Sometimes all it takes is an awkward twist of your knee to cause severe pain and discomfort. If this has happened to you and your symptoms are getting worse in the days following your injury, you may have a torn meniscus. The menisci are the tough, rubbery bits of cartilage that sit between the bones of the knee. The surgeons at Crescent City Orthopedics are well-versed in diagnosing and repairing meniscus tears for patients in Metairie, Louisiana, and the surrounding communities, so they can help you return to your normal activities pain-free.
Most sudden meniscus tears are sports injuries. Sometimes they're the result of a direct contact with another player.
Older adults sometimes develop meniscus tears due to degeneration, not sudden impact. As the cartilage weakens, the tissue becomes more prone to tearing. All it takes is an awkward movement when standing to tear the delicate tissue.
Only a doctor can diagnose a meniscus tear, but these are the symptoms that may indicate you have a tear:
Keep in mind that you may still be able to walk on your knee after tearing your meniscus, though it will hurt. But you may need treatment, so call your surgeon at the first sign of a meniscus tear.
If you visit Crescent City Orthopedics and suspect you have a torn meniscus, your doctor may first order an X-ray. Even though an X-ray can't show the meniscus, it can rule out other causes of your pain, such as arthritis.
If the X-ray is clear and the physical exam indicates a meniscus tear is likely, your doctor will order an MRI to see the soft tissues of the knee and accurately diagnose the tear, along with its location and severity.
The treatment for your torn meniscus depends on its location. If the tear is on the outer edge, the rich blood flow to this area may allow it to heal on its own with enough rest and monitoring. This is known as a longitudinal tear.
However, if the tear is in the inner portion of the meniscus, which has no blood flow, it can't heal on its own and requires surgery. Physical therapy after surgery helps speed recovery.
If you do require surgery, you'll be in good hands at Crescent City Orthopedics. The knee specialists on the surgical team at Crescent City Orthopedics use the industry's latest technology, including arthroscopic surgery and computer-assisted surgery, to repair the meniscus with minimal pain and discomfort. Schedule an appointment for an evaluation with the Crescent City Orthopedics team today.