A favorite verse of mine from the Old Testament is Psalm 139:14 which notes that we as human beings are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” However, despite its amazing design, there are areas of our bodies that are vulnerable to certain types of injuries. One is an injury to the knee known as a meniscus tear, which unfortunately is a common injury in winter weather.
The meniscus is a pad of tough fibrous tissue in the knee that separates the femur or thighbone from the tibia or lower part of the leg. The purpose of the meniscus is thought to act as a type of shock absorber as we walk or run, and in combination with ligaments in the knee, enables us to turn and pivot.
However, the meniscus is susceptible to injury when a person slips and falls, thus causing a twisting motion of the knee. This type of twisting motion while weight bearing can cause the meniscus to tear. In adverse winter weather, many people will experience this type of injury because of an icy parking lot or sidewalk. This type of injury is also common when a person falls and twists their knee because of water or other slippery substance on a tile floor.
Symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain and swelling of the knee, along with a catching or locking sensation when the leg is extended. There may also be a sensation that the leg is going to give way when standing or walking. Not all of these symptoms may be immediately experienced, but may develop in the days or weeks after a fall.
Treatment of a meniscus tear typically consists first of physical therapy, applying ice to the knee, and taking anti-inflammatory medications. If this treatment does not improve a person’s symptoms, then the next step is usually an arthroscopic knee surgery called a partial meniscectomy in which the torn portion of the meniscus is surgically removed. Although this surgery usually relieves a person’s pain, removing a portion of the meniscus may predispose the knee to arthritic changes, as well as to further tearing of the meniscus in the future.
If you or a loved one has suffered a knee injury in a fall or auto accident, it is important to have an experienced Indianapolis slip and fall attorney who has a through understanding of your injury and its long-term consequences. Feel free to give me a call for a free consultation regarding your claim.