Meniscal Tears in Metairie, LA

Meniscal Tears in Metairie, LAMensicus tears are a common knee injury, often sustained by athletes who participate in high-intensity sports. Tearing can cause both intense pain and severe instability of the knee joint. Contact Dr. Junius to learn more about his minimally invasive approach to treating meniscal tears.

Often caused by the improper lifting of heavy objects, or the twisting of the knee while running, meniscus tears are most often considered sports-related injuries. Athletes who participate in high-intensity sports, such as football, soccer, or weight lifting, have a greater risk of sustaining damage to their meniscus. In addition, meniscal tearing often occurs with other knee injuries, such as ACL tears.

Structure of the Meniscus

The meniscus is the protective cartilage located between the thighbone and shinbone in the knee joint, which helps maintain balance and steadiness during movement. There are two menisci in each knee.

The meniscus provides an even distribution of the body’s weight across the knee. Any damage to the meniscus can lead to changes in the distribution of weight on the knee joint, possibly resulting in an excessive amount of pressure to be placed on single areas of the knee. Continued uneven pressure on the knee joint can increase a patient’s risk of developing arthritis.

Symptoms of Meniscus Tears

Each patient’s symptoms will differ, based on the location and severity of tearing; however, they will often experience one of more of the following symptoms:

  • Increasing pain
  • Rapid swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Popping of the joint
  • Decreasing range of motion
  • Joint instability
  • Stiffness

Types of Meniscus Tears and Treatment Options

Meniscal tears are categorized by the shape and severity. Regardless of the type of tear, patients who think they may have sustained a meniscal tear should immediately rest, as continued use of the joint after injury can often cause additional or more severe tearing.

There are five primary “shapes” of meniscal tears:

  • Longitudinal
  • Bucket Handle
  • Flap
  • Transverse
  • Torn Horn

Minor tearing will often cause minimal pain and swelling, which can often be treated with a combination of 2 to 3 weeks of rest, the application of a cold compress, and anti-inflammatory medications.

In addition to the pain and swelling often experienced with minor tears, patients who have sustained moderate tears may also experience joint stiffness, decreased joint mobility, and joint instability. Due to the increased amount of damage to the meniscus, arthroscopic knee surgery is often required to fully relieve symptoms.

Patients who have sustained severe, or full, meniscus tears will typically have difficultly walking. For tears of this severity, knee arthroscopy is required to restore joint stability and mobility, as well as relieve pain and swelling.

Meniscus Tears in Metairie, LA

Dr. R. William Junius, III is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with sub-specialty training in sports medicine. Dr. Junius is dedicated to utilizing state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical techniques for sports medicine, including in the treatment of meniscal tears.

To learn more about treatment options for knee pain and meniscal tears, schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Junius at his Metairie, LA office.