How to Prevent a Meniscal cyst?

It is a collection of joint fluid caused by a tear within the meniscus cartilage. The meniscus is a cartilage disc that cushions your knee. Our knees have two menisci one on the inner part and the other on the outer part of the knee. Together, they act to stabilize the knee joint. However, Pain, especially when standing on the affected leg or tenderness along the joints are the common symptoms of a Meniscal Cyst.

However, A meniscal cyst is not dangerous. It can be treated at home by the rice method which includes rest, icing, compressing, and elevation.

What is the Anatomy of a meniscal cyst? 

The menisci are C-shaped wedges of fibrocartilage located between the tibial plateau and femoral condyles. There are two menisci in the knee, the medial and lateral portions, with the medial meniscus being bigger to cover the larger portion of the thigh bone. 

You can break up the meniscus into three zones, the anterior horn, the body, and the posterior horn. One of the problems the meniscus runs into is that because it is a cartilage, it lacks a certain amount of blood flow to the tissue for proper healing properties. 

What is the main function of a Meniscus?

The main function of the meniscus is to absorb the shock and distribute forces more efficiently in the knee. However, another function is to help reduce the strain on the articular cartilage, which lines the ends of the thigh and shin bones. 

What are the symptoms of a meniscal cyst?                                       

The common symptoms of a meniscal cyst include the following. 

  • Pain, especially when standing on the affected leg.
  • Tenderness along the joint.
  • Firm bump at the site of the cyst, more commonly over the outside.
  • Occasionally, a painless bump.
  • Associated non-specific findings may include knee swelling, joint line tenderness over the affected meniscus, “locking” of the joint or ligament injury.

What causes a Meniscal cyst? Or How does it develop?

Meniscal cysts are often seen with meniscal tears that occur due to degenerative changes within the meniscus, although there may be an associated injury to the knee. Given the frequency of meniscus tears, associated cysts are uncommon. 

However, Osteophytes or bone spurs develop in the musculoskeletal system due to normal wear and tear as you age causing a meniscal cyst.

What are the major causes of meniscal cyst?

Disc osteophyte complex and meniscal tear are the major causes of a meniscal cyst.

What is Posterior disc osteophyte complex?

It is the development of osteophytes (bone spurs) affecting more than one intervertebral disk or spinal vertebrae. Osteophytes or bone spurs develop in the musculoskeletal system due to normal wear and tear as you age.

Aging, degenerative disc diseases such as osteoarthritis, trauma or overuse injuries, and obesity can cause the spine to weaken. When this happens, the body produces extra bony nodules (an osteophyte or bone spur) to help reinforce the structural integrity of the spinal column or limit its ability to move.

It is possible to develop bone spurs and never feel any pain. However, when the bone spur interferes with neural activity, as it often happens with the Posterior disc osteophyte complex, a plethora of uncomfortable and painful symptoms can occur.

What are meniscal tears?

Meniscal cysts are most common in 20- to 30-year-old males. They are usually associated with a type of meniscal tear called a horizontal cleavage tear.

However, there are six types of meniscal tears.

  • Radial Tears.
  • Horizontal Tear.
  • Incomplete Tears.
  • Complex Tears.
  • Flap Tears.
  • Bucket Handle Tear.
  • Knee Surgeons in Central Maryland.

Your doctor may drain the fluid from the knee joint using a needle. Physical therapy. Icing, a compression wrap, and crutches may help reduce pain and swelling. By doing such measures we can stop the development of a meniscal cyst.

How Can We Treat meniscal cyst?              

As meniscal cysts arise from a degenerative torn meniscus, treatment reflects meniscal tear treatment. However, Common treatments include the following:

Medications:                            

Anti-inflammatory medications, taken by mouth or injected directly into the knee, can be useful to reduce the pain and swelling symptoms associated with meniscal tears.

Physical Therapy:                                 

A short course of treatment provided by a physical therapist can help determine whether your knee will recover without surgery. Your physical therapist can help control pain and swelling in the knee area and work with you to restore full strength and mobility to your knee.

Your treatment may include:

  • Manual therapy: Your physical therapist may apply manual therapy hands-on treatment that may include massage, stretching, or joint mobilization to help reduce swelling and stiffness and restore muscle function around the knee.
  • NMES: Your physical therapist may use a treatment called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). NMES uses electrical current to gently stimulate/contract the muscles around your knee to help improve their strength.
  • Assistive devices: It may be necessary to use assistive devices such as crutches, a cane, or a walker in the short term.
  • Strengthening exercises: Your physical therapist will design exercises to build and maintain your strength during recovery and help restore full movement to the knee.

How can Surgery help in meniscal cyst?

Also, Your doctor may recommend surgery because:

  • You still have pain after trying other treatments, such as rest and physical therapy.
  • Your knee “locks up” instead of working normally.
  • You may be able to reduce the risk of future joint problems

How to Prevent a Meniscal cyst?

Exercise or other interventions such as bracing can prevent us from the meniscal cyst. Practices that can help keep your knees strong include:

  • Regular exercise- to help strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
  • Staying physically active-to prepare your body for the demands of a sport or strenuous activity.
  • Avoid twisting or turning quickly while on the ground, to help prevent stress to the knee that can cause a meniscal tear.

However, If you already have knee problems, your physical therapist can help you develop a fitness program that takes your knees into account. Some exercises are better than others for those with a history of knee pain.

One thought on “How to Prevent a Meniscal cyst?

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