Orthopedic Surgeon near Seattle, WA
Knee

Meniscus Tear Treatment in Kirkland, WA

A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint between your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). The meniscus is a C-shaped pad of specialized cartilage that functions as a shock absorber within the knee. There are 2 menisci in the knee joint – one on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) and one on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus). The menisci are located between the femur and tibia bones in the knee and distribute weight and reduce friction during movement.

As you age, your cartilage can wear down especially if you have arthritis. In fact, more than 40 percent of people 65 or older report a torn meniscus.

Torn Meniscus Surgery

Mensicus Knee Surgery in Kirkland

Meniscal tears occur with twisting injuries to the knee and are commonly associated with ACL tears. They can be due to a traumatic injury, often seen in athletes, or due to a degenerative process in which the meniscus becomes more brittle.

Dr. Fuchs is a fellowship-trained board-certified orthopedic surgeon that specializes in treating knee injuries. Please call (425) 823-4000 to schedule an appointment at our orthopedic clinic in Kirkland, WA today!

What Are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?

The symptoms of a meniscus tear include pain, swelling, locking, and the inability to completely straighten the knee joint.

  • Feel a pop when your meniscus is torn.
  • Experience pain in the knee joint
  • Experience swelling or stiffness, locking knee
  • Be unable to bend or straighten

With a small tear, the patient may experience pain and swelling that goes away within a few weeks. A large tear can cause the knee to catch, pop, or lock, or you may not be able to straighten it. The knee may feel wobbly or give out.

What is the Treatment for a Torn Meniscus?

If not treated, part of the meniscus may come loose and slip into the joint.  Untreated meniscus tears can increase in size and lead to complications, such as arthritis. If you have knee pain, you will want to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. There are several options for treatment, depending on the severity of the tear.

Your doctor can help diagnose a torn meniscus upon evaluation or imaging. We will look at the structure of your knee and talk to you about your options. Factors determining treatment largely depend on your age, activity level, the severity of the injury, and other outside factors.

Non-surgical treatment for tears that can heal on their own may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

For more severe tears, surgery is typically the best course of treatment.

The goal of surgery is to preserve the meniscus by repairing or removing the torn part. The procedure is typically done arthroscopically, where a small camera is inserted into a tiny incision in the knee to guide the surgeon using small instruments inserted into another tiny incision. If the tear is too big to repair, we may remove all or part of the meniscus.

Meniscal repair shows 80 percent success at 2 years. After surgery, you may need to participate in physical therapy to strengthen your knee, generate blood flow, regain your range of motion, and get back to your activity.

Is Meniscus Surgery Necessary?

Treatment of meniscal tears depends on several factors including the type of tear, the location of the tear, and the activity level of the patient. If surgery is necessary, minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques are used to either trim out the torn portion of the meniscus (partial menisectomy) or repair the meniscus (meniscal repair).

Dr. Fuchs is an orthopedic knee specialist located a short drive from Seattle, WA. To schedule a consultation for meniscus tear treatment, please call (425) 823-4000 to schedule an appointment at our orthopedic clinic in Kirkland, WA.


Meniscal Tear Video


“Today we are going to review the partial menisectomy technique. This is one of the most common procedures performed in all of orthopedics.

This patient has a flap tear of the meniscus. You can see that this flap of meniscal tissue has been torn and flipped under itself. It’s carefully brought back into the joint, but you can easily see how this torn meniscus can be pinched between the two bones causing pain.

It is carefully debrided with a shaver, bringing the meniscus back to a nice, stable rim. Once the meniscus is trimmed with the shaver, an upbiter can be used to further contour the meniscus. Only the torn or damaged portion of the meniscus is removed during this procedure. The remaining meniscus is contoured to provide a cushion for future years. Once the meniscus is contoured, it is then probed to ensure stability and to ensure that there is no further tearing that needs to be trimmed. This concludes the partial menisectomy technique.”

Schedule an Appointment for Meniscus Surgery in Kirkland, WA

Are you an athlete suffering from a sports injury? Contact Dr. Robin Fuchs to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of your condition. To learn more about the meniscus treatment best for you, please call (425) 823-4000 and request a consultation at our orthopedic clinic in Kirkland, WA.

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