Meniscus tears rank high among the most common knee injuries. At Texas Orthopaedic Associates in Dallas, Plano, Weatherford, Keller, and Fort Worth, Texas, the experienced team easily treats meniscus tears and other knee injuries. If you think you may have a torn meniscus, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
MENISCUS TEAR Q&A
What is a meniscus tear?
The menisci are two wedge-shaped discs of cartilage that cushion and stabilize your knee joint. These tough and rubbery cartilage pieces absorb shock between your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia).
Different types of meniscus tears include flap, radial, and bucket handle tears. The type of meniscus injury you have depends on the appearance of the tear and where it occurs.
What causes a meniscus tear?
Meniscus tears can happen suddenly or appear gradually. Sudden meniscus tears often occur during sports when you twist your knee. Gradual meniscus tears happen as a result of degenerative damage that occurs with age.
How do I know if I tore my meniscus?
If you tear your meniscus during a sports injury, you may hear a “popping” noise. Over the next 2-3 days, your knee becomes stiff and swollen. Other common signs and symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
- Knee pain and swelling
- Catching or locking of the knee
- Reduced range of motion
- The sensation of your knee giving out
Many athletes continue to play with a torn meniscus if they can still walk on the injured knee. But without proper treatment, a piece of the meniscus may break off and drift into your knee joint. This may lead to further damage and knee instability.
How do you diagnose and treat a meniscus tear?
First, the team at Texas Orthopaedic Associates performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical history. They may take imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to diagnose your meniscus tear.
Then, they develop a personalized treatment plan based on the type, size, and location of your specific meniscus tear. A tear on the outer third of your meniscus may heal on its own because of the rich blood supply that brings nutrients to this region.
However, the inner two-thirds of your meniscus don’t have a blood supply and, therefore, can’t heal without surgery. The team at Texas Orthopaedic Associates is highly experienced in minimally invasive techniques such as arthroscopic knee surgery.
If you suspect you may have a torn meniscus, don’t hesitate to call Texas Orthopaedic Associates or book an appointment online today.