Meniscal tears are common knee injuries, especially among athletes involved in high-impact contact sports. This may impair the range of motion and mobility of your knee, in addition to compromised stability.
Jersey City orthopedics team offers several diagnostic tools and treatment options to manage meniscal tears, relieving painful symptoms.
What is a meniscal tear?
A meniscal tear is a common knee injury that occurs due to forceful twisting or rotating of your knee, especially while heavy weight bearing. Meniscus are C-shaped structures in your knee that act as a cushion between your thigh bone and shinbone and play a key role in knee stability.
Meniscal tears are common among athletes who require aggressive pivoting and sudden turns during contact sports like basketball or football.
What are the possible etiological factors that lead to meniscal tears?
There are multiple causes of meniscal tears, such as:
- Aging that leads to excess wear and tear
- Forceful motion during knee twisting
- Sudden stops or turns
- Forceful pivoting
- Degenerative conditions like arthritis
What are the associated symptoms of a torn meniscus?
Symptoms and signs of a meniscal tear include:
- A popping sensation in your knee
- Pain during twisting or rotating the knee
- Knee swelling and stiffness
- Locked feeling during knee movement
- Difficulty straightening the knee
How is a meniscal tear diagnosed?
Consult an orthopedic doctor if you experience any symptoms. Your doctor will diagnose a meniscus tear through:
Medical history to record
- Other medical conditions
- Past injuries or surgeries
- Genetic disorders
- Medications being taken
- Unhealthy habits like smoking
Physical examination to evaluate
- Signs of tenderness and swelling
- Your knee stability in different positions
Diagnostic tests such as
- X-ray of your knee
- Knee arthroscopy to visually examine the inside of the knee joint
How do orthopedic doctors treat meniscal tears?
Your orthopedic doctor will design a customized treatment plan according to your diagnostic tests. The treatment depends on the type, size and location of the tear.
Indicated for tears in the outer third of the meniscus having a rich blood supply. This includes:
- Ice packs
- Leg elevation
- Medications like NSAIDs
- Physical therapy
- Regenerative medicine like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections
Recommended for tears in the inner two-thirds of the meniscus lacking blood supply. This includes:
- Arthroscopic surgery: This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a special device called an arthroscope. This is inserted into the joint space through keyhole-sized incisions to repair or trim away the damaged tissue.
A torn meniscus is a common knee injury, seen among athletes. This occurs due to sudden twisting of your knee. Small tears often heal on their own, while others may require arthroscopic surgery.