A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries, especially among athletes. Orthopedic surgeon Jarrod R. Smith, MD, diagnoses and treats meniscus tears at his practice in Ashland, Kentucky, Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. If you think you have a meniscus tear, call the office today to make an appointment.
Each of your knees contains two menisci, which are wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that absorb shock and provide cushioning in between your thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia). Menisci are tough and rubbery, but also prone to tears.
Meniscus tears are especially common among athletes, particularly those who play contact sports like football. However, people of all ages and activity levels can tear a meniscus.
During sports, a meniscus tear is most likely to happen if you forcefully twist your knee, especially while bearing weight. Direct force to your knee, like a football tackle, can also result in a torn meniscus.
You may hear a pop at the time of injury when you tear a meniscus. Other signs and symptoms of a torn meniscus include:
Most people are able to walk on their injured leg with a torn meniscus. Athletes may even continue playing with a tear. However, your knee further stiffens and swells over the next 2-3 days.
If left untreated, a piece of the meniscus may break loose and float into your knee joint. This can cause your knee to slip or lock.
First, Dr. Smith reviews your symptoms and medical history. He carefully examines your knee, checking for tenderness. He may bend your knee and then straighten and rotate it to check for a clicking sound that signals a torn meniscus. Dr. Smith may also take imaging tests, like an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, to rule out other knee injuries that cause similar symptoms.
Then, Dr. Smith discusses the best course of treatment for your specific condition. Minor tears that occur on the edge of the meniscus, where the cartilage has a blood supply, may improve with nonsurgical treatments like rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
If your meniscus tear is severe and requires surgery, Dr. Smith uses the most advanced techniques available. He’s one of the only surgeons in the area who uses a Ceterix® device. This technology allows Dr. Smith to treat complex meniscus tears that would otherwise require permanent, irreversible meniscus removal (meniscectomy).
For leading-edge care in meniscus tear treatment, call Smith Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment.