Treatment Options for Meniscus Tears

What are Treatment Options for Meniscus Tears?

In young athletes, most injuries to the meniscus are a result of trauma. The menisci are vulnerable to injuries in which there is both compression and twisting across the knee. Meniscus tears are common in contact sports, like football, as well as in skiing and volleyball. It is also common for the meniscus to be injured in conjunction with other knee injuries, including tears of the ACL.

If an athlete has experienced a meniscus tear, he or she may notice swelling and pain in the knee, a popping sensation during the injury, difficulty bending and straightening the leg, and a tendency for the knee to get stuck or locked up.

At first, the pain may be bearable, and an athlete may be able to continue playing. However, continuing to play with a torn meniscus could have long-term effects on the ability of the meniscus to heal on its own.

Mild to moderate meniscus tears can heal without surgery. Our knee experts recommend that patients rest the knee and avoid putting weight on it as much as possible. Icing and using an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to compress can also control swelling.

In cases of more severe tears, meniscus repair surgery may be necessary. The decision to get a surgical repair is based on many factors, including the location of the tear and age of the patient. In patients whose meniscus is unlikely to heal on its own, surgery to remove the torn section is recommended. Though the meniscus plays an important role in the function of the human knee, once it’s torn and unable to be repaired, many of the beneficial aspects of that structure are lost.

Most people who’ve had surgery for a torn meniscus see excellent short-term results, but studies show they are at a higher risk of developing knee arthritis later in life.

If you think you have suffered a meniscus tear or other sports-related injury, call our doctors at Wisconsin Bone and Joint.

Our team is here for you

When conservative care and treatment is appropriate, we offer the best, least invasive, least aggressive treatment options to relieve your pain and discomfort. When an injury is more serious and conservative care is not an option, our orthopedic surgeons provide the latest in innovative surgical interventions available with the goal of getting you back to the life you love. Wisconsin Bone & Joint physicians offer orthopedic services at three convenient locations in Mayfair, Glendale and Cedarburg.

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