Knee Meniscus Tear

Healthy Knee Meniscus

Knee meniscus tear is a common injury to the knee. The menisci are two soft rings of fibrocartilage that sit on either side of the knee joint between the femur and tibia. They help to mate the rounded surface of the femur to the flatter surface of the tibia.

This type of injury can occur from a sports injury during which the knee is twisted or jarred suddenly. Often pain is felt with walking, climbing stairs or squatting down. Patients may notice painful "catching" or "popping" in the knee with certain movements.

Fortunately, with orthopedic specialist care in most cases these injuries can heal with non-surgical treatment. Antiinflammatories and specific exercises with a physical therapist are initiated. A cortisone injection may be given to relieve painful swelling and inflammation. Recovery is typically over 6 to 12 weeks.

Knee Meniscus Flap Tear
This picture shows a torn inner margin of one meniscus.

In certain cases, surgical treatment may be necessary for full recovery. Arthroscopic surgical treatment is done through two small incisions in the front of the knee. A high-definition camera is used with small tools to smooth out the rough and torn section of meniscus. In larger tears, the meniscus may be repair with strong sutures.

A quick recovery is anticipated, with patients being able to walk without crutches the day of the surgery without a knee brace. Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery allows patients to get back to work, sports and life as quickly as possible.

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