Meniscus Tear

Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa

Orthopedic Surgery located in Tulsa, OK

The meniscus in your knee is a cushion of cartilage that protects the joint. A tear in the meniscus could cause severe pain and problems using the knee that require expert treatment. The high-quality, fellowship-trained surgeons at Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa have performed thousands of successful arthroscopic knee procedures, including meniscal repairs. To find out what they can do for your meniscus tear, call the office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or book an appointment online today.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear is an injury of the cartilage inside your knee. 

Between your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) are mobile cushions called the medial and lateral menisci. These cushions protect the inside and outside of your knee from pressure generated by the flat shin bone and the curved thigh bone.

A meniscus may fray, tear, or move into another part of your knee due to injury, overuse, or age-related joint damage. 

Tears are most often a result of trauma, typically sports injuries. However, age-related degeneration of the meniscus weakens the cartilage and makes it prone to injury, so an older person can tear their meniscus more easily.

What symptoms does a meniscus tear cause?

A meniscus tear may be painful and cause loss of function in the joint. When the injury occurs you might notice a popping sensation in your knee, but most people are still able to walk. After a few days, the knee becomes swollen, tender, and stiff.

The joint might feel like it’s catching or locking up, and you may sense it could give way when you walk. You’re likely to have some limitations to your normal range of motion as well.

Diagnosing a meniscus tear involves taking an appropriate history, performing a physical exam, and using X-rays or an MRI to see inside the knee.

How is a meniscus tear treated?

Tears can worsen if you put them under excessive stress, so make sure you follow your surgeon’s advice on treatment. Initial approaches to treating a meniscus tear are likely to involve:

  • Rest
  • Avoiding activities that cause pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

Some kinds of meniscus tears can heal on their own, especially in younger patients. The outer third of your meniscus may heal without surgery as it has a better blood supply, meaning your body can deliver the oxygen, nutrients, and healing cells to the meniscus that enable it to heal.

However, the inner part of the meniscus gets almost no blood supply, so if the tear is in this area, surgery is more likely.

What surgery might I need for a meniscus tear?

The surgeons of Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa often use a minimally invasive technique called knee arthroscopy to perform meniscal surgery.

An arthroscope is a small instrument fitted with a light and camera that your surgeon inserts into your knee. They use the images sent back by the camera to a screen in the operating room to make repairs to the meniscus or remove the damaged areas.

If you have knee pain, find out whether a meniscus tear is to blame and get the best treatment available by visiting Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa. Call the office today or book an appointment online.