How Does a Knee Brace Help With a Meniscus Tear?

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After a meniscal repair, a patient wears a knee brace for at least four weeks to keep the knee straight and facilitate healing, according to Miami Sports Medicine. The knee brace must be worn while walking and kept in the “locked” position. However, it can be removed when the person wants to exercise lightly.

A meniscus tear is one of the most common cartilage injuries to the knee, explains WebMD. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee joint responsible for protecting the bones, but it is easily damaged by twisting the knee. Complications can arise when a piece of the shredded cartilage catches in the joint, locking it and preventing it from bending. It weakens with age, putting older athletes at risk.

A meniscus tear is described as “a popping sensation” during the actual injury, states WebMD. It is often accompanied by pain and swelling and results in difficulty straightening or bending the knee. The pain is usually ignorable at first but rapidly increases over time. The outer portion of the meniscus heals on its own if the damage is minimal, but the inner portion lacks adequate blood supply to provide vital nutrients for the healing process. If surgery is not required, the meniscus can be repaired through resting the knee, icing it regularly, compressing it and keeping it elevated.