If your knee gives out when you’re playing a sport or running to catch a bus, there’s a chance you’ve torn a piece of cartilage in your knee called the meniscus. Any kind of knee pain can be debilitating, so if your knees are causing you problems, contact the highly-qualified medical team at Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine in Westfield and West Orange, New Jersey and serving all of Union county, Morris county, Middlesex county, and Somerset county including the surrounding towns of Cranford, Garwood, Clark, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Springfield, Summit, Chatham, Millburn, Short Hills, Maplewood, Watchung, Berkeley Heights, Livingston, Union, Edison, Woodbridge, and Elizabeth. The clinic offers a range of minimally invasive treatments for meniscus tear and other causes of knee pain, so call today or book an appointment online.
What is a meniscus tear?
The meniscus is a section of cartilage in your knee which stabilizes the joint and protects it from the concussive impact of walking and running. Cartilage is a tough kind of tissue that plays a vital role in protecting bones from damage, but if you strain your knee, the cartilage that forms the meniscus can tear. In some cases, torn pieces of cartilage break off and become lodged in the knee joint, which makes your knee lock up.
Knee injuries are often painful, and as the knee is such a well-used joint, pain and incapacity of the knee can lead to reduced mobility. Meniscal tears are one of the most common injuries in the knee joint and are often brought on by participating in sports, particularly those which involve sudden changes of direction when running that twist the knee joint and put it under excessive strain.
There are different types of meniscus tears, including:
- Bucket Handle
As you age, the meniscus gets weaker, so older people are more likely to develop degenerative meniscal tears, and those who play sports are more prone to experiencing an acute meniscal tear.
What are the symptoms of a torn meniscus?
As the damage usually occurs during a period of activity, you’ll probably feel a popping sensation as the meniscus tears. Other symptoms include:
- Pain at the injury site
- Swelling in the knee
- Problems flexing the knee joint
- Knee joints locking in place
A meniscus tear may not be especially painful at first, but as inflammation develops, the pain increases and can become severe.
What treatments are available for a meniscus tear?
A meniscus tear may heal with rest and physical therapy, but the prognosis is dependent on which part of the meniscus you’ve damaged. There are two zones to the meniscus, the outer “red zone,” which has a good blood supply, and the larger, inner “white zone” that lacks a decent blood supply. Small tears in the red zone of the meniscus may heal without intervention, but injuries in the white zone won’t heal as they have insufficient blood supply.
The medical team at Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine provides a range of safe and effective treatment options for meniscal tears that stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to heal the meniscus and reduce pain and inflammation. Therapies available include:
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
- Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)
- Lipogems: Adipose/Fat therapy
- Orthovisc/Hyaluronic Acid injections for underlying osteoarthritis
For an accurate diagnosis of your knee pain and the most advanced treatment methods available for meniscal tears and other causes of pain in the knee, call Genesis Orthopaedic and Spine today, or book an appointment online.