Meniscus, Knee Pain, & Osteoarthritis
The meniscus is a thin fibrous cartilage tissue between the surface of the knee that acts as a cushion and stabilizes the joint and protects the bones from grinding and wearing down. The meniscus isn’t impervious to damage. With a simple twist of the knee, the meniscus can tear and sometimes the shredded cartilage can break loose and catch in the knee, causing the knee to lock up.
If you have a torn meniscus, there’s nothing protecting your bones from grinding on each other. There are actually several torn meniscus knee pain symptoms including:
- Initial popping feeling during the Injury
- Knee Pain
- Difficulty straightening or bending your leg
- Knee locks up occasionally
Now, many doctors will recommend at least a partial meniscectomy to alleviate the pain at the cost of a higher likelyhood of getting arthritis or needing knee replacement in the future. With surgery, the frayed pieces of the meniscus are removed and it become smaller and thinner, which will put your knee at risk of overload. You may also still experience pain at times, even with the surgery.
What Happens When Your Knee Is Overloaded
If your knee is overloaded, the articular cartilage protecting your knee can be damaged, and cause osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis generally occurs to people middle-aged or older and develops over time. However, for those that are overweight or have a previous injury, the damage to the joint can be accelerated.