The meniscus refers to two c-shaped cartilage discs located in the knee that act as a kind of shock absorber between the thighbone and the shinbone. The medial meniscus is located on the inner side of the knee, and the lateral meniscus is located on the outer side of the knee.The meniscus prevents the two bones from making direct contact with one another.
A torn meniscus occurs when the knee twists while a person is bearing a lot of weight on it. This is one of the most common kinds of knee injuries that a person can experience. Our surgeons in Austin, TX would like to go over the basics of meniscus tears and discuss the meniscus repair process.
Some of the causes of a torn meniscus that the doctors at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin have seen include:
The most common signs and symptoms of a torn meniscus include:
The risk factors for experiencing a meniscus tear include:
When treating meniscus tears, many doctors begin with conservative treatments to address the damage. That may include resting the knee, icing the knee, and taking medication for pain management. For many meniscus tears, keeping weight off the knee for some time will allow the knee to heal itself.
For serious meniscus tears, surgery may be recommended to repair the damaged cartilage. For advanced issues with the meniscus, a full knee joint replacement may be recommended if the cartilage has degenerated severely.
Both conservative treatment and surgical treatment will be followed by physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist will help you restore strength, stability, and movement to the knee as the meniscus heals.
The overall quality and movement of the knee can vary based on the nature of the tear and the treatment performed. Most patients will experience restored strength and mobility of their knee, and perhaps achieve full use of the knee. For people involved in professional sports, the condition of the knee can vary, and our doctors can discuss potential limitations to movement or activity as needed.
For more information about treating knee injuries and reducing pain and discomfort, be sure to contact our skilled team of orthopedic surgeons and pain relief specialists. You can schedule a consultation by phone at (512) 476-2830.