Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Knee Pain?

James W. Pritchett, MD


December 15, 2017

Presence of a meniscal tear does not automatically lead to surgical intervention. If the knee is not locked or unstable, conventional treatment ordinarily suffices; however, the meniscus cartilage of the knee generally supports a precarious blood supply, and tears are prone to inadequate mending. Therefore, timely follow-up care is critical.

Therapy for specific injuries include the following:

  • For first-degree sprains, provide symptomatic treatment. Normal function usually returns quickly.

  • Second-degree sprains require protection by using a cast, cast brace, or a restrictive movement brace. Arrange for timely follow-up care.

  • Treatment of third-degree sprains depends on the severity and type of instability; some third-degree sprains of ligaments necessitate surgical repair. Factoring into the deliberation for surgery is the patient's age, relative health, associated injuries, activity demands, and individual desires.

  • Treatment for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries is individualized. Various conditions influence decisions on the optimum management of ACL tears, such as the presence or absence of comorbid pathology, age of the patient, baseline activity level, degree of instability, and associated ligamentous injuries miring the knee.

For more on the treatment of soft tissue knee injuries, read here.

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