Your UCHealth provider will develop a personalized treatment plant based on your injury, activity level and other conditions like your overall health. It will likely include RICE treatment, which you can do at home to ease your discomfort and speed healing:
- R for rest. Rest the injured area by not using it for 24 hours. When you’re ready, return slowly to your normal activities. Rest the injured area often. Don’t use or walk on an injured limb if it hurts.
- I for ice. Use ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after injury to reduce swelling and pain. Ice the injury for no more than 20 minutes at a time and allow at least 20 minutes between icing sessions.
- C for compression. Wrap an injured limb firmly with an elastic bandage. This provides support and helps prevent swelling. Don’t wear an elastic bandage overnight. Watch for tingling, numbness, or increased pain. Remove the bandage immediately if any of these occurs.
- E for elevate. Elevate the injured area to help reduce swelling and throbbing. It’s best to raise an injured limb above the level of your heart.
In addition, over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce pain. If your symptoms still persist, your doctor may suggest arthroscopic surgery. Your surgeon inserts a thin tube fitted with an HD camera and surgical tools, called an arthroscope, through a tiny incision(s) to perform a procedure depending on the type of tear. This can include:
- Meniscectomy. Your surgeon removes the damaged meniscus.
- Meniscus repair. We can repair some meniscus tears by suturing (stitching) the torn pieces together. Because the meniscus must heal back together, recovery time for a repair is much longer than from a meniscectomy.
- Partial meniscectomy. Your surgeon trims away the damaged meniscus.
After surgery, you will be assigned a program of rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy. A meniscus repair typically takes around three months to completely heal. A meniscectomy requires less time, from three to four weeks.