Unless you suffer a meniscus tear, it’s hard to believe how big of a role the tiny wedges of cartilage play in your knee health. At Dearborn and Livonia Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Dearborn and Livonia, Michigan, the knee injury specialists understand how severe and even debilitating a meniscus tear can be. They offer conservative and advanced meniscus surgery to help you return to your life without knee pain. Click the online scheduling tool or call the office in your area for help today.
A meniscus tear is an injury within one of the crescent-shaped pieces of cartilage within your knees. Each knee has two menisci, with one meniscus on the inside of the knee (the medial meniscus) and one on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus).
Your menisci absorb a great deal of impact when you move the bones in your knee joint. A meniscus tear can cause pain and knee movement issues.
The main cause of meniscus tears is physical activity, particularly sharp movements like twisting or pivoting suddenly. You can also suffer a meniscus tear when you put a great deal of pressure on your knees while standing still, for example, during weight lifting (squatting).
As you age, it’s normal for the menisci to thin and harden. Weakened menisci are more likely to tear, even with ordinary movements.
A meniscus tear usually causes immediate issues, including:
The severity of symptoms can vary with the degree of the tear. With smaller meniscus tears, it could take up to a day for the pain and other symptoms to start.
Treatment of meniscus tears usually starts with rest, ice, physical therapy, and medication. If conservative care isn’t sufficient for pain relief, or if your knee won’t move properly despite treatment, your Dearborn and Livonia Orthopedics & Sports Medicine provider may recommend surgery.
A common surgery for a torn meniscus is a minimally invasive procedure called a partial meniscectomy. In this procedure, your provider removes the damaged part of your meniscus, leaving all the healthy tissue intact. Then, they clean and smooth the meniscus.
Partial meniscectomy typically requires only local or regional anesthesia, so you won’t go to sleep completely. It’s usually an outpatient procedure.
If you have a torn meniscus along with severe knee arthritis or other joint-wide damage, a total knee replacement could be an alternative treatment option.
A meniscus tear doesn’t have to set you back forever. Dearborn and Livonia Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers comprehensive solutions for meniscus tears, from conservative treatments to advanced surgery. Book your appointment online or call today.