Do you know what meniscus cartilage is? It is the joint pad on your knee. A meniscus cyst is quite common in males aged 20-30 years. A meniscus cyst is likely to develop due to the amassing of your joint fluid (or synovial fluid) if you suffer from a meniscus cartilage tear. So, this article will illustrate meniscal cyst symptoms and knee support.
What are the Symptoms of Meniscal Cyst?
If you have a meniscal cyst, you might not experience any symptoms. However, if you do, the most typical signs include:
- Knee pain when you are standing.
- Soreness and inflammation directly along with your knee joint.
- A bump or swelling at the cyst position, typically close to the outside of the knee.
- A lump that becomes more noticeable as you extend your knee, though the outgrowth might be painless.
- Lump size variations, although it might remain apparently unaffected
- Inflammation or locked knee joint
What are the Causes of Meniscal Cyst?
A meniscal cyst is usually common in young men. It is generally associated to a type of meniscus tear known as horizontal cleavage tear. Over-rotating of the knee might cause this tear. It can also be triggered due to a direct impact on your knee’s front side or sideways. Unbalanced force on your knee, like when you stride on an uneven surface, might also trigger this injury. Also, the degeneration of the meniscus might cause the cyst. It is generally linked to your age or arthritis condition.
Did You Know?
- A torn meniscus allows the synovial fluid to seep out of the joint and develop into a cyst.
- Meniscus lump is not a real cyst and is just an amassing of displaced synovial fluid. When the fluid outflows, it is collected in a pouch. And the pouch is referred to as a cyst.
- Your cartilage rip can act as a one-way valve that allows joint fluid to escape into the cyst. However, it cannot travel back into the joint. So, the cyst continues to amass fluid.
What are the Risks of Meniscal Cyst?
Knee Injury or Meniscal Injury
If you partake in contact sports or other sports activities where the knee joint is likely to twist. Some examples may include football, soccer, tennis, or rugby.
Aging or Arthritis
As you grow, your chance of developing osteoarthritis increases. Hence, you are more vulnerable to meniscus problems.
Some injuries like torn anterior ligament (ACL) might increase the risk.
How to Diagnose Meniscal Cyst?
When you visit a physician, they might ask you the following questions:
- Do you feel knee pain?
- Do you hear any pop sound when moving the knee?
- Have you suffered from any recent injury or impact to the knee?
These questions will help determine if you suffer from a meniscal tear. A meniscal outgrowth is usually palpated, so your doctor can quickly examine and feel it. The Range of Motion (ROM) tests can affirm that there are no broken pieces of cartilage in your joints. Some of the tests your physician might recommend to evaluate meniscal tear and other knee damages include:
- The McMurray test
- The Apley test
- The Steinmann I test
- The Payr’s test
- Childress’ sign
- The Ege’s test
The above are motion, weight lifting, and pressure tests that can assist your doctor in quickly identifying a tear. They can also help your physician decide if your tear requires surgical treatment. However, the diagnosis might be definite through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound.
An MRI test provides imageries of your knee through the magnetic field and radio waves. Likewise, an ultrasound offers imageries of the affected part using sound waves. So, these imaging tests are critical to helping your doctor observe the cyst or tear.
How are Baker’s Cysts Different from Meniscal Outgrowth?
Did you know that a meniscal lump is quite similar to a baker’s cyst? The main difference is that a baker’s cyst is usually positioned on the backside of your knee joint. So, a baker’s cyst has been observed with several common knee issues that can cause fluid accumulation or knee inflammation. And these can occur with meniscus rip and osteoarthritis, ligament damages, and other problems that may trigger knee swelling.
What is the Treatment of Meniscal Cyst?
If you have a meniscus outgrowth, you can treat it with ice therapy for the first instance. However, anti-inflammatory medications can also be helpful. Usually, the doctor drains the cyst using a needle in their clinic or office. Regrettably, the cyst is likely to redevelop if you do not treat the tear.
If you suffer from this problem, the primary treatments include resting and intake of NSAIDs. Aspiration and steroid injections are other effective ways. Your doctor may inject ultrasound-directed shots into your cyst.
Meniscus injuries usually don’t require surgery. However, when they do, the most preferred surgery is the minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical treatment. So, after you address the tear, the cyst is likely to fade away. As these cysts are likely to redevelop, in this case, the chances are meager. So, treating the actual cyst is not crucial. However, the ideal treatment is to treat the underlying cause of the cyst.
Some of the most effective operative treatments include cyst decompression, arthroscopic debridement, and meniscal resection. A peri-meniscal cyst due to a related tear that cannot repair can be treated through partial meniscectomy. Your doctor might also treat the cyst excision through an open posterior approach.
When Can You Resume Your Normal Routine?
Though meniscus lump does not cure, they might become symptomless with time, mainly if you limit your activity. If the cyst is without symptoms, you still cannot partake in activities. And if you undergo a surgical procedure to locate the meniscus and relax the cyst, you might be able to resume your activities after three weeks of the process. Sometimes, you might use knee support like a knee brace to save your knee from impact.
If you try to remain fit, protect your knee, and wear the right fit and comfortable shoes, you can easily prevent meniscus problems.