A torn meniscus can cause different knee symptoms, affecting movement ability. It is advisable to rest and avoid playing high-intensive sports during the healing period.
“Can I play pickleball with a torn meniscus?“. Some readers send us this question. If you have the same concern, let’s find the answer.
What Is A Torn Meniscus?
Torn Meniscus is an injury caused by a sudden and forceful twist when playing sports, working, catching a car accident, etc.
A torn meniscus can occur in various locations, such as in or outside the cartilage, anterior or posterior horn, areas rich or poor in blood vessels, etc.
The morphology of the tear is also different. It may be longitudinal, transverse, complex shapes like flower-shaped, wedge-shaped, or other complicated shapes.
When the meniscus is torn, it may cause severe pain, swollen knees, and movement inability. These symptoms may appear 2 – 3 days after the injury occurs.
A torn meniscus without proper care may lead to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, knee osteoarthritis, and other serious symptoms.
How Can Playing Pickleball Lead To A Torn Meniscus?
Pickleball requires high-intensive activities like running, jumping, twisting, and sudden directional changes. These sudden and forceful movements can cause the knee joint to become unstable, potentially creating enough pressure to tear the meniscus.
Besides, intensive gameplay leads to unexpected falls and collisions. Once the knee joints get twisted, the meniscuses get hurt.
Repetitive stress on the knee is also a cause of torn meniscus. It is particularly true for people who already have an existing knee injury or weakness in the joint.
Therefore, consult with a doctor or physiotherapist before engaging in any physically intensive activities, especially if you have a history of knee injuries.
Can I Play Pickleball With A Torn Meniscus?
Yes, you are capable of playing pickleball with a torn meniscus. Yet, it is not advisable to play pickleball with a torn meniscus, as it can cause further damage to the knee.
If you want to play pickleball, you should visit doctors or therapists to determine the intensity that your body can accept.
Experts recommend wearing a knee brace to support your knee and leg. It helps to move easier and release the pain. Also, it prevents your knee from any other injuries.
If your knee experiences high-intensity training, it is under great pressure from the weight of your body. Consequently, your condition gets worse.
Practice with short games, then increase the time gradually. Your knee will get used to the movement, increasing endurance without affecting tear recovery.
Yet, your body condition is key. If a torn meniscus causes severe pain, especially when moving, you should quit the game, rest, and experience proper medical care. It’s better to join the game with a healthy and energy-powered body.
Top 6 Tips To Cure Torn Meniscus
Follow RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
No matter how serious, this method is applied to any torn meniscus.
- Rest: Avoid carrying weighted objects and minimize any activities that strain the knee for a few days after a meniscus tear. Resting allows the body to initiate the healing process.
- Ice: After getting a torn meniscus, immediately apply ice to your knee for about 15 minutes 3-4 times a day. It will reduce pain and swelling.
- Compression: Compression can help reduce swelling and support the knee. An elastic bandage is a powerful tool in this case. Don’t make it uptight.
- Elevation: Try to elevate your knee while resting to reduce swelling and promote healing.
Exercises for a torn meniscus recovery
You can do some exercise at home without any expert preservation. Here are four practices you can try.
- Straight leg raises: You must lie flat on your back and keep your legs straight. Gently lift one leg to a height that’s comfortable for you. It would be best to hold for several seconds before slowly lowering it down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
- Wall Slides: Stand with your back to a wall and place your feet about shoulder-width apart. Sliding down the wall and bending your knees. Slowly slide back after holding for a few seconds to the starting position. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
- Quad Sets: Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. The key is to tighten the muscles and press your knee into the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
- Hamstring Curls: Lie flat on your stomach, bend one leg towards your buttocks, and then return to the original post. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each leg.
Besides, you can go swimming instead of pickleball or tennis. Swimming helps your muscles and meniscus to get used to movement and reduces bad symptoms of a torn meniscus.
Physical therapy can help strengthen the knee area. Rehabilitation exercises and stretches can help reduce pain and improve overall mobility.
Physical therapists can design a plan based on the severity of the injury.
They will guide and follow your process to adjust the plan weekly.
Physical therapy may take a few weeks for your knee to heal completely. You should enter this service to improve your leg health, especially after meniscus surgery.
Knee braces are powerful tools made of elastic materials. They work perfectly in supporting and protecting your knee when moving. It reduces stress on the torn meniscus and fastens the healing process.
Even when your knee recovers, you should wear this tool to protect your meniscus.
The doctor will review the condition of the injury, then consider whether to take care of the wound or use antibiotics and painkillers. Although painkillers can reduce the pain quickly, it’s a temporary method.
It is also recommended not to use painkillers if the injury is bearable. If you overuse medicine, your body becomes dependent, and the resistance system stops generating natural antibiotics.
Surgery may be necessary if the torn meniscus is severe or if non-surgical treatment has failed. Surgical options include repair or removal of the damaged tissue.
“Can I play pickleball with a torn meniscus surgery?”. Yes, but there are many cautions you must be aware of. Doctors will give you instructions that you should follow closely.
Normal meniscus vs. Torn meniscus
How Is A Torn Meniscus Treated?
Once you get a torn meniscus, you should avoid intense activities such as jumping, running, twisting, and sudden changes. Following the RICE method is key to fasten the healing process.
If the injury causes severe pain and other serious symptoms, getting advice from doctors or therapists is better for your healing process.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of A Torn Meniscus?
A torn meniscus happens due to unstable knee joints, weak muscles, sudden twists, and long-term stress on the knees.
You’d better strengthen your knee muscles with leg exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses, and step-ups. Playing low-impact activities such as swimming or cycling enhances your legs’ strength.
It would help to warm up properly when playing high-paced sports such as pickleball, tennis, and marathon. Wearing proper shoes is also a way to reduce your risk of a torn meniscus.
Listening to your body is crucial. If your knees get pain, stop and rest.
Can I Play Pickleball After Meniscus Surgery?
Yes. You can play pickleball after meniscus surgery if your health accepts it.
Depending on the surgery and knee condition, doctors will give you some self-care instructions at home. They also consult on sporty activities you can join during the recovery period.
Never join long and high-intensitive gameplay when you come back to pickleball. It puts stress on your meniscus and properly tears it again.
Instead, start with warm-up activities and gradually increase the intensity.
You must balance between resting and playing pickleball. If there is any pain and discomfort, you should stop it immediately.
How Long Does Meniscus Take To Heal?
It depends on age, lifestyle, and injury condition. The younger you are, the healthier your meniscus is, and the shorter your recovery process takes.
If your job and daily activities require a lot of movement, it affects the meniscus, leading to a longer healing time.
When the injury is moderate, your meniscus can heal naturally in a week. Otherwise, it needs medical intervention to recover, which takes up to three weeks for this healing process.
Is Swimming Good For A Torn Meniscus?
Yes, swimming is good for a torn meniscus. This sport has a low impact on the knees, reduces pain, and supports your leg to move smoothly under the water.
However, consulting with your doctor or physical therapist before exercising following a meniscus injury is important.
Can I play pickleball with a torn meniscus? Yes, it is acceptable. Yet, you should wear knee braces, play short games, and rest if your body experiences any pain and discomfort.
Taking proper precautions and consulting with a doctor or physiotherapist is advisable to fasten recovery, especially after the surgery.
For those who love pickleball and other sports, follow us for more helpful information and interesting tips.
>>See more: Can You Play Pickleball On A Tennis Court?