How long does it take for a meniscus tear to heal on its own?
Your meniscal tear will commonly take up to six or eight weeks to fully heal. As mentioned previously, some meniscal tears will require surgery. Your physiotherapist will guide you as to what is most likely for your knee injury.
A tear in this "red" zone may heal on its own, or can often be repaired with surgery. A longitudinal tear is an example of this kind of tear. In contrast, the inner two-thirds of the meniscus lacks a blood supply. Without nutrients from blood, tears in this "white" zone cannot heal.
- Symptoms of cartilage damage in a joint include:
- joint pain – this may continue even when resting and worsen when you put weight on the joint.
- swelling – this may not develop for a few hours or days.
- a clicking or grinding sensation.
- the joint locking, catching, or giving way.
- Surgery to repair these kinds of tears may not work. You may need a partial meniscectomy instead. If you have a tear in the white zone of the meniscus, repair surgery usually isn't done, because the meniscus may not heal. But partial meniscectomy may be done if torn pieces of meniscus are causing pain and swelling.
- Overview of a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone). There are two menisci in each knee joint. They can be damaged or torn during activities that put pressure on or rotate the knee joint.
A torn meniscus usually produces well-localized pain in the knee. The pain often is worse during twisting or squatting motions. Unless the torn meniscus has locked the knee, many people with a torn meniscus can walk, stand, sit, and sleep without pain.
- These symptoms may go away in 1 or 2 weeks but can come back if you twist or overuse your knee. The pain may come and go for years if the tear isn't treated. In severe tears, pieces of the torn meniscus can move into the joint space. This can make your knee catch, pop, or lock.
- A tear in this "red" zone may heal on its own, or can often be repaired with surgery. A longitudinal tear is an example of this kind of tear. In contrast, the inner two-thirds of the meniscus lacks a blood supply. Without nutrients from blood, tears in this "white" zone cannot heal.
- If a meniscus is torn, the knee usually becomes painful and swollen after the injury occurs. The leg may feel some weakness and cause a sense of buckling or “giving way,” since the displaced torn fragment and swelling in the knee can affect the thigh muscles that support knee function.
Like a lot of knee injuries, a meniscus tear can be painful and debilitating. Unfortunately, it's quite common. In fact, a meniscal tear is one of the most frequently occurring cartilage injuries of the knee. Meniscus tears are a special risk for older athletes since the meniscus weakens with age.
- Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:
- Swelling and stiffness.
- Redness and warmth to the touch.
- Weakness or instability.
- Popping or crunching noises.
- Inability to fully straighten the knee.
- It can be torn when your knee is twisted with a lot of force. You might have torn your meniscus if you feel pain, experience swelling, and cannot straighten your leg. A knee brace ideal for meniscus tears will support the knee in a position to help prevent it from rotating too far in an unnatural direction.
- You can drive as soon as you feel comfortable and safe, but YOU MUST NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE TAKING NARCOTICS! If you drive a standard transmission vehicle and had surgery on your left knee, you should probably wait about one or two weeks before driving to avoid causing more pain and irritation from operating the clutch.
Updated: 6th December 2019