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Meniscus Tear

Southwest Orthopedic Group, LLP

Orthopedic Surgery located in Houston, TX & The Greater Houston Area

Meniscus tears are often associated with athletes, but natural degenerative changes over time make every adult susceptible to this type of injury. The experienced physicians at Southwest Orthopedic Group, LLP work with people of all ages who need exceptional treatment and rehabilitation for a meniscus tear. For help with knee pain or a meniscus tear, call one of the several offices in Houston, Texas, and the greater Houston area.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is the meniscus?

Your knee joint includes the bottom end of your thigh bone (femur), the top end of your shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). The ends of the bones are covered with articular cartilage, which helps them glide smoothly.

In addition to articular cartilage, you have another piece of cartilage between the thigh bone and shinbone called the meniscus. The meniscus functions to absorb shock, and protect the articular cartilage, and may contribute a bit towards knee stability.

What causes a meniscus tear?

Your meniscus may tear due to an acute injury or over time from degeneration. Injuries typically occur during activities causing the knee to twist. Direct contact, such as being tackled, can also injure the meniscus.

Even without injury, over time meniscus tissue weakens and wears down, becoming more susceptible to tears and injuries than younger, healthier tissue. Degenerative tears may result from simple movements, such as standing from a squatting, kneeling, or sitting position. Sometimes, meniscus degeneration progresses to where tears can develop slowly, without any injury whatsoever.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

Typical symptoms of a torn meniscus include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Knee locking
  • Knee giving way
  • Limited range of motion

How is a meniscus tear treated?

Your doctor at Southwest Orthopedic Group, LLP determines the best treatment based on the type of meniscus tear and its size and location. Some meniscus tears are not very symptomatic or limiting, and can be managed nonoperatively. Others are persistently quite painful and require surgery, which is most often performed using minimally invasive arthroscopic means, usually as a day surgery procedure. The nature of a meniscus tear determines how likely it is to heal after surgical repair. If chances of healing are good, a meniscus repair is usually performed. But, if chances of healing after repair are poor, the torn and symptomatic part of the meniscus is excised, leaving undamaged healthy meniscus tissue intact.

If you develop a meniscus tear, you can count on the exceptional care by the team at Southwest Orthopedic Group, LLP to provide the treatment that best suits your individual situation. Call to schedule an appointment.