According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, 61 out of 100,000 men, women, and children in the United States tear the meniscus cartilage in their knee each year. Orthopedist Brad K. Cohen, MD, at Aventura Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in North Miami and Miami Beach, Florida, diagnoses and treats your meniscus tear with the least invasive and highest-tech methods to get your knee back in working order. If you live in the Miami area and have acute or chronic knee pain, contact Aventura Orthopaedics for meniscus-tear repair by calling the friendly staff or booking a consultation online.
The menisci are two semicircular pads of cartilage that act as shock absorbers between your femur (thigh) and tibia (shin) bones. The medial meniscus is the pad closer to the midline of your body. The lateral meniscus is the pad near the outside of your knee.
The knees bear most of your body’s weight and are easily injured. Meniscus tears are common, especially in the medial meniscus.
You can tear your meniscus if you forcefully twist or rotate your knee while running, jumping, dancing, playing sports, or engaging in other physical activities. Even simple activities such as kneeling or squatting can tear your meniscus.
You’re more susceptible to meniscus tears as you age — even without a traumatic event — because your cartilage degrades and weakens.
You may have torn your meniscus if you twist your knee and hear a popping sound. A meniscus tear is usually painful, especially when you try to rotate or bend your knee. Your knee may not straighten all the way or even feel locked into place because some of the shredded cartilage is lodged in the joint.
Sometimes you won’t feel pain right away, but you may feel pain hours later once your knee begins to swell.
The lateral meniscus has a good blood supply. Therefore, a small tear may heal on its own using the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) protocol and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The blood supply in the medial meniscus isn't as plentiful, so those tears don’t heal as quickly. However, Dr. Cohen can accelerate healing of a meniscus tear with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Physical therapy provides you with the stretching and strengthening exercises that help your meniscus tear heal and prevent re-injury.
If fragments of your meniscus are caught in your knee joint, or if your injury is severe or complicated and doesn’t respond to RICE and physical therapy, Dr. Cohen may recommend arthroscopic surgery.
Men and women who undergo arthroscopic surgery for meniscus repair experience pain relief and improved mobility. Untreated meniscus tears may lead to arthritis.
When your knee goes out, swells, or is otherwise painful or immobile, contact Dr. Cohen right away for an evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. You can book an appointment online yourself, or call the office directly.