When Would I Need Meniscal Tear Treatment on the Lower East Side?

Meghan Bishop, MD June 4th, 2019

Why Meniscus Tear Treatment?

Did you recently hear or feel a “pop” in your knee? Even if you can still walk with the pain, it’s quite likely that you could have experienced a meniscal tear. This injury is common among athletes and can also occur in people with arthritis.

Rothman Orthopaedic Institute provides meniscal tear treatment on the Lower East Side for patients of all ages. The treatment plan chosen for you will depend on several factors, including the type and severity of the tear, the actions you’ve taken since being injured, and your personal medical history.

What Is a Meniscus?

The meniscus is a tough, rubbery substance that aids in cushioning and stabilizing the knee. Depending on circumstances of your injury, the meniscus can tear in different ways.

How Does a Meniscus Tear Happen?

A torn meniscus is caused by trauma, which usually involves a forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee. During sports, a player may be injured because of a sudden movement such as squatting or twisting the knee. Athletes playing contact sports, such as football or basketball, are at higher risk for meniscal tears. It is common for a meniscal tear to occur in conjunction with other knee injuries, such as an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear. Common causes include:

  • Over-rotation of the knee because of planting and pivoting too aggressively

  • Impact to the front or side of the knee

  • Rapid squatting or stepping on uneven surfaces that puts pressure on the knees

  • The knee flexing too far back due to a strong force, such as when colliding with another player

  • Changing direction suddenly during running or jumping

What Does a Torn Meniscus Feel Like?

The pain may not seem very bad at first, but it will likely increase once inflammation sets in. Common symptoms of a meniscus tear are:

  • A “popping” sound or sensation when the trauma occurs

  • Stiffness and swelling of the knee

  • The sensation that the knee is “giving way”

  • Reduced range of motion

  • Catching or locking of the knee

  • Pain

  • An inability to extend the knee

It’s possible for an athlete to not realize when the injury has taken place. The swelling within the knee joint takes several hours to build up. Depending on the level of pain and fluid that accumulates, the knee may become difficult to move. Sometimes, the injury is not as obvious but the symptoms begin to develop over several days.

Meniscal Tear Treatment on the Lower East Side

Treatment for a meniscal tear should take the type, size, and location of the injury into account. One-third of the meniscus has access to a rich blood supply, which often allows the tear to heal on its own.

However, when the injury is located within the inner two-thirds of the meniscus, it doesn’t have the same contact with this healing blood supply. Because the pieces of the cartilage are unable to fuse back together on their own, tears in this area may require surgical intervention.

Meniscal tear treatment options start conservative, with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce pain and swelling while the injury heals.

If the condition doesn’t improve with nonsurgical treatment, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended in some cases. In this procedure, a tiny camera is inserted into an incision, allowing the surgeon to trim or repair the tear. Meniscal tear treatment exercises will be prescribed as part of a rehabilitation program once the patient has recovered from surgery.

You can learn more about your treatment options by consulting with our team at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. We offer meniscal tear treatment on the Lower East Side at our Manhattan office, in addition to a variety of other orthopaedic specialties including Shoulder & Elbow, Hand & Wrist, Spine, Foot & Ankle, and Joint Replacement. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-321-9999.

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