As many already know, knee injuries can be agonizing. One of the more common types of knee injuries is the meniscus tear, which can cause frequently occurring cartilage injuries if not treated.
The meniscus is a part of your knee made from cartilage. It acts as a stabilizer and cushion for the joint, and it protects the bone from minor damage or depreciation. Meniscus tears are common, but there are some treatment options to help.
There are two main types of meniscal tears: traumatic and degenerative tears. A traumatic meniscus tear typically happens when an athlete twists their upper leg, which can cause injury if done while planting the foot and bending the knee. Traumatic meniscus tears are common for those playing basketball, football, soccer, and many other activities requiring knee twisting.
A degenerative meniscus tear happens over time and occurs from depreciation. This injury is prevalent in older adults. Degenerative meniscus tears are often caused when older adults twist or move their knees repeatedly and accelerate the tear.
If your provider suspects a meniscus tear, they will evaluate your knee, then order X-rays and MRIs to make an official diagnosis if they still suspect a tear. Common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
The right treatment for your meniscus tear will depend on where the damage has occurred, as well as how extensive the damage is. If the injury occurs on the outer portion of the meniscus, there’s a high probability it will heal on its own. However, if the tear happens toward the inside of the meniscus, the patient will need treatment. Non-surgical treatment options for a meniscus tear include:
These non-surgical treatments may not be enough to heal your injury. Surgery may be in order if you have a large enough meniscus tear.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat meniscal tears. During surgery, surgeons insert a small optic tube in the joint through an incision. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to see inside the joint and repair the tear. Once finished, the surgeon places sutures around the meniscus to hold it together while it heals. This operation is a viable option for both young and older patients.
If you are showing any of the symptoms of a meniscus tear, contact Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute and schedule an appointment to get back on your feet!