Meniscus Tears

July 2, 2017

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus is a shock absorbing structure found on the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) part of the knee. Because they are important for stability and load sharing, they are prone to injury. Meniscus tears can happen in sports or in everyday activities. The medial meniscus is more likely to be torn than the lateral meniscus.

Acute Meniscus Injury or Meniscus Tears

When someone suffers an acute meniscal injury, they usually describe a twisting type event that is then followed by ongoing catching or locking in the knee. However, many patients who are found to have meniscus tears, do not remember a specific injury when they might have been injured. Although some people with meniscal tears get better with conservative measures (rest, NSAIDs, PT and cortisone injections), many go on to require arthroscopic knee surgery.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

During this procedure a video camera is placed into the knee through a very small incision in the knee. A second small incision allows small instruments (tools) to be inserted and the torn part of the meniscus can be removed or fixed. The majority of meniscus tears require the torn flaps of tissue to be removed, however some types of meniscus tears (very few, actually) are unable to be repaired.

For more information visit: Meniscus Tears on the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Patient Info Site

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