Meniscus Tear

What is a Meniscus Tear and how is it treated?

What is a Meniscus Tear?

The menisci are the two C-shaped pieces of cartilage on either side of the knee that lies on top of the tibia (shin bone). The meniscus cushions the knee joint by evenly distributing the load placed on the knee when standing and moving.

A meniscus tear can occur due to a sudden change in direction when walking or running.  Meniscus tears are also common among athletes as a result of a direct blow to the knee or due to a sharp cut or pivot during competition.  Another common causes of meniscus tears is osteoarthritis as small pieces of bone (osteophytes) begin to wear down the cartiliage.

Patients with meniscus tears may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Catching or locking of the knee
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Weakness

Meniscus tears should always be treated by a knee specialist. The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Knee Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates use customized treatment plans to help patients quickly recover and get back to an active and healthy lifestyle.

How is it treated?

The treatment options for meniscus tears often depends on the area in which the meniscus is torn as well as the severity of the tear. A physical examination and MRI help specialists determine the severity of the tear. Some tears may be effectively treated using nonsurgical treatment options, such as the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Injections

Meniscus tears that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment or are severe in nature may need to be surgically repaired. During an arthroscopic meniscus repair, the tear is fixed using small sutures and an anchoring device. The Fellowship Trained and Board Certified Knee Specialists at Olympia Orthopaedics Associates are experts at arthroscopic knee surgery and utilize the latest advancement in meniscus repair procedures.