Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee-related injuries, affecting patients of all ages. At MidJersey Orthopaedics in Flemington, Bridgewater and Washington, New Jersey, our team of orthopaedic surgeons and sports medicine experts specialize in the safe, effective treatment of meniscus tears. If you or a loved one experiences pain or discomfort as a result of a torn meniscus, request an appointment today by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online booking tool.
Each of your knee joints contains two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called meniscus. These pieces of cartilage act as a cushion between your thigh bone and shin bone, allowing you to twist comfortably, bend, and rotate your knee.
If you tear a meniscus, it's typical to experience pain, swelling, and general discomfort. A torn meniscus can also affect your mobility and prevent you from straightening your leg fully if left untreated.
The symptoms of a meniscus tear vary depending on the severity of the injury. However, common symptoms include:
If you suffer a meniscus tear, you might also experience your knee locking in place. This can make normal activities like taking the dog for a walk nearly impossible.
Anyone can experience a meniscus tear, but it’s especially common in athletes, such as those who participate in contact sports like football and hockey. You’re also at risk if you participate in a sport that involves lots of pivoting or changes in direction, such as tennis, soccer, or basketball.
Other factors that increase your risk of a torn meniscus include general wear-and-tear as part of the natural aging process.
To diagnose a meniscus tear, your MidJersey Orthopaedics physician reviews your medical history and conducts a physical exam. Also, an x-ray of the knee is performed.
If these measures don’t provide enough information, your doctor might also order an MRI to get a closer look at your meniscus. An MRI uses radio waves and magnetic fields to produce high-definition images of the hard and soft tissues in your knee.
If diagnostic imaging doesn’t provide enough insight, your doctor might also recommend arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves your doctor using an arthroscope––a skinny tube with a camera on the end––to observe the interior of your knee joint.
Minor meniscus tears usually respond to conservative treatments such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE protocol). You might also benefit from physical therapy and/or strengthening exercises.
If your knee pain persists or your knee locks up and affects your mobility, surgical intervention may be necessary. Our team at MidJersey Orthopaedics offers both minimally invasive and other surgical options for a meniscus tear, including a meniscal transplant.
To learn more about the various treatments for a meniscus tear, make an appointment at MidJersey Orthopaedics by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online scheduling tool today.