If your torn meniscus is small, minor, and on the outside of your meniscus where there is more blood flow, you may not need surgery to repair your torn meniscus. Instead the doctor may decide that no surgical techniques can work and with time your meniscus can heal on it’s own. During this time, your doctor will likely continue to monitor your knee to make sure the pain doesn’t get worse. You also likely will not be able to be active during this time and may be on crutches to eliminate any chance of injuring the knee further. Non surgical treatment of a torn meniscus may include the following things.
- Rest: Likely you will not be able to do any physical activity using your knee during your recovery time and likely will need to use crutches to allow the knee to fully heal. This alleviates all pressure and weight on the torn meniscus.
- Ice: Many doctors will ask that you ice your torn meniscus multiple times daily for twenty minute intervals. This helps to alleviate the swelling.
- Compression: Most doctors ask patients to wear compression bandages or knee braces when they have a torn meniscus to help with the swelling and to keep the knee in place.
- Elevation: To further reduce the swelling of a torn meniscus you will need to elevate your knee while resting or sleeping.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines: There is a strong likelihood that your doctor may prescribe ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce inflammation or swelling caused by a meniscus teat.
- Physical therapy: In some cases, especially when the knee is locked, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to restore movement to the torn meniscus and knee joint.