Mensicus Tears (Torn Cartilage)
Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. Athletes and active people — particularly those who participate in contact sports — are at an increased risk of meniscus tears, but anyone can injure a meniscus. Meniscus tears usually occur after a sudden forceful twisting of the knee.
The meniscus is the semicircular, wedge-shaped collection of soft cartilage in the knee. The meniscus cartilage absorbs the stress on the knee and acts as a cushion between the between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). There is one on the inner side (medial meniscus) and one on the outer side of the knee (lateral meniscus) The meniscus cartilage help the knee to function properly by bearing load and, absorbing shock and stress, stabilising the joint and providing lubrication.
A unique type of meniscus problem occasionally encountered in children is an abnormally shaped meniscus called a discoid meniscus. The disk shape of these menisci makes them more susceptible to tearing.
Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear
- Pain in the knee joint
- Occasionally a “catching” sensation toward the side or back of the knee
If you suspect you have a meniscus tear you should be evaluated by an experienced sports doctor or sports knee surgeon.
At Surrey Orthopaedic Clinic meniscus tears are treated by sports knee surgeons who specialise in diagnosing and treating bone and muscle knee injuries.
Our expert doctors will examine your knee, assess your pain, learn about your medical history and perform diagnostic imaging — such as X-rays and MRIs — to diagnose the problem. Then, we will work with you to develop an individualised treatment plan.
If there is a good blood supply to the meniscus certain tears can heal with non-surgical treatments. If the tear is too serious, however, surgery may be recommended.
Non-surgical treatment may involve:
- Immobilisation with a brace
- Activity modification
If the meniscus tear is not amenable to non-operative treatment, we will recommend surgical arthroscopy to treat the problem.
During this procedure, a specialist knee surgeon will make small incisions that create minimal trauma to your knee. Repairable portions of the meniscus will be fixed with sutures or a material that holds the meniscus together while it is healing. When the meniscus is healed, your body will safely absorb this material.