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Meniscus Tear

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

A meniscus tear is a common and painful knee injury that can limit your mobility. Fortunately, these injuries are treatable, and the orthopaedic surgeons at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help. They offer state-of-the-art diagnosis and personalized treatment plans to repair your knee and help you get back to your regular activities. Call the team in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, or schedule a consultation online today if you have any signs of a meniscus tear.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

The meniscus is a C-shaped disc of rubbery cartilage located between your femur and tibia in your knee. 

You have two menisci in each knee, one on each side of your kneecap. They cushion your knees, absorbing shock and prevent your bones from rubbing together when you bend or extend your knee.

A meniscus tear, sometimes called torn cartilage, is a prevalent injury, especially among athletes. However, you don’t have to be athletic to tear a meniscus. Age-related degeneration can also contribute to meniscus damage and tears. 

Meniscus tears are painful. Your knee swells and becomes stiff. You may also have a feeling of instability or a locking sensation in your knee.

What causes meniscus tears?

Meniscus tears are prevalent sports injuries. In many cases, they’re caused by a sudden twisting motion when you pivot while running or collide with another player. Kneeling, squatting, and lifting heavy objects can also cause a meniscus tear.

As you age and your cartilage becomes dry and weak, you could even tear a meniscus by getting up from a chair and inadvertently twisting your knee.

How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics offers comprehensive exams and diagnostic imaging studies to identify torn menisci. After reviewing your symptoms, your physician examines your knee to check for swelling or tenderness along the joint line. 

They also use the McMurray test, bending, straightening, and rotating your knee to put controlled tension on your menisci. Pain, clicking sounds, and clunking sensations indicate a torn meniscus. 

When necessary, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend an MRI or X-ray to confirm your diagnosis and evaluate the severity of your injury. For your convenience, Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has an on-site open MRI machine. 

How is a meniscus tear treated?

The orthopaedic surgeons at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics provide personalized treatment plans tailored to address the severity of your injury. 

If your tear is minor, the team may suggest starting with the rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) method, as your injury may heal on its own. You might also benefit from steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medicine, and physical therapy.

In more severe cases, you may need surgical repair. The team uses arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, to remove or repair the damaged tissue. 

They use specialized surgical tools inserted through just a few small incisions in your knee. One of the instruments sends a live video stream to a monitor in the treatment room, allowing your orthopaedic surgeon to see inside your knee.

If you’re concerned about a meniscus tear, call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment.