Medication and Exercise
(NSAIDs - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be used if required to help manage your pain. The use of the Knee T•Shellz Wrap® in conjunction with NSAIDs can greatly improve the effect of this medication and can help to heal your meniscus injury quicker. However, NSAIDS aren't recommended for long term use, as they can cause gastrointestinal difficulties, trigger other side effects and even inhibit the body's natural ability to heal itself.
Some health professionals have also recommended natural supplements such as Glucosamine, MSM, Chondritin, or Hyaluronic Acid to help strengthen your injured tissue.
If pain and inflammation persist, you can see your physician to investigate cortisone/steroid injections or topical medications, which may help reduce swelling and inflammation. However, these should be used with caution as there are many contraindications with steroid injections.
Physical Therapy is a beneficial way to help decrease pain in the soft tissues, restore atrophied muscles and improve knee and leg strength and mobility. The type of physical therapy and the duration will be dependent on the extent of your meniscus injury.
Gentle massage around the injured knee area or small flexing or extending knee movements (if not painful) will also help increase blood flow, oxygen, nutrients, and will prevent stiffness.
Once your pain starts to diminish, a physiotherapist will set up an individualized knee and leg strengthening and stretching exercise program for you to perform at home or in the gym. This will be based on your needs and abilities, and will help you return to performing your normal routines. Individuals will often exercise or lift weights on their own to try and build up their strength; however in doing so, they can do more damage. It is extremely important to strengthen your muscles properly, as they may have weakened during the period of non-use. A trained therapist will help to ensure your rehabilitation process is effective. For best, long-term results use STR Therapy (via use of the T•Shellz Wrap®) in conjunction with physical therapy and a stretching program recommended by your PT or physician.
Rehabilitation for meniscus injuries that receive conservative treatments often adhere to the timeframe noted below, however they are specific to the individual:
- First 2-4 days - Rest Ice Compression Elevation, crutches and/or a cane for protective weight bearing while walking until swelling goes down.
- 2-4 weeks after - flexion/extension exercises for motion and strength (no rotation), STR Therapy therapy in conjunction with physical therapy.
- 4-6 weeks after - strengthening and stretching exercise program, STR Therapy therapy and return to activities, if symptom free.
Evaluate how you use your knee in daily activities to determine if you can decrease stress on the injured tissue. This may involve changing your technique, using correct or supportive equipment (proper shoes, knee braces) and/or implementing ergonomically-sound structures to help you perform your tasks more effectively and safely (prevent you from squatting or bending your knee as much). Taking more frequent breaks during your work or activities can also alleviate stress on your knee joint. Speak with a professional in the specific activity or work setting to get the proper information.
Your progress will be observed for approximately 2 - 3 months; if no symptoms are experienced after this time, no surgery is generally required.