patient’s knee. This may be done as part of an arthroscopic procedure, which uses small incisions in your skin, or it can be done through open surgery with more significant cuts.
The main benefit to allografting is that you will have new cartilage where yours was damaged and torn; however, there are some cons to this type of graft. There are potential complications, including infection at the transplantation site and rejection by your body’s immune system – although these risks are relatively low due to thorough medical screening on both ends.
Another downside? Allografts often cost more than physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy: Old School is it?
On the other hand, physiotherapy is a less invasive procedure with lower risks and costs. The significant advantage of physiotherapy is that it may be customized precisely to your requirements, allowing you to receive only what you need from the treatment. Physiotherapists are also experts in rehabilitating people post-injury, so they can help speed up your recovery.
However, there are some drawbacks: it may take longer for you to see results (compared to allografting), and not everyone responds well to physiotherapy. It’s also essential to find a qualified physiotherapist who knows how to treat knee injuries specifically to get the most out of your treatment.
A torn meniscus can be a painful injury. Make sure you choose the right treatment option for you based on your individual needs and preferences.
Speak to a professional from Quality Recovery to learn more about the options available to you. We also have an online pharmacy on our website, so you can get the medication you need from the comfort of your home in Charlotte.