Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. Although they often occur during sports activities, they can also happen at any age due to degenerative changes. At ORTHOKnox, the providers specialize in knee injuries and have helped many patients heal from a meniscus tear with customized treatment and rehabilitation. If you develop knee pain or stiffness In Knoxville or the surrounding areas of Tennessee, call ORTHOKnox or fill out the online form to request an appointment.
Your knee joint is formed by the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). The meniscus, which is on top of the shin bone, consists of two C-shaped pieces of cartilage. Its job is to facilitate smooth movement between the femur and tibia, absorb shock, and help stabilize your knee joint.
Meniscus tears often happen during activities that involve twisting motions of your knee, such as football, tennis, and soccer.
Pivoting, cutting, quickly changing directions, and slowing down are movements that increase your risk for a torn meniscus. Repeated squatting can also lead to a meniscus injury.
In older adults, meniscus tears are usually due to degenerative changes that weaken the cartilage. As the meniscus degenerates, you’re susceptible to tears from simple daily movements that twist your knee.
You may hear a popping noise when the tear occurs, but other symptoms may develop gradually over several days, including:
You may not be able to move or straighten your knee and it may not tolerate weight.
When you come to ORTHOKnox with a knee injury, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam and may order X-rays and an MRI to assess the soft tissues and determine the severity of the tear.
Your treatment depends on the location and size of the meniscus tear. The outer rim of the cartilage has an adequate blood supply. As a result, a small tear in this area may heal with conservative care such as rest.
However, the inner two-thirds of the meniscus doesn’t have a significant blood supply. When the tear occurs in this area, patients generally need surgery to heal and recover.
Whether your knee injury is operative or nonoperative, you’ll need physical therapy to strengthen and rehabilitate your knee. Your doctor may also restrict your activities or prescribe a knee brace or custom shoe inserts.
When your meniscus tear requires surgery, the doctors at ORHTOKnox perform the surgery arthroscopically. This type of surgery is minimally invasive as it is performed using small instruments placed through small incisions approximately 5mm in length.
If you experience knee pain and stiffness, call ORTHOKnox or book an appointment online.