What is a Meniscus Tear?
A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries in orthopedic and sports medicine; and a common cause of knee pain. It is frequently seen in athletes and recreational sports enthusiasts who engage in contact sports that may involve twisting, squatting, or tackling. But others are at risk of a tear, as well. And a meniscus tear can happen at any age.
The Meniscus makes up the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint; acting as the knee’s shock absorber. There are varying degrees of tears that can occur:
- With a Minor Tear, the meniscus remains connected to the knee
- With a Major Tear, the meniscus is damaged to a point where it is-literally-hanging on to the knee only by a thread of cartilage.
These tears can occur, for instance, when bearing weight at the same time you suddenly rotate the leg but leave your foot firmly in place. Simply put: your leg quickly rotates one direction, but your foot doesn’t follow!
And although the injury is common in sports, age can also be a factor, causing degenerative tears. Degenerative meniscal tears can occur with the slightest awkward movement; such as simply getting up from the couch. Older adults are more prone to this type of meniscal tear due to years of wear and tear, and lack of cartilage available to help cushion the knee joint.
TORN MENISCUS SYMPTOMS
Everyone who experiences this type of injury may have different symptoms. But more commonly, a torn meniscus will result in:
- Swelling of the knee
- Knee Pain
- Knee Stiffness
- Locking or clicking of the knee
- Knee Weakness
CHOOSING DR VENUTO
Here are just a few reasons why so many people choose Dr. Ralph Venuto for their care.
- Board-certified in orthopedic surgery and specializing in sports medicine and the treatment of knee and shoulder disorders.
- Uses many of the latest techniques in orthopedic care, including stem cell treatment and PRP, to help his patients heal faster and have better results.
- One of the first surgeons in the country to perform arthroscopic surgery, without adding trauma or scarring.
- Named one of the “Best Doctors in Orange County” in Orange Coast Magazine’s “The Doctor’s Doctor.”
After obtaining a medical history, performing a physical examination, and viewing x-rays; if Dr Venuto suspects you have a torn meniscus, he may also send you for an MRI to determine how minor or extensive the tear may be.
Minimally invasive arthroscopy (a common surgical procedure) may be performed as part of the course of treatment and can also help Dr Venuto diagnose and repair the damaged meniscus while viewing it through a tiny pencil thin camera (an arthroscope) that is inserted into the knee joint through a small incision. The tiny camera projects images onto a monitor that is viewed by Dr Venuto during the arthroscopy procedure. [MORE ABOUT KNEE ARTHROSCOPY]
A NON SURGICAL ALTERNATIVE
Although some meniscus tears will require surgical repair, surgery may not always be necessary. Dr Venuto is a leader in the use of non surgical alternatives that may help regenerate, restore, and bring needed blood supply directly to the injured area.
Depending on the size and severity of the meniscus tear, Dr Venuto may recommend a non-surgical treatment, for those who are candidates. Dr Venuto will determine if the type of tear may be better treated with use of a biologic, such as Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP). PRP is often used as an alternative to surgery or in conjunction with a surgical procedure because of its ability to accelerate healing and cellular regeneration to damaged or injured tissue.
Get the help you need now.
Call Dr. Venuto at 949-759-3600 or SEND US AN EMAIL to schedule your appointment.
Pay Attention to Early Warning Signs…
At his orthopedic practice in Newport Beach serving Costa Mesa, Irvine, and all of Orange County, Dr. Venuto sees patients almost every day who are living with various orthopedic conditions of the knee or shoulder. Paying attention to early warning signs can help lead to earlier treatment, which itself may minimize the pain and disability associated with your condition.
Call Dr. Venuto today at 949-759-3600 or send us an email to schedule your visit.