The meniscus is a cartilage that provides crescent-shaped cushion between the thighbone and shinbone. There are two menisci in a knee joint, one on the outside of the knee joint and the other on the inside that can be damaged or torn during activities. The meniscus can be torn during activities such as such as injuries, sports like basketball, soccer, and tennis, which cause direct contact or pressure. Once the menisci are torn, the bones of the upper and lower leg rub against each other causing pain and arthritis. The inside meniscus is injured most frequently in sports and similar activities.
The meniscus usually weakens with age, and movements like squatting or stepping can lead to injuries in older people who have weak menisci. People with osteoarthritis are at a higher risk of injuring tearing their meniscus. Athletes usually suffer from torn menisci when they get injured at the outside of the knee. In older athletes, the menisci often become weak, making it more vulnerable to injuries.
Treatment options for torn meniscus may vary from home remedies to outpatient surgeries depending on the severity of the condition. However you can avoid the condition or prevent it from getting worse by proper care and exercises.
You can prevent the condition if take care of your knee joints and avoid injuries. You may find the following ways to prevent the condition useful.
• You can prevent meniscus tears by performing exercises that strengthen your leg muscles and help stabilize your knee joint to prevent injuries in general. Make sure that your daily exercise regime involves exercises that help you work on your legs. Also make sure to warm up and stretch prior to exercising or playing any sport.
• Some meniscus tears aren't preventable and might be considered an occupational or recreational risk that accompanies a sport. In all such cases you can also make it a habit to wear protective gear during activities that may cause injuries to your knees such as sports. You can wear a brace to support your knee during sports and heavy activities.
• Always go slow with motions involving your knee joints including exercises or heavy lifting. Never put a sudden pressure on your knee joint. Be especially careful doing squats to avoid excessive compression of the meniscus. Never do a strength or heavy lifting exercise incorrectly. Take directions from a experienced coach to reduce the risk of meniscus injuries during sports.
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