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Meniscus Tear

About Meniscus Tear

A torn ligament in your knee leads to excruciating pain and the inability to participate in the activities you enjoy or need to do for your job. Called a meniscus tear, the symptoms associated with the knee injury mimic other types of knee pain, so consult a joint expert for a firm diagnosis and meniscus tear treatment. For the best care and service, call on the experienced knee pain team at the Spine & Rehab Group, with offices in New York City and northern New Jersey.

Is a Meniscus Tear Serious?

Anatomy of Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that causes pain, swelling and stiffness. Sudden twisting of your knee can tear the meniscus cartilage, causing pain and other incapacitating symptoms. The knee joint has two wedge-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage, called menisci, that provide cushioning and stability to this crucial joint.

The debilitating knee pain caused by a meniscus tear affects your ability to walk and do other ordinary activities. If left untreated, the pain gets worse, and you can cause further damage to your knee. You’re also at risk for long-term knee problems such as arthritis.

With a torn meniscus, you have problems walking, standing and making any movements that stress the knee. This knee problem requires immediate attention. For a same-day or next-day appointment when you’ve experienced a knee injury, visit Dr. Amr Hosny and his talented team of knee experts at the Spine & Rehab Group in New York City or New Jersey. The practice has eight locations.

What Are the Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus?

Knee pain is common, and many knee ailments share the same symptoms. Only a spine specialist who understands how your knee pain connects to the rest of your body can determine if the cause is a meniscus tear. Symptoms that point to a meniscus tear include:

  • Stiffness and swelling at the knee
  • Swelling around the outside of the knee
  • Pain on the inside of your knee, if you’ve suffered a medial meniscus tear
  • Pain on the outside, if you have a lateral meniscus tear
  • Pain at the back of the knee
  • Locking or catching when you bend your knee
  • A sensation that feels as if your knee is about to give way
  • A decreased range of motion around the knee
  • Limping

Visit the experienced diagnostic experts at the Spine & Rehab Group to get the appropriate treatment and follow-up care. Conditions that also cause knee pain include:

Your doctors at the NYC and New Jersey spine clinics use the latest technology to diagnose and treat a torn meniscus the first time. Don’t wait; the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can get out of pain.

What Can Cause a Torn Meniscus?

Sports injuries are the most common causes of medial meniscus tears and lateral meniscus tears. Because your knees are so versatile and you rely on them regularly for everyday tasks, as well as in most sports and exercise routines, the primary causes of a torn meniscus typically include:

  • Forceful twisting and rotation of your knee
  • Sudden stops and turns in sports such as football, basketball, soccer and tennis
  • Kneeling on a regular basis for long periods of time
  • Extreme exercises, such as deep squatting or heavy lifting

The doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group have dealt with knee injuries for years. They leverage the latest medical equipment to diagnose and treat meniscus tears. Treatment is interventional and starts with a review to identify the cause of the injury to help design an individualized treatment plan.

Who’s At Risk of Tearing a Meniscus?

Both adults and children are at risk of sustaining this injury, but while anyone can tear a meniscus, there are factors that make you more prone to this injury, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Work-related kneeling and squatting
  • Climbing stairs of more than 30 flights
  • Taking part in contact sports such as soccer and rugby
  • Activities that involve pivoting, such as tennis or basketball
  • Delayed treatment for an anterior cruciate ligament injury increases the risk of a medial meniscal tear

Your spine specialist advises you of the risks and provides alternatives and suggestions for torn ligament prevention. Learning these risk factors helps you stay safe if you’re in sports or occupations where the risk is enhanced. Protecting yourself from knee injury guarantees better quality of life and prevents recurrent injuries.

What’s the Treatment for a Meniscus Tear?

Medial or lateral meniscus tear treatment depends on your age, medical history and severity of the meniscus damage. Imaging tests, such as an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), help your doctor confirm the diagnosis and provide information required for effective meniscus tear treatment. At the Spine & Rehab Group, doctors always begin treatment with the least invasive procedures. Meniscus tear treatment options include:

  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) protocol
  • Avoiding impact activities
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Biologics injections, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle-strengthening exercises
  • Surgical options, as a last resort, such as knee arthroscopy, partial meniscectomy and meniscus repair

Your knee joints are complex, so your doctor seeks to identify the exact cause of the pain with a thorough health history, evaluation of the knee itself and imaging tests. The results form the basis of a personalized treatment plan.

If you experience sharp knee pain during extreme activities, contact the spine doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group. This first step can prevent permanent knee damage and restore full function to your knee.

Page Updated on Nov 16, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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