Your knee has two menisci (plural for meniscus): the lateral meniscus on the outer side of the knee and the medial meniscus on the inner side. They are rubbery, crescent-shaped cartilage that act as a shock absorber.
Though these pieces of cartilage are resilient, they can be vulnerable to tearing when you twist or rotate your knee suddenly with your foot planted, or when you force your knee into a bent position such as lifting heavy objects.
If you’re an athlete who plays sports like basketball, football, or tennis, you’re at a higher risk of developing a meniscus tear. Aging individuals are also more susceptible for a meniscus tear due to the degenerative changes that occur naturally with age.
Obesity is another risk factor for meniscus tears because the extra weight can put stress on the cartilage, increasing the risk of injury.
Dr. Weber offers several treatments for meniscus tears. During your consultation, he reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms. He may also order diagnostic testing, such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to rule out other knee problems or evaluate your knee joint in more detail.
Then, he develops a comprehensive treatment plan to deliver you effective pain relief and improve your quality of life. As a conservative provider, Dr. Weber often exhausts all nonsurgical treatment options before considering surgery.
He may first recommend treating meniscus tears with conservative approaches like guided exercises. These may include knee squats and extensions in which you can perform at home to restore strength and flexibility in the knee joint.
If these approaches fail to provide you with relief, you may consider platelet-rich plasma (PRP), cortisone, and viscosupplementation injections to reduce pain and inflammation.
Meniscus tear pain often improves over time, but if the tear is causing locking of the knee and severe symptoms, you may require knee arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure that uses small incisions.
Dr. Weber is a highly skilled orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who can help you find the right treatment to return to full function. If you suspect you have a meniscus tear, call Alexander E Weber, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.