Meniscus Tear

Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?

Yes. You have to take the weight off the knee. That means with crutches. Nutrition is essential. Avoid anything that decreases healing. How long the healing takes and whether it heals at all depends on the size and the type of the tear.

Can a meniscus tear heal without surgery?

Yes. You have to take the weight off the knee. That means with crutches. Nutrition is essential. Avoid anything that decreases healing. How long the healing takes and whether it heals at all depends on the size and the type of the tear.

How long does it take for a torn meniscus to heal without surgery?

You have to take the weight off the knee. That means with crutches. Nutrition is essential. Avoid anything that decreases healing. How long the healing takes and whether it heals at all depends on the size and the type of the tear.

How long does it take to recover from a meniscus injury?

It depends on how well you do everything required for the meniscus to heal. You have to take the weight off the knee. That means with crutches. Nutrition is essential. Avoid anything that decreases healing. How long the healing takes and whether it heals at all depends on the size and the type of the tear.

Can you walk around with a torn meniscus?

You can. The more you walk on it the more likely you will cause damage to the cartilage which doesn’t heal as well. If you want the meniscus to heal you have to stay within the pain-free range of weight bearing. That means with crutches. That also means is off any sort of pain medication including anti-inflammatories and acetaminophen. Initially that means no weight bearing with crutches.

How long does it take to walk again after meniscus surgery?

That depends on what surgery was done. The recuperation can range from 2 weeks to months. That means being able to walk without a limp or pain.

What happens if you leave a torn meniscus untreated?

That depends on the size of the tear, how much weight you put on it and your healing ability. The bigger the tear, the more you stand on itand the poorer your healing ability the less likely it is to heal and the more likely you will cause progressive damage to the cartilage. You don’t want to damage the cartilage.

How can you heal a torn meniscus? It depends on the size of the tear. The smaller tears may heal without surgery. The bigger tears are more likely to require surgery

What is the recovery time for meniscus surgery?

That depends on what surgery was done. The recuperation can range from 2 weeks to months.

How serious are meniscus tears?

It depends on the size of the tear.

Can you make a torn meniscus worse?

Yes, by persisting to stand and walk on it.

What are the two treatments for a meniscus tear?

There are many treatments for a meniscal tear. They include nonoperative treatment, removal of the loose fragments and repair.

What is a meniscus?

It is a crescent shaped structure with the consistency of chicken cartilage. It cups the part of the end of the thigh bone called the condyle that contacts the upper end of the shin bone to form the major weight bearing portion of the knee joint. The weight bearing area is covered with cartilage. The meniscus distributes the weight-bearing surface over a larger area. This helps protect the cartilage from getting damaged.

How can a meniscus be torn?

A variety of events occurring at the same time lead to a meniscal tear. The two condyles that make up the end of the femur are like two wheels the roll across the surface of the tibia. The meniscus can get caught in between these two bones when they are being loaded. If the load is high enough the meniscus gets torn. There are muscles and ligaments that keep the meniscus from getting caught in the contact area between the femur and tibia. When they get injured or deconditioned they can’t keep the meniscus out of the contact area. Another factor that can lead to a meniscal tear is weakening of the meniscus itself.

Can a meniscal tear heal by itself?

It depends on the size of the tear, the healing ability of the individual and whether the individual stays off the knee long enough to let it heal.

What are the symptoms of a meniscal tear?

Knee pain, catching or locking

How does the doctor know I have a meniscal tear?

He can make that diagnosis with a good history and physical exam. If the history and physical points to a meniscal tear, a MRI can be done to get more information about the structures and injury.

How do you treat a meniscal tear?

The first thing you do is stay off it. Then depending on the extent of the tear it can be treated nonoperatively or with surgery.

What is arthroscopy?

It is surgery within a joint through 1/4-3/8 inch incisions. It is done with an arthroscope that is a 1/4 inch wide tube containing glass fibers that transmit light and images. Narrow instruments and devices that fit through these incision are used to manipulate the tissues inside the joint.

Meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A suddenly bend or twist in your knee cause the meniscus to tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age. The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces present between the thighbone and the shinbone are called meniscus. They stabilize the knee joint and act as “shock absorbers”.

Torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or locking sensation in your knee making you unable to move your knee through its complete range of motion. Your orthopedic surgeon will examine your knee, evaluate your symptoms, and medical history before suggesting a treatment plan. The treatment depends on the type, size and location of tear as well your age and activity level. If the tear is small with damage in only the outer edge of the meniscus, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient. However, if the symptoms do not resolve with nonsurgical treatment, surgical treatment may be recommended.

Surgical Treatment

Knee arthroscopy is the commonly recommended surgical procedure for meniscal tears. The surgical treatment options include meniscus removal (meniscectomy), meniscus repair, and meniscus replacement. Surgery can be performed using arthroscopy where a tiny camera will be inserted through a tiny incision which enables the surgeon to view inside of your knee on a large screen and through other tiny incisions, surgery will be performed. During meniscectomy, small instruments called shavers or scissors may be used to remove the torn meniscus. In arthroscopic meniscus repair the torn meniscus will be pinned or sutured depending on the extent of tear.

Meniscus replacement or transplantation involves replacement of a torn cartilage with the cartilage obtained from a donor or a cultured patch obtained from laboratory. It is considered as a treatment option to relieve knee pain in patients who have undergone meniscectomy.