Though a common knee injury in athletes, meniscal tears can affect anyone at any age. Meniscal tears cause knee pain, swelling, and stiffness. Anthony J. Berni, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating meniscal tears. He offers nonsurgical and surgical treatments at the office in O’Fallon, Missouri. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Meniscal tears refer to a tear in one of the wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that separate the thigh bone and shinbone in your knee. These menisci act as shock absorbers, help with weight distribution between the two bones, and support knee stability.
You may develop a meniscal tear from any activity that causes a forceful twist or rotation of the knee. Squatting or heavy lifting may also cause an acute tear in the fibrous tissue.
Degenerative changes to the menisci as you get older also make them more susceptible to tears.
You may feel or hear a popping sensation the moment you tear a meniscus. You may continue to walk and engage in your usual activities immediately following the tear. However, after about 2-3 days, you may experience knee pain and stiffness.
Other symptoms of meniscal tears include:
If you have any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Berni.
Dr. Berni conducts a comprehensive history and physical to diagnose meniscal tears. He reviews the details of the injury and your symptoms and examines the knee.
When examining your knee, he bends, straightens, and rotates the joint. If you have pain or clicking in the knee, it’s highly likely you have a meniscal tear.
Dr. Berni may run imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to rule out other knee injuries that might explain your symptoms.
Dr. Berni customizes your meniscal tear treatment plan based on the type, size, and location of your tear as well as your age and activity level. If you have a small tear on the outer edge of your meniscus, Dr. Berni may recommend nonsurgical treatments like:
If your small tear fails to improve with nonsurgical treatments or you have a large tear, Dr. Berni may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment for meniscal tears includes meniscus removal, meniscus repair, and meniscus replacement.
Dr. Berni uses knee arthroscopy when repairing meniscal tears to minimize incision size and trauma. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery Dr. Berni performs, ranging from 3-6 weeks following a meniscectomy to 3-6 months following a meniscus repair.
To schedule a consultation for your knee injury, call the office of Anthony J. Berni, MD, or book an appointment online today.