30 May Meniscal Tears
If you are an athlete you have probably torn or know someone who has torn their meniscus. Understanding more about the meniscus and common causes for injury, you can potentially prevent it from happening to you. At Advanced Orthopedics & Joint Preservation, our Wantagh orthopedist, Dr. Stanislav Avshalumov can treat a wide variety of injuries including meniscus tears.
What is a meniscus?
Your meniscus is a tough, rubbery c-shaped piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. It protects the joints from everyday wear and tear.
Common causes of tears
The most common causes of a meniscal tear happen during sports or physical activity. Changing direction suddenly when running, jumping and twisting your knee, or even direct contact like a tackle are some common scenarios when meniscal tears can occur. Any situation where you suddenly twist or rotate your knee as well as lifting heavy objects can also result in a meniscus tear. Meniscal tears are usually more common in older athletes because over time, wear and tear to the meniscus makes you more susceptible to injury. Whatever the cause is, our Wantagh orthopedist can help you to determine what treatment options are best for you.
Types of Tears
Meniscal tears vary depending on how they occurred as well as the severity. Our Wantagh orthopedist will be able to fully evaluate your injury in order to diagnose and treat your condition. The most common meniscal tears are bucket handle, flap, and radial. Another less common tear that occurs as you get older is a degenerative tear.
Our Wantagh orthopedist will also factor in your age, activity level, and overall history when devising a treatment plan as well as factoring in the size, location, and severity of the tear. The outside one-third of your meniscus contains more circulation. For this reason, the tear may be able to heal on its own without surgery. Nonsurgical options typically include resting, icing the affected area, elevating the knee, and the wearing of some type of compression device, like a brace, to reduce swelling. Over-the-counter pain medicine would also be recommended to help with pain in the beginning, however, should not be used as a long-term option.
If you have torn your meniscus in the inner two-thirds, it will be harder for the cartilage pieces to heal on its own, as circulation is less. Because of the low blood supply this injury typically requires surgery. Surgery like arthroscopy, involves a camera being inserted through a small incision in your knee to gain a full visual of the injury. The orthopedist will then use scissors and an arthroscope to trim or repair the tear by stitching the torn cartilage.
Our Wantagh orthopedist can help determine what the best treatment option is for you in order to help you get you back to normal everyday activities. Contact us today to make an appointment and see what your options are.