Your knee is a complex joint. There are several tendons and ligaments in that joint, and there is a lateral and a medial meniscus. If you suffer from a meniscus tear, then you are at risk of doing far more long-term damage to the knee.
Tears take a long time to heal. If it is a full tear, then you might need to get surgery to fix it. If the damage has left ragged pieces of cartilage, then you might need to have your knee scoped to fix the issues with it, so that it doesn’t click and stick when you are trying to move it.
For smaller tears, it is usually possible to take a wait and see approach, and just let the tear heal by itself. However, you will need to be careful and protect the knee while you are doing day to day movement. A meniscus tear brace can help with that, by supporting the joint through the most common motions.
A meniscus tear brace provides support for the medial and lateral meniscus so that your knee has stability in both directions. Most people with a torn meniscus can still move up and down – it is side stepping and twisting motions that are problematic for them because the knee doesn’t have stability in those directions. Compression and support can help with those.
Knee braces range from sturdy metal devices that act as an additional joint and hold the knee secure, to braces that are softer with a little support from the outside, and ones that are little more than compression socks for your knees.
It’s important that you pick the right kind of brace for your leg and your injury. Braces that are too loose are near useless, and braces that are too tight pose problems of their own by cutting off the circulation.
Some people find that wearing volleyball knee pads or related sporting accessories is enough to provide the stability that they need. Indeed, for a lot of people, the issue isn’t so much a lack of stability as a lack of confidence.
It can take months for knees to heal, if not longer, but partial tears usually do heal if they are not aggravated. You can reduce the risk of re-damaging the knee by taking proper precautions, and by working to take good care of your knee. Do compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts, and work to strengthen your knees so that you don’t end up re-injuring them.
Knee injuries can happen to anyone. Footballers, rugby players, martial artists and runners tend to suffer from them the most often because they are more likely to end up with their knees being torqued in unusual ways. Kicking with bad form puts stress on the meniscus, and if the knee is trapped when a person falls, then they can do serious damage that way.
Meniscus damage can be scary. Devices such as the unloader knee brace can do a lot of good and can take the stress off the knee so that it can be used for day to day movement without too much fear – but you will need to do physiotherapy to fix the joint to put it under more severe stress. It’s important that you learn how to do this properly. Otherwise, you could end up having some serious issues in the long term.
Untreated knee damage can become a serious ongoing problem. There is the risk of arthritis in your knees if you suffer from severe damage and don’t work to correct it early on. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have to worry about severe damage to their knees in later life, but it can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s so important to take knee damage seriously.
If you have knee pain that is associated with a severe traumatic injury and that doesn’t get better quickly, see a doctor as soon as possible and get fitted for a proper brace. Don’t ignore knee pain. Don’t accept pain without a diagnosis. Sore joints are not healthy, and the body should be able to heal from most injuries with proper care.