Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. Even though meniscus tears often develop during athletic activities, the problem also occurs due to age-related degeneration. The orthopedic surgeons at Orthocenter have extensive experience treating meniscus tears with regenerative medicine and arthroscopic surgery, while their rehabilitation specialists ensure your optimal recovery. To learn more about services available for a meniscus tear, call one of the offices in Red Bank, Morganville, and Marlboro Township, New Jersey, or book an appointment online. The Marlboro Township office also features an urgent care clinic, which is open on Saturdays.
The meniscus consists of two C-shaped pieces of cartilage located on the top of each shin bone inside your knee joints. This cartilage is essential for ensuring smooth movement between the shin bone (tibia) and thigh bone (femur). The meniscus in each knee also absorbs shock when you move and helps stabilize your knee joint.
Most meniscus tears occur when you make movements that twist your knee. Actions like pivoting, cutting, rapidly changing directions, or suddenly slowing down while running are the types of movements that frequently tear the meniscus.
As you get older, you’re more likely to develop a meniscus tear as degenerative changes weaken the cartilage, making it susceptible to tears, even when you perform routine daily movements.
Many patients hear a popping sound when the tear occurs. Otherwise, these symptoms develop gradually:
As your symptoms worsen, you may not be able to straighten your knee or put any weight on it.
Treatment for a meniscus injury depends on the size and location of the tear. The outer part of the meniscus has a rich blood supply, so a small tear in this part of the meniscus may heal with rest and conservative care.
The inner two-thirds of the meniscus lacks a blood supply. Without oxygen and nutrients from blood, the meniscus can’t heal. As a result, these tears often require surgical intervention.
Your doctor at Orthocenter will also determine if you’re a good candidate for regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections. These natural treatments are extracted from your body then injected into the knee joint near the damaged meniscus.
After PRP and stem cells are injected, they promote healing by triggering the production of cartilage and other tissues. In some cases, regenerative options may help you avoid surgery.
Whether your treatment calls for natural healing or surgery, you’ll need comprehensive rehabilitation provided by the experts at Orthocenter to strengthen your knee.
The experienced orthopedic surgeons at Orthocenter perform same-day, minimally invasive meniscus repair using arthroscopic surgery. An arthroscope is a narrow instrument containing a camera and lighting.
Your doctor inserts the arthroscope through one small incision. Once the scope is in your knee joint, your doctor has a magnified view of the meniscus. Using another very small incision, surgical tools encased in narrow tubes are used to trim or remove the damaged cartilage.
As soon as you notice pain, stiffness, or swelling in your knee, call Orthocenter or book an appointment online.