Meniscus injuries affect 14% of adults, making them one of the most common knee problems. The best treatment, including whether you need meniscus surgery, depends on the location of the injury. At Samimi Orthopedic Group, Babak Samimi, MD, and David Eldringhoff, MD, provide the full range of treatments, including advanced minimally invasive surgery when necessary to heal your knee. To schedule a knee evaluation, call one of the Los Angeles area offices in Brentwood, West Covina, or Sherman Oaks, California, or book an appointment online today.
The meniscus, a piece of cartilage between the leg bones in your knee joint, cushions and stabilizes knee movement. It also absorbs shock when you move.
Meniscus tears frequently occur when you rotate or twist your knee or suddenly stop running. The cartilage also degenerates over the years. As you get older, you can easily tear the meniscus with a minor twisting movement.
A torn meniscus may cause:
Your symptoms may seem mild at first and then worsen over a few days.
You don't always need surgery to treat a torn meniscus. Your provider orders an MRI to evaluate the cartilage and determine the location and severity of the tear. The location determines if you need meniscus surgery.
The outer third of the meniscus has a good blood supply. Therefore, a tear in this area called the red zone often heals on its own with nonsurgical treatment.
However, the inner two-thirds of the cartilage lacks a blood supply. Without blood, a tear in this white zone can't heal, and you need surgery.
Your Samimi Orthopedic Group provider repairs your meniscus using minimally invasive knee arthroscopy. This procedure requires a few tiny incisions; then, your provider repairs the meniscus using pencil-thin instruments inserted through the incisions.
A camera in the arthroscope transmits magnified images to a monitor. After thoroughly examining the inside of your knee joint using the scope, your provider determines the best type of surgery for your injury.
During meniscus surgery, your provider might trim away the damaged cartilage, leaving as much healthy cartilage as possible, or they may be able to repair the meniscus. Depending on the type of tear and general condition of the meniscus, they may only need to stitch the pieces together.
In some cases, they replace the meniscus with cartilage taken from a donor cadaver. However, you must meet certain requirements and may not qualify.
When you need help with knee pain or a damaged meniscus, call Samimi Orthopedic Group or book an appointment online today.