An indication that you are in need of a meniscus evaluation in San Antonio, TX is that you might have experienced a “popping” sensation in your knee or pain on the inside or the outside of your knee. Older people can injure the meniscus without any trauma as the cartilage weakens and wears thin over time. Football players and others in contact sports may tear the meniscus by twisting the knee, pivoting, cutting or decelerating. Most people can still walk on the injured knee and many athletes keep playing. The symptoms may include;
- Stiffness and swelling or locking up
- Pain and tenderness in the joint line
- Collection of fluid(“water on the knee”)
Without treatment, a fragment of the meniscus may loosen and drift into the joint, causing it to slip, pop or lock. Your knee may get stuck, often at a 45 degree angle, until you manually move or otherwise manipulate it. If you think you have a meniscus tear, see your Board Certified Orthopedic Doctor right away for diagnosis and individualized treatment.
What treatment is available for a meniscus tear?
There are two different types of treatments:
- Conservative treatment at Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery follows the basic RICE formula: rest, ice and elevation, combined with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. If your knee is stable and does not lock, this may be all you need. Blood vessels feed the outer edges of the meniscus, giving that part the potential to heal on its own. Small tears on the outer edges often heal themselves with rest.
- Surgical Meniscectomy is an option if your knee does not heal on its own and your knee becomes painful, stiff or locked. Depending on the type of tear, your age and other factors, Dr. Peter Holmes may use an arthroscope to trim off damaged pieces of the meniscus cartilage. You are home several hours after surgery. It is not unusual for patients to go back to work or school after arthroscopic surgery within a few days. A specific activity plan and rehabilitation will be suggested to speed your recovery and prevent future joint malfunction.
Access Sports, Occupational, and Knee Surgery’s 3D animation library to see how a meniscus repair works.
Our staff at Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery will follow through with each patient until they reach full recovery. . We hope to be your practice of choice when needing a meniscus treatment in San Antonio, TX.
What is the difference between surgical repair and removal of the meniscus?
A meniscus tear is irreparable- 99% of the time. A meniscus surgery is to remove the part that is torn, leaving as much as possible intact.
What is the recovery time period for a meniscus tear?
Meniscus recovery depends entirely on the individual patient. Generally, if it is “repaired” they are on crutches 4-6 weeks. If it is a routine removal of the torn meniscus, they are on crutches 4-6 hours and then full weight bearing.
Are meniscal tears associated with other injuries?
It all depends on the cause of the meniscus tear. But yes usually meniscal tears are associated with some degree of joint damage whether caused by injury or aging.
How are meniscal tears diagnosed?
The diagnosis is based on 99% history of the patient plus an exam in the office. An MRI seldom changes the diagnosis.
What are the long term success rates for meniscal surgery?
Success rate depends on the overall condition of the joint.
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