Meniscus Tears Treatment in Glendale, CA
The meniscus is a cartilage pad in the knee joint that sits on top of the shin bone (tibia). There are two menisci in the knee, medial and lateral. The function of the meniscus is to provide cushion and stability to the knee to protect the cartilage that coats the end of the thigh bone (femur). It is like a shock absorber. Without the meniscus, the cartilage that coats the end of the bone (articular cartilage) is subject to more pressure and can wear out over time.
Meniscus injuries are very common. They can be sudden (acute) due to trauma, or chronic due to wear and tear over time. Traumatic injuries can occur during sports or exercise. In the chronic, or degenerative tears, a simple awkward twist may cause the meniscus to tear.
Symptoms of a meniscus tear vary depending on the severity and location of the tear. You may feel or hear a pop. Most people can continue to walk or play sport with a meniscus tear, but the pain will develop over the next few days. Pain is located at the joint line- the space between your femur and tibia. It is usually worse with weight bearing, squatting or twisting. Associated symptoms can be swelling, catching, locking, or a sense of instability like giving out or buckling.
Initial evaluation will include a physical exam and X-rays. Definitive diagnosis is made by obtaining an MRI scan of the knee. An MRI scan will allow your surgeon to evaluate the tear in detail. Depending on the type of tear, size, location and activity level, your surgeon will present treatment options that are best for you.
Treatment includes anti-inflammatory pills or an injection. If the tear is traumatic or causing mechanical symptoms such as catching, locking or giving way, your surgeon may recommend operative treatment in the form of a knee arthroscopy.