The meniscus is a cartilage structure in the knee that is among the easiest parts of the knee to injure. Because of the location of the meniscus, it can become torn during any bending motion in which weight is on the knee. If the tear to the meniscus is minor, it may be able to heal with time, rest, and medication. However, larger tears are not able to be repaired by the body’s own healing mechanisms and they could require surgical repair.
Because the meniscus is circular in shape and it only receives a blood supply from the outer edge of the circle, the location of a meniscus tear is significant to the recovery process. When tears are along the outer edge where blood flows, the tissue may be able to recover over time. Central tears create greater instability and will not heal because they lack nutrients brought through the blood supply. In these cases, the meniscus will be trimmed and repaired through arthroscopic surgical techniques. Below are some signs that you have suffered a significant meniscus injury that will be likely to need surgery.
- The knee is locked in place: Since the meniscus connects to the front and back of the knee, it is a critical component needed for movement of the joint. When it suffers a severe tear, separation from part of the knee can occur. This may restrict you from moving the knee to a bent or straight position depending on the exact location of the injury.
- Popping or clicking occurs during movement: If you feel as if the knee could give out and collapse, there is instability because of the damaged cartilage. This could be accompanied by clicking sounds that are created by offset tissues.
To assess the degree of your meniscus injury and take a complete look at your treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Struhl in New York. Our orthopedic practice is focused on knee and shoulder care with arthroscopic surgery and other advanced techniques. Learn more on our website or call (888) 451-8890.