Diagnosis begins with a thorough history of the mechanism of injury as well as the presenting symptoms, followed by a careful physical examination. The physician may order imaging studies to confirm and determine the extent of the injury, especially if other injuries in addition to the meniscal tear are suspected. X-rays may be ordered if there is concern for bony injury. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help to show the meniscus.
Initial treatment for a meniscal injury focuses on decreasing pain and swelling in the knee. Rest and pain medications can help to decrease these symptoms. You may be referred for physiotherapy to decrease pain, restore normal range of motion, balance and control of the lower limb as well as to gradually strengthen muscles around the knee.
A brace may also be prescribed to protect the injured knee and for extra stability during walking. Crutches may be used temporarily if it is painful to put weight on the affected leg. The physiotherapist will work with you to return you to your daily activities and sports activities safely.
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