A torn meniscus is one of the most common injuries to the knee among athletes, especially those who play contact sports. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, anyone at any age can have this injury. A torn meniscus will not heal on its own because there is no blood supply to the meniscus, so that unless the tear is small and on the outer sides of the knee, surgery may be needed.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and used the most. It is therefore vulnerable to injury. Any type of activity that causes the knee to twist forcefully can cause a torn meniscus. In some older adults, a torn meniscus can also be caused by degeneratation in the knee joint.
Allow yourself time to recover. Recovery from a torn meniscus normally take 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, a physical therapist may use ice to reduce the swelling and pain. Exercise that will improve range of motion and strength in the surrounding knee muscles are gradually added.
Do nonweight-bearing exercises. This will help speed the recovery process. Swimming, aerobics and weighted leg lifts from a vertical position are a few of the exercises your doctor may recommend.
Walk with the aid of a brace, a walking cane or crutches to reduce excess weight on the knee joint. Continue using the brace, cane or crutches until your doctor tells you that the knee has had sufficient time to heal.