The meniscus is the part of the cartilage that protects your knee. For various reasons, it can tear, causing pain, stiffness, swelling, and knee locking. This can affect your knee’s motion, which results in difficulty walking and moving around.
A torn meniscus can be diagnosed by evaluating your symptoms and through the use of several testing methods. The best person to provide a diagnosis and meniscus tear treatment in Spring Hill & Brooksville is an orthopedic surgeon, such as Dr. Imad Tarabishy of Tarabishy Orthopedics. If you suspect that you may have a torn meniscus, read on as we share everything you need to know about this condition and see whether you can leave meniscus tears untreated.
What is the meniscus and how can you get meniscus tears?
A meniscus is either one of the two pieces of the cartilage of the knee that serves as a cushion between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). It can be torn or damaged when you perform activities that tend to put too much pressure on the knee joint or cause it to rotate abruptly.
Although it is more commonly experienced by athletes, you don’t have to be one to have a torn meniscus. You can tear your meniscus by simply getting up too quickly from a squatting position, for instance.
According to recent research, around 60 to 70 out of 100,000 people tear their meniscus, although this can turn out to be an underestimation. It is possible that many people who have a torn meniscus do not know they have it, and as such, are unable to seek meniscus tear treatment in Spring Hill. It helps to learn more about the common causes of meniscus tears to know whether your knee pain that started after a seemingly harmless incident could signify a torn meniscus.
What are Common Causes of Meniscus Tears?
The meniscus can tear due to acute trauma. Degenerative changes can also make the meniscus more susceptible to tearing. It is also common for meniscus tears to occur alongside other knee injuries, such as ACL tears. In general, below are the common causes of meniscus tears:
Acute meniscus tears typically happen during sports and other activities that require intense or extreme physical effort. The meniscus can tear as a result of either contact or non-contact injuries. In general, sports that require players to suddenly stop and turn can put you more at risk for meniscus tearing. These sports include basketball, football, tennis, and soccer, to name a few.
As we age, our body parts degenerate. Worn, aged tissues including the meniscus can easily tear. A sudden or awkward twist of your uncle can cause a meniscus tear.
Trauma that results in direct contact or pressure on the meniscus can also cause it to tear.
Who is at risk of getting their meniscus torn?
Anyone who plays sports mentioned above are at a high risk of tearing their meniscus. Because of this, anyone from kids to adults can have a torn meniscus. The risk is higher for athletes who focus on just one sport as they make repetitive movements that cause wear and tear on the meniscus.
Moreover, older people are also susceptible to having meniscus tears despite not playing sports. The meniscus weakens with age. As such, simple movements like squatting can easily tear the meniscus. The same goes with people who have osteoarthritis.
What are the symptoms of meniscus tear?
To know whether you might need meniscus tear treatment in Brooksville or Spring Hill, you need to recognize its symptoms. These include:
- Knee pain, especially when touched
- Difficulty moving the knee
- Knee catching or locking
- Knee seems to not provide enough support
- Popping or slipping sensation
How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?
To get proper diagnosis, the orthopedic surgeon will perform a physical exam while evaluating your symptoms. Imaging tests including knee x-ray, MRI, or ultrasound may also be required to get a better view of the injury. Finally, if the orthopedic surgeon cannot determine the cause behind the knee pain, they will likely perform an arthroscopy.
How is a meniscus tear treated?
Meniscus tear treatment in Spring Hill will depend on the severity of the injury. Your doctor will require either non-surgical or surgical meniscus tear treatment.
Non-surgical meniscus tear treatment
For mild to moderate meniscus tears, non-surgical treatment options may be enough to alleviate the symptoms and allow the meniscus to heal. The doctor may order doing the RICE method: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
To reduce and eventually get rid of the pain, discomfort, and swelling, the orthopedic doctor will prescribe NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Furthermore, physical therapy can help improve knee mobility and stability.
Meniscus tear surgery
If symptoms do not improve after performing non-surgical treatment options, then a torn meniscus surgery in Spring Hill will be recommended. The most common procedure done to correct a torn meniscus is knee arthroscopy. Fortunately, meniscus tear surgery is a minimally invasive procedure.
During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision in the knee. He will insert a camera and tools through this incision to trim or repair the torn meniscus. This procedure lasts about an hour, although you may be asked to stay a while for observation.
How long is the recovery after a meniscus tear surgery?
Upon seeing that there are no complications after the surgery, you can already go home. You can also perform physical therapy exercises after a few days. However, full recovery from meniscus tear surgery may take time.
In general, if surgery was done to repair the meniscus, the average recovery time is six weeks, which will be spent with you using crutches or a knee brace.
Overall, with proper after-care, your knee can restore mobility and function in no time.
Where to Get Meniscus Tear Treatment in Spring Hill & Brooksville, FL?
Did you recently twist your knee? Have you been experiencing pain and discomfort since? It is likely that you have a torn meniscus. However, the only way to find out for sure is to consult an orthopedic specialist.
As one of the trusted leaders in Spring Hill orthopedics, Dr. Imad E. Tarabishy has the knowledge and capacity to correctly diagnose whether you have a torn meniscus. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Tarabishy performs meniscus tear surgery in the Spring Hill area with great accuracy and expertise.
Aside from torn meniscus surgery, Dr. Tarabishy is also equipped to perform the following procedures:
- Iovera treatment
- Knee replacement surgery
- Hip replacement surgery
- Mako robotic surgery
- Carpal tunnel release
- Trigger finger release,
- Knee arthroscopy, and other orthopedic surgeries.
When it comes to orthopedic specialists, it’s important to find a highly-qualified and experienced doctor who provides world-class orthopedic care and meets your specific needs. Staff will guide you through a thorough assessment, safe surgical repair, and an intense rehabilitation program, so you have a full recovery. We are located in Brooksville, FL – a convenient 7 miles distance from Spring Hill.
Our clinic offers innovative orthopedic services for patients from Spring Hill, Hudson, Crystal River, Homosassa, and other nearby towns.
Schedule an appointment with our doctor to get a proper and timely diagnosis, as well as professional recommendations and reliable meniscus tear treatment.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.