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Meniscus Tear

The meniscus cartilage that helps cushion your knees can tear if put under enough strain. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a meniscus tear, Nic Gay, MD, Masi Reynolds, MD, and George Thabit III, MD, and the team at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics in Fremont, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, and Foster City, California, can help. They have considerable experience in using minimally invasive methods to treat meniscus tears and restore function to your knee. Find out how they can resolve your meniscal pain by calling Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today or using the online booking form.

The meniscus is a slice of cartilage in your knee. There are two in each knee, providing cushioning against joint damage. The meniscus plays a vital role in spreading impact energy across the knee joint, which occurs whenever you walk, run, or jump.

A tear in the meniscus could result from age-related deterioration of the tissues. Or it may happen when you’re playing sports or doing other physical activities. Meniscus tears can severely affect joint movement and your ability to bear weight.

What are the symptoms of meniscus tears?

Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • A “pop” sound and sensation in your knee
  • Significant pain that prevents activity
  • Swelling and stiffness around your knee
  • Limited mobility and problems straightening your knee
  • Instability when putting weight on the affected leg
  • Feeling like your knee has locked into position

If you think you might have a meniscus tear, try not to use the affected limb. Apply ice to reduce pain and inflammation and keep your knee raised whenever possible to help with the swelling.

How are meniscus tears treated?

Initial treatment for your meniscus tear is often conservative, although that may depend on the tear’s location and severity. If the tear isn’t causing your knee to lock up or affecting the joint’s range of motion, you stand a good chance of recovering without surgery.

The Silicon Valley Orthopaedics team will recommend avoiding any activities that make the pain worse and to keep weight off your knee as much as you can. Medications to ease the pain and limit inflammation can help keep you comfortable.

Physical therapy strengthens your knee and leg muscles, helping to stabilize and support your knee joint.

Would I need surgery for my meniscus tear?

You could need surgery for your meniscus tear if your knee is painful, locking up, or unstable despite treatment. Sometimes the Silicon Valley Orthopaedics team can repair meniscus tears, especially in younger people.

If the injury isn’t repairable, they might use minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to trim the torn cartilage. After surgery, your physical therapist shows you exercises that increase knee stability and strength.

Younger patients who don’t have advanced arthritis could be suitable for a meniscus transplant. That surgery involves removing your damaged meniscus and implanting donated tissue. For people with advanced osteoarthritis, knee replacement might be necessary.

For expert assessment and treatment of your meniscus tear, call Silicon Valley Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online.