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A Guide to Knee Injuries: Meniscus vs ACL Tear in Athletes

The knee is the biggest joint in our bodies. Hence, it is the most vulnerable to damage. The most common sports-related knee injuries are meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, sprain and strain. If you have ever played a sport or watched a game, you have probably seen a player go down with a knee strain, sprain, or tear.

Sprain, Strain & Tear: The Primary Difference

A knee sprain is a ligament stretch or a tear, whereas a knee strain is a muscle or tendon stretch or tear. A knee tear can happen to one of the ligaments, muscles, or cartilage layers that support and stabilise the knee. A strain is a stretch or partial tear, although it typically does not necessitate surgical intervention. A tear can be classified as a partial tear, meaning there is damage to parts of the structures, or a complete tear, meaning that a ligament or meniscus is split in two or separated from the bone. A meniscus or ACL injury in an athlete in Singapore or abroad is detrimental to their careers.

Symptoms of Meniscus & ACL Injuries

The feel and intensity of each injury can vary. It depends on which part of your knee is injured and the severity. However, the following are common symptoms most people with a meniscus or ACL injury in Singapore will feel.

The Meniscus

The meniscus is a cartilage structure that cushions and stabilises the joint. It acts like a shock absorber and helps distribute weight between the upper and lower legs. Meniscus rips are particularly dangerous for older athletes since the meniscus degrades with age. Indicators of a meniscus strain, sprain or tear in patients in Singapore and abroad include:

  • Daily activities like squatting or kneeling cause pain
  • Feeling tenderness on the inside or outside of the joint
  • Catching, locking, or instability in the knee
  • Stiffness and swelling

The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)

An ACL injury in any athlete in Singapore or abroad will cause symptoms such as a sensation that the knee has given way or moved when grounding the foot or twisting the knee. When the damage happens, you may even feel or hear a pop. ACL injury symptoms include:

  • Joint line tenderness and discomfort
  • Extreme swelling within 24 hours
  • Difficulty walking or holding weight

Meniscus & ACL Treatment Options

Like most bone and muscle-related injuries, there are two treatment options for a meniscus or ACL injury in patients in Singapore or abroad: surgical and non-surgical. The type of treatment also depends on whether the injury is a strain, sprain or tear. Explore how each option can help manage and relieve knee injuries.

Non-Surgical Options

Non-surgical options are for less severe injuries and to help with recovery. A minor meniscus and ACL injury in patients in Singapore do not require surgical intervention to heal. The most commonly used treatment for both injuries is the RICE method. Read on for more options.

#1 RICE Method

A meniscus or ACL injury in patients in Singapore or abroad will swell and become. Doing the RICE method will help reduce these symptoms. It stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate. You need to limit the movement and use of your knee. Resting your knee will avoid aggravating the injury and promote proper healing. Icing, compression and elevation can help relieve the pain and reduce the swelling of the knee. Ice your knee for fifteen to twenty minutes before wrapping it with a neoprene bandage to restrict movement and reduce swelling.


#2 Medications

Pain and swelling from a meniscus or ACL in a patient in Singapore can be relieved by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). However, these medications might have adverse effects, such as increased bleeding and ulceration. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, only take NSAIDs on occasion.

#3 Knee Brace

Most athletes who are back after a knee injury, from a meniscus strain to an ACL tear, will wear a brace to help support their knees. A knee brace offers stability while limiting side-to-side knee movement. When a person returns to activities, a functional sports knee brace can help better since it allows for more motion.

Surgical Interventions

Most severe knee injuries, like a meniscus or ACL tear, will need surgical intervention to ensure it properly heals. The following are surgical procedures patients receive to repair their torn ligaments.

#1 Meniscus Surgery

Meniscus surgery is a popular procedure for removing or repairing a damaged meniscus. It can alleviate discomfort and increase mobility and stability to return to daily activities. The surgical procedure takes roughly an hour and includes a few minor incisions.

It can also take weeks to months to recover and finish rehabilitation. Many patients with a torn meniscus choose to undergo surgery because the damaged cartilage can cause the knee to collapse and give way, produce discomfort and swelling, or cause the knee to lock up or become stuck. Some also receive this procedure for their ACL injury in hospitals in Singapore.

#2 ACL Surgery

You cannot merely stitch up ligaments to repair them. ACL surgery at hospitals in Singapore intends to place new tissues on top of it. The surgeon will construct a new ACL from a graft of replacement tissue derived from one of two sources: the patient’s hamstring, quadriceps, patellar tendon, or an allograft.

The team at the hospital will usually plan the reconstruction surgery for a total ACL tear between three and six weeks following the injury. It permits the inflammation to diminish in the affected location. ACL repair surgery at clinics in Singapore is an outpatient operation that allows patients to go home immediately after the surgical procedure.

Visit A Reputable Orthopaedic Facility

Sports-related injuries should be addressed as quickly as possible by qualified medical personnel. The Advanced Orthopaedic and Sports Centre is a clinic that treats orthopaedic and sports-related ailments. They also provide joint preservation and repair services, including a shoulder labral tear for patients in Singapore.

Make an appointment with the clinic if you experience pain or discomfort in your shoulders, elbows, hips, or knees. A visit to their website will provide more information about their staff and services, including shoulder rotator cuff repair, at their Singapore clinics.