The meniscus is a two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as shock absorbers between the thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia). The meniscus may be damaged by twisting movements that force the knee beyond its normal range of movement.
Signs and symptoms of a Meniscus Tear
Knee injuries are generally caused by twisting or bending force applied to the knee, or a direct blow such as from sports, falls or accidents.
We may hear a “popping” sound when the injury occurs, followed by leg buckling when trying to stand on it, pain and limitation of movement. This may indicate a ligament injury. Meniscus tear tend to appear concurrently with severe ligamentous injuries
We may also experience :-
- sharp pain when bending or extending the knee
- limitation in the range of motion.
Types of Meniscus Tear
6 types of Meniscus Tear
- Intrasubsustance / Incomplete Tear
- Radial Tear
- Horizontal Tear
- Bucket Handle Tear
- Complex Tear
- Flap Tear
What are the Investigations or Procedures that can be conducted?
Knee injuries are diagnosed by proper history and physical examination. Other special investigative tools may be ordered. These includes:-
- X-ray and CT scans
- MRI to evaluate soft tissue damage (ligaments and cartilage)
- Arthroscopy to enable the surgeon to view your knee joint through small incisions.
If the meniscus is torn, it can either be repaired or removed if it is damaged beyond repair.
What happens in a Knee Arthroscopy
The surgeon will give you an anesthetic before performing a knee arthroscopy
This may be:
- Regional anesthesia (numbs you from the waist down)
- General anesthesia (put you completely to sleep)
The surgery is performed in the Operating Theatre either under general or local anaesthesia
The surgeon will insert the arthroscope into the joint through 2 tiny cuts of approximately 1 cm in size. The arthroscope carries fibro- optic lights and is attached to a video camera. This allows visualization of the torn meniscus for successful repair or debridement to be done.
At the end of the procedure a bulky dressings is applied.
Benefits of Arthroscopic procedure for repairing Meniscus Tear
- Less traumatic to the muscle
- Smaller Incisions
- Faster healing
- More Rapid Recovery
- Less Scarring
What should one do when you get home?
- The patient has to take medications that being prescribed in the clinic. Medications will help them to minimize the swelling and pain over operated knees. The pain will be subsided gradually each day
- Patient has to walk around his/her home using a front-wheel walker, crutches or a cane (assistive walking device) that the physiotherapist instructed to use
- To do daily knee exercise that being advised from physiotherapist in order to regain the muscle strength and improve the range of movements for the operated knees
- Keep the wound clean and dry at all the time to prevent from any infection
- To cover the operated knee with waterproof protector during shower
- To come back for post-op review appointment given from the clinic so that the surgeon can review the wounds
If you suspect that you might have a knee problem or meniscus tear that you wish to consult, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Spire Orthopaedics. Book a consultation session with us if you have any questions for our Doctor.