Meniscus tears affect 12-14% of adults, making them the second most common knee injury. These injuries are also tricky to treat as many menisci don’t have a blood supply. The specialists at ROC Orthopedics have extensive experience treating meniscus injuries, including performing minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to promote healing and restore mobility. If you have questions about a meniscus injury or knee pain, call one of the offices in Tualatin or Oregon City, Oregon, or schedule an appointment online today.
The meniscus consists of two C-shaped cartilage pieces that sit on top of each shin bone inside the knee joint. These pieces reduce friction when you move your knee, help to disperse body weight, and absorb shock.
Most meniscus tears occur when you quickly turn or pivot while your foot stays in one position. You may also tear the meniscus when you make cutting movements or quickly change directions while running. These injuries commonly occur in sports such as football, soccer, and basketball.
Degenerative changes that take place as you get older also increase your risk for meniscus tears. When you have tissue degeneration that weakens the meniscus, you can easily tear the cartilage during everyday movements. For example, twisting your leg while getting up from a chair may be enough to injure the meniscus.
You may feel a pop at the time the tear occurs. Or you may not notice any symptoms at first but then develop swelling over the next few days.
The most common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
If a piece of the meniscus breaks off, it can move into the joint, making your knee slip or lock.
The best treatment for your meniscus injury depends on the location and severity of the tear. The outer third of the meniscus, called the red zone, has a healthy blood supply. The inner two-thirds of the cartilage lacks blood vessels.
If your tear is small and in the red zone, you may only need to rest your knee and give it time to heal. When the tear is severe and in the red zone, your provider can surgically repair the cartilage.
The injury can’t heal if it occurs in the part of the meniscus lacking blood supply. If you have severe or ongoing symptoms, you can still have surgery, but your provider trims away the damaged cartilage rather than repairing it.
Should you need surgery, ROC Orthopedics performs arthroscopy, a type of minimally invasive surgery done through small incisions.
To get help for a torn meniscus, call ROC Orthopedics or schedule an appointment online today.