Redwood Orthopaedic Surgery Associates | Santa Rosa, CA

What to Know About a Torn Meniscus

Getting diagnosed with something and knowing what that diagnosis means are two completely different things. Although we will do our best to explain your injury to you, sometimes it’s nice to have an explanation in writing as well. If you were recently diagnosed with a meniscus tear, you may be wondering what on earth that means for you and your future. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basic details to help you feel more knowledgeable and informed.

What is Your Meniscus?

Your menisci are c-shaped pieces of tissue that are on either side of the knee in between your shin and your thigh. Our meniscus’ sole responsibility is to distribute body weight across your knee and make sure your joint is stabilized.

What is a Meniscus Tear?

We typically see a meniscus tear in athletes or patients whose cartilage has worn away. Usually, this type of injury occurs when the knee joint is bent and then twisted (especially during a sports game like basketball or soccer). Our patients usually say that they experience a popping or clicking sensation right when the injury happens. Patients also experience:

  • The inability to completely straighten their knee
  • Pain
  • Swelling

What Is Treatment Like?

Depending on how severe the tear is, we usually recommend that patients do a more conservative treatment like icing, resting, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs.

If however, these treatments are ineffective, we may recommend a surgical procedure called an arthroscopic knee surgery. During this procedure, we will remove the torn portion of the meniscus and trim the edges around it to smooth the surface. In rare instances, we can suture the torn pieces of the meniscus together, but that rarely happens.

What Is Recovery Like?

The road to recovery after a torn meniscus is fairly long. On average, patients will take several months to recover fully. Recovery typically entails rest, physical therapy, and avoiding any sort of physical activity.

If you tore your meniscus and want to learn more about treatment options, contact our Santa Rosa office and call us at (707) 544-3400.

Posted in: Meniscus Tear

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