Meniscus Tears

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear refers to a common injury that occurs in the knee joint, specifically in the cartilage known as the meniscus. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a cushion between the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) in the knee joint. 

Each knee has two menisci, one on the inner side of the knee (medial meniscus) and one on the outer side (lateral meniscus).

Why do meniscus tears occur?

A meniscus tear can occur due to various reasons, including trauma to the knee joint, degeneration of the meniscus due to aging or wear and tear, or sudden twisting or rotating of the knee while bearing weight.

Meniscus tears can be categorized into different types, including:
Meniscus Tear Surgery

Does it hurt?

Symptoms of a meniscus tear may vary depending on the severity and location of the tear, but common signs may include pain, swelling, tenderness, stiffness, and difficulty in fully extending or flexing the knee. Locking or catching sensations in the knee may also be experienced if the torn portion of the meniscus interferes with the normal movement of the knee joint.

How are meniscus tearS treated?

In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, particularly for larger or more complex tears.
Treatment options for a meniscus tear may depend on factors such as the location, size, and severity of the tear, as well as the individual’s age, activity level, and overall health. Conservative treatment options may include rest, ice, compression, elevation, pain medications, and physical therapy. However, in some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary, particularly for larger or more complex tears.
Surgical options may include meniscus repair, where the torn edges of the meniscus are sewn back together, or meniscectomy, where the torn portion of the torn meniscus are cleaned up or removed. Both procedures are typically performed using minimally invasive techniques, and the choice between repair or removal depends on various factors such as the type, size, and location of the tear, as well as the patient's age, activity level, and overall health. Your surgeon will discuss with you the upside and downside of each and help you decide which best suits you.
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After the surgery, you will be discharged on crutches and use them for 1 to 6 weeks. This length of time is determined on a case-by-case basis. Postsurgical specialized physiotherapy will improve your range of motion and muscle strength around the knee.
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Immediate post-surgical recovery from knee meniscus surgery to regular activities of daily living can take up to six weeks. For partial meniscectomy (clean up), competitive athletes may return to their sport sometime between 6-8 weeks. For meniscal repair, competitive athletes may return to their sport sometime between 5-6 months.

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Recovery typically involves a period of rehabilitation and physical therapy to restore knee function and reduce pain.
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We pride ourselves on providing a warm and welcoming environment where you feel comfortable and supported throughout your recovery journey. Whether you’re dealing with a minor injury or a more complex condition, our team is here to help you reach your health and wellness goals.

Thank you for considering the Canadian Surgical Clinic for your orthopedic care needs.

Thierry Pauyo, MD

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