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What are the non surgical options for a torn meniscus?

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Quick Answer

Nonsurgical options for a torn meniscus include rest, elevation, ice, compression and anti-inflammatory drugs, according to WebMD. A knee brace is sometimes needed, and activities that involve running and jumping should be avoided. Physical therapy helps to stretch and strengthen the affected area.

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Full Answer

To limit pain and swelling, the patient should rest the sore knee, using crutches to walk, WebMD recommends. When sitting or lying, the sore knee is elevated. For the first two to three days after injury, patients place ice packs on their knees 15 to 20 minutes every three to four hours. An elastic bandage or neoprene sleeve over the knee also helps reduce swelling.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen control pain and swelling, as well, WebMD states. They should not be overused, because side effects include heightened risk of bleeding and ulcers.

Physical therapy exercises help bring stability and support back to the knee, advises MedicineNet.com. A brace is sometimes used in the later stages of recovery, because it requires the leg to be fully straight, which is initially too painful. However, if the knee does not feel unstable, a brace is not necessary. Orthotics are recommended in order to spread weight around equally when on the feet. Patients who keep to healthy weights put less stress on their knees, as well.

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