When you hear about a meniscus tear, you’re usually talking about football. But just because you’re not playing for the Minnesota Vikings doesn’t mean you can’t injure your menisci.
A meniscus is one of the shock-absorbing cartilages in your knee. Depending on the severity, it could mean you can’t place any weight on that leg at all. If you rely on your ability to move for work, a meniscus tear is serious.
But how would I get a meniscus tear?
While it might take a linebacker to tear your meniscus when you’re in your 20s, the ligament gets more rigid as a person ages. It’s common for a person to get a meniscus tear by squatting low or tripping.
So, if you work with your hands or must pick up and carry objects, you’re at risk. One missed step, one squat just a little too low, and you might end up with a torn meniscus.
You’ve got a meniscal tear, now what?
The first options for a meniscal tear are knee braces, ice and over-the-counter medications to help with the pain and swelling. However, even if medication, ice, and bracing help you back on your feet, that’s no guarantee that the issue is resolved. There may even be a strong likelihood you’ll need a surgical repair.
What kind of surgery fixes a meniscal tear?
The standard surgery for a meniscus tear is arthroscopic repair. It’s a less invasive form of surgery that uses a camera on the end of a scope and other specialized tools to effect repairs. People of all ages and careers recover well from arthroscopic surgery.
Unfortunately, every surgery comes with rehab, and it may take time until you’re back to work. You might be off your feet entirely for two weeks, with another six weeks after that in a brace, and then finally, you’ll go through physical therapy.
Workers’ compensation benefits support you while you heal.
There is no shortcut to recovery. However, if your injury happened at work, workers’ compensation may provide you with the benefits you need to get back to full strength.