Otis R. Drew, MD
Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Lafayette, LA
The most common knee injury experienced by athletes is a meniscus tear. If you experience a sudden bend or twist in your joint with associated pain, contact Dr. Otis Drew, an expert orthopedic surgeon in Lafayette, Louisiana. He can help diagnose and treat the injury and get you back to your active life quickly and effectively. Call the office or book an appointment online.
Meniscus Tear Q & A
What is a meniscus tear?
The meniscus serves as a shock absorber between where your thigh bone and shinbone meet at your knee. This cartilage is tough and rubbery to absorb impact and promote stability.
Your meniscus may be torn during contact, twisting, or squatting in a sport, or it may occur with degeneration as the cartilage weakens and wears over time. Older people are subject to degenerative meniscus tears.
What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus?
You may hear or feel a popping-like action when your meniscus tears. You will most likely still be able to walk and play with a tear, but over the course of the next two to three days, stiffness and swelling set in.
Additional symptoms may include:
- Locking of the knee joint
- Sensations of the knee collapsing or giving way
- Failure to move the knee through a full range of motion
How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?
Dr. Drew performs a thorough physical examination of your knee and evaluates your symptoms and medical history. If he determines you have a small tear, you may be able to find relief with at-home, nonsurgical treatment, such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Larger tears, however, may require surgical intervention.
What surgical procedures are used to treat a meniscus tear?
The most common surgical procedure Dr. Drew uses for a meniscus tear is knee arthroscopy. During this surgery, he inserts a tiny camera into a small incision to view the inside of your knee joint on a large screen. He makes other small incisions through which he inserts small instruments that are used to repair the damaged cartilage.
Can I return to full function after a meniscus tear?
Meniscus tears are common and effectively treated with surgical repair. Most people find that if they follow the rehabilitation protocol, perform physical therapy and strengthening exercises, and are patient with returning to normal movement, they experience a full recovery. You will likely be able to participate in all your regular activities, including sports, following meniscus surgery.
If you have experienced trauma or knee pain that suggests damage to your meniscus, contact Dr. Drew’s office by phone or book an appointment online. He can devise an effective treatment plan to heal the cartilage and get you back to normal function as soon as possible.