Meniscus tears are common knee injuries that cause pain and disability. Although athletes are among those most vulnerable to the injury, anyone can tear their meniscus. If you are experiencing pain in your knee and suspect you have torn your meniscus, contact orthopedic surgeon Wayne O. Alani, MD. He diagnoses and treats meniscus tears in people of all ages who live in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Call one of the offices or use the online booking agent to set up a consultation to find out the best treatment options.
Your knee joint is a place where the bones of your thigh, shin, and kneecap meet. The meniscus sits between your thighbone and shinbone and acts as a shock absorber and provides your knee with stability.
These thick, tough, and rubbery pieces of cartilage can tear during a sudden movement or due to degeneration.
If you squat or twist during a sports movement, or experience a direct tackle or another contact, your meniscus may tear.
As you age, the meniscus becomes more brittle and wears thin over time. This degeneration makes the meniscus more vulnerable to tears, even during seemingly benign movements.
You often hear a popping sound during an incident that causes the tear. Right afterward, you can still bear weight and walk, but swelling and stiffness sets in over the course of a few days. Other symptoms include:
Dr. Alani can often diagnose a meniscus tear with a physical exam and review of your symptoms, but he may order imaging tests to rule out other possible causes.
Dr. Alani may initially recommend nonsurgical treatments, including rest and medication. But if these fail to resolve your symptoms, Dr. Alani may recommend arthroscopic surgery.
During this surgery, Dr. Alani makes a very small incision through which he inserts a tiny camera to provide a clear picture of the inside of the knee. He then inserts miniature instruments through another small incision to repair or trim the torn cartilage.
Following surgery, you undergo rehabilitation exercises that help restore function, mobility, and strength. Expect full recovery in approximately three to four months, although everyone responds differently to treatment.
With proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, most patients can expect to experience a full recovery.
To diagnose and treat knee pain and a meniscus tear, call Dr. Wayne O. Alani at his practice or book a consultation online.