They are a relatively uncommon occurrence that may result in pain and disability in the knee. It is widely believed that a meniscal cyst is second to fluid extrusion from a meniscus tear. Typically, diagnosis of a meniscal cyst requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to delineate the cyst and any associated injuries.
Are Meniscal Cysts painful?
Meniscal cysts don’t always cause symptoms. But When they do, symptoms may include Knee pain when squatting, a bump on the knee, and swelling or locking of the joint. Meniscal cysts are often caused by tears in the meniscal cartilage. This can happen after an injury or because of degeneration of the meniscus.
What is a Meniscal Tear?
When the meniscus is torn, a small cyst can form adjacent to the tear. This cyst is thought to develop as part of the body’s healing response. Alone, a cyst is of little consequence and is present only secondary to the meniscus tear. However, the cyst itself can cause discomfort and maybe noticeable over the joint line where the meniscus is torn.
However, Cysts may also be caused by degeneration of the meniscus. This is usually related to age or osteoarthritis.
What does a Meniscal Cyst feel like?
In some cases where the lump is due to a meniscal cyst, it feels like a lump on the side of the knee that can change in size. When examining the knee, we often find a lump close to the joint line.
Is a Cyst hard?
Cysts feel like soft blisters when they are close to the skin’s surface, but they can feel like hard lumps when they develop deeper beneath the skin. However, A hard cyst near the surface of the skin usually contains trapped dead skin cells or proteins.
Can we run with a Meniscal cyst?
Well, It’s not always practical to remove the cyst without also taking some of the underlying cartilage. As pain is the limiting factor in this, some runners will attempt to run through a meniscal cyst. However, proper physiotherapy with quadriceps exercises can be helpful.
How do I Exercise to heal my Meniscal Cyst?
For most tears, some simple exercises can help maintain muscle strength in the front of the thigh (quadriceps), back of the thigh (hamstrings), calf, and hip. All of these areas are important for your overall leg function while your knee heals after an injury or after surgery.
Some of the most commonly preferred exercises are as under:
Straight-leg raises to the front
These straight-leg raises help you strengthen the muscles on top of your thigh and around your hip. Do 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Lie on your back with your good knee bent so that your foot rests flat on the floor. Your injured leg should be straight.
- Tighten the thigh muscles in the injured leg by pressing the back of your knee flat down to the floor. Hold your knee straight.
- Keeping the thigh muscles tight, lift your injured leg up so that your heel is about 12 in. (30 cm) off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower slowly.
Straight-leg raises to the back for Meniscal Cyst
These straight-leg raises help you strengthen the muscles in your buttocks and in the back of your thigh. Do 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Lie on your stomach, and lift your leg straight behind you
- Lift your toes about 6 in. (15 cm) off the floor, hold for 5 seconds, then lower slowly.
Hamstring curls for Meniscal Cyst
Hamstring curls strengthen the muscles in the back of the thigh. Do 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Lie on your stomach with your knees straight. If your kneecap is uncomfortable, roll up a washcloth and put it under your leg just above your kneecap.
- Lift the foot of your injured leg by bending the knee so that you bring the foot up toward your buttocks. If this motion hurts, try it without bending your knee quite as far, in order to avoid any painful motion.
Heel raises strengthen the calf muscles. Do 8 to 12 repetitions several times during the day.
- Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your hands lightly resting on a counter or chair in front of you.
- Slowly raise your heels off the floor while keeping your knees straight. Hold for about 6 seconds, then slowly lower your heels to the floor.
Heel dig bridging
The heel dig bridging exercise works your hamstrings and the muscles around your lower body and hips. Do 8 to 12 repetitions. Do not continue with this exercise if it causes pain.
- Lie on your back with both knees bent and your ankles bent so that only your heels are digging into the floor.
- Tighten your belly muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Then push your heels into the floor, squeeze your buttocks, and lift your hips off the floor until your shoulders, hips, and knees are all in a straight line.
- Hold about 6 seconds as you continue to breathe normally, and then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor and rest for up to 10 seconds.
Shallow standing knee bends
Shallow standing knee bends build strength in the muscles on top of your thigh. if you have no clicking, locking, or giving way in the injured knee; and if it doesn’t hurt while you are doing 8 to 12 repetitions.
- Stand with your hands lightly resting on a counter or chair in front of you with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend your knees so that you squat down just like you were going to sit in a chair. Make sure your knees don’t go in front of your toes.
- Lower yourself about 6 in. (15 cm). Your heels should remain on the floor.
Rise slowly to a standing position.
What are the other Treatments of a Meniscal Cyst?
As meniscal cysts arise from a degenerative torn meniscus, treatment reflects meniscal tear treatment. Generally, Simple treatments such as anti-inflammatory tablets or massages are prescribed. However, In cases where the cyst causes pain, a cortisone injection guided by ultrasound into the cyst can help.
What happens if Meniscal Cyst left untreated?
If not treated, part of the meniscus may come loose and slip into the joint. You may need surgery to restore full knee function. Untreated meniscal cysts can increase in size and lead to complications, such as arthritis.