Athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, are at risk of meniscus tears due to trauma (sudden bend or twist in the knee). Degenerative meniscal tears are common in the elderly due to age factor. Knee arthroscopy surgeon, Dr. Kelechi Okoroha, provides diagnosis and individualized non-operative and operative treatment plans in Minneapolis. He also provides highly specialized care during and after the surgery. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!
Anatomy of the Meniscus
Two wedge-shaped cartilage pieces are present between the thighbone and shinbone. These are called menisci. They stabilize the knee joint and act as shock absorbers.
What are Meniscal Tears?
A meniscus tear is the commonest knee injury in athletes, especially those involved in contact sports. A sudden bend or twist in your knee can cause the meniscus to tear. This is a traumatic meniscal tear. The elderly are more prone to degenerative meniscal tears as the cartilage wears out and weakens with age.
When a meniscal tear is suspected, it is important to schedule an orthopedic consultation for proper examination and care. Dr. Kelechi Okoroha is a knee arthroscopy surgeon who provides detailed examination and care for patients with meniscal tears in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.
Symptoms of Meniscal Tears
A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling, stiffness, catching or locking sensation in your knee, making you unable to move your knee through its complete range of motion.
Diagnosis of Meniscal Tears
The diagnosis of meniscal tears is based on a thorough physical examination performed by Dr. Okoroha. Dr. Okoroha will examine your knee, evaluate your symptoms and medical history before suggesting a treatment plan.
Treatment of Meniscal Tears
After careful review of your history and examination, Dr. Okoroha will provide an individualized treatment plan to help you return to your normal function. The treatment of a meniscal tear depends on the type, size, and location of the tear, as well as your age and activity level. If the tear is small, with damage limited to the outer edge of the meniscus, non-surgical treatment may be sufficient. However, if the symptoms do not resolve with non-surgical treatment, surgical treatment may be recommended by Dr. Okoroha.
Surgical Treatment of Meniscal Tears
Knee arthroscopy is the commonly recommended surgical procedure for meniscal tears. The surgical treatment options include:
- Meniscus removal (meniscectomy)
- Meniscus repair
- Meniscus replacement
Surgery can be performed using arthroscopy where a small camera will be inserted through a small incision, which enables Dr. Okoroha to view the inside of your knee on a large screen.
The surgery will be performed through other small incisions. During meniscectomy, small instruments called shavers or scissors may be used to remove the torn meniscus.
In arthroscopic meniscus repair, the torn meniscus will be pinned or sutured depending on the extent of the tear.
Meniscus replacement or transplantation involves the replacement of a torn cartilage with the cartilage obtained from a donor or a cultured patch obtained from the laboratory. It is considered as a treatment option to relieve knee pain if you have undergone meniscectomy.
If you would like to have additional information on meniscal surgery or would like to learn more about arthroscopic meniscal repair, please contact the office of Dr. Okoroha, knee arthroscopy surgeon serving the communities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Minnesota and beyond.