Meniscal Tears

Meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially thoseinvolved in contact sports. A suddenly bend or twist in your knee cause themeniscus to tear. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. Elderly people aremore prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out andweakens with age. The two wedge-shape cartilage pieces’ present between thethighbone and the shinbone are called meniscus. They stabilize the kneejoint and act as "shock absorbers".

Torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or lockingsensation in your knee making you unable to move your knee through itscomplete range of motion. Your orthopaedic surgeon will examine your knee,evaluate your symptoms, and medical history before suggesting a treatmentplan. The treatment depends on the type, size and location of tear as wellyour age and activity level. If the tear is small with damage in only theouter edge of the meniscus, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient.However, if the symptoms do not resolve with nonsurgical treatment,surgical treatment may be recommended.

Surgical Treatment

Knee arthroscopy is the commonly recommended surgical procedure formeniscal tears. The surgical treatment options include meniscus removal(meniscectomy), meniscus repair, and meniscus replacement. Surgery can beperformed using arthroscopy where a tiny camera will be inserted through atiny incision which enables the surgeon to view inside of your knee on alarge screen and through other tiny incisions, surgery will be performed.During meniscectomy, small instruments called shavers or scissors may beused to remove the torn meniscus. In arthroscopic meniscus repair the tornmeniscus will be pinned or sutured depending on the extent of tear.

Meniscus replacement or transplantation involves replacement of a torncartilage with the cartilage obtained from a donor or a cultured patchobtained from laboratory. It is considered as a treatment option to relieveknee pain in patients who have undergone meniscectomy.