Meniscus Tear Treatment

What is the meniscus?

Both of your knees have a C-shaped piece of cartilage that is located between the thigh bone and shin bone. This fibrous cartilage is called the meniscus. The meniscus acts as a shock absorber in the knee. It protects your knee from physical impact during movement and helps the knee bear the body’s weight. Additionally, the meniscus makes our knees stable, protecting us from injuries during physical activity.

Why might the meniscus tear?

The meniscus can tear due to:

  • Intense physical activity
  • Injury while playing sports
  • Poor posture and form during sports or games
  • Previous knee injuries
  • Weight induced stress on the knee

Meniscus tears can occur in different locations of the knee and cause pain and discomfort. For some patients, there may be a single tear and for others, there may be multiple tears. Dr. Strudwick and his team will examine your knee to diagnose the type of meniscus tear/s you have. Our team uses a combination of physical evaluation and imaging to identify the type and severity of your tear. We will then customize a treatment for you.

man on a run

Symptoms of a torn meniscus

  • Pain in the knee region when moving or bending the knee
  • Swelling of the knee and the surrounding region
  • Feeling of weakness in the knee, where the knee almost “gives way” when you move
  • Sensation of the knee locking or catching when moving
  • Stiffness and difficulty in walking, running and climbing
  • Limited range of movement in the knee

How does Dr. Strudwick treat meniscus tears?

After diagnosis, Dr. Strudwick will recommend one of the following treatments for the torn meniscus:

Cortisone Injections
If the inflammation in your knee is causing immense discomfort and pain, cortisone shots can help. Cortisone reduces inflammation and allows you to experience temporary symptom relief. If your tear is not severe, the cortisone injections can be combined with RICE to facilitate recovery.

Knee Arthroscopy Surgery
If your meniscus tear is severe and the above treatments aren’t ideal for you, Dr. Strudwick and his team may decide to perform a knee arthroscopy surgery. This is a safe procedure that can help repair a torn meniscus.

After sedating you, our doctors will use an arthroscope – which is a small tube with a tiny light and camera attached at the end – to explore your knee. After identifying the meniscus tear, our doctors will surgically repair the fully or partially torn meniscus.

The surgery takes around an hour, and you will not need to stay overnight. Please arrange for someone to pick you up and drive you home after the surgery. It is recommended to keep off your feet for the first day or two after surgery.

Recovering from a torn meniscus with physical therapy

It can take a few weeks for your knee to start to feel like normal. While rest, compression, and injections have a shorter recovery time, surgical treatments can take months to heal. During this time, Dr. Strudwick’s focus will be on helping you regain your knee functionality.

Our team will gently guide you through physical therapy exercises, which can help strengthen your meniscus cartilage. We slowly restore your range of motion, allowing you to get back to your old life as quickly and safely as possible.

To schedule a consultation for your meniscus tear, contact Dr. Strudwick today.