Your knees are not only the largest joints in your body, they’re arguably among the hardest working, if you consider all that they do to help support and move your body. When a problem arises, such as a torn meniscus, it can have a serious impact on your life, which makes restoring health to your joint paramount.
Let’s take a look at how a meniscus tear can affect your life and why seeking our help right away is a good idea.
The makings of a meniscus tear
To better understand the consequences of a meniscus tear, it’s useful to quickly review the role of the menisci in your knees. As we mentioned, your knees are the largest joints in your body and also among the most complex.
At their core, your knees bring together three bones, including your:
- Patella (kneecap)
- Femur (thigh bone)
- Tibia (shinbone)
Holding these bones together are a number of connective soft tissues, such as your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. When it comes to providing cushioning, this job is left to your menisci — two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage in each of your knees that provide shock absorption between your shinbone and your thighbone.
Meniscus tears occur for several reasons. For example, you may incur a meniscus tear while playing sports, especially those that involve squatting or twisting.
Meniscus tears can also develop over time because of overuse or too much stress on the tissue. As well, as you get older, your cartilage may break down because of general wear and tear, which puts you at greater risk of a meniscus tear.
Identifying your meniscus tear
If you sustain a meniscus tear while you’re active, you may feel a popping sensation in your knee.
If the injury develops slowly, you may notice:
- Locking or catching in your knee
- Loss of range of motion
Many of our patients report that a meniscus tear also leads to the feeling that their knee is simply giving out.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you come see us sooner rather than later so that we can identify and treat the problem. Allowing soft-tissue injuries like a meniscus tear to go untreated can lead to more damage within the joint that ultimately requires surgery. Untreated meniscus tears can also lead to lifelong issues with arthritis.
Treating your meniscus tear
Each of your menisci features two different zones: An outer red zone that enjoys ample blood supply and an inner white zone that lacks blood vessels. Unfortunately, the white zone makes up the larger portion of your meniscus (about two-thirds), which means this tissue typically won’t heal without help.
At the core of our practice is our use of regenerative medicine, which enables us to help your body rebuild tissues like your menisci.
Examples of our regenerative therapies include:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
- Bone marrow aspirate concentrate
- LipogemsⓇ fat tissue therapy
- OrthoviscⓇ (hyaluronic acid injections)
Each of these therapies relies on the human body’s natural resources and encourages healing from within for long-term results. And regenerative medicine often works best when we can apply it during the early stages of your injury.
To figure out which approach is best for your torn meniscus, contact our office in Westfield, New Jersey, to set up a consultation.