Depending on the severity of and complications involved with a torn meniscus, treatment usually revolves around physical therapy and the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, notes MedicineNet. Patients are immediately instructed to rest, apply ice to the injury, compress the knee and elevate the leg. Some patients may require the use of crutches, and it is common to seek the help of a physical therapist.
In the most severe cases, MedicineNet explains that surgery may be required to repair the injury and restabilize the knee joint. Some patients may require a joint replacement operation if the surgeon is unable to salvage the existing structure of the joint. Older patients who suffer from a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis are encouraged to exercise the knee joint and surrounding muscles to the best of their abilities while managing the accompanying pain.
Doctors sometimes recommend a cortisone or hyaluronan injection at the site of the injury to reduce inflammation when regular over-the-counter medications, ice and compression prove unsuccessful in treating pain. Some people experience an improvement in their symptoms by taking nutritional supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine, but MedicineNet explains that there is not yet enough medical research to substantiate the efficacy of these treatments.