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Knee

Meniscus Tear Treatment Options

The meniscus is a necessary knee structure. Meniscus injuries are among the most common athletic injury and result in functional impairment. Experts agree that meniscal injury is an essential predictor of subsequent development of early osteoarthritis. Preservation of the meniscus is top priority. When repair is indicated, surgery should be performed as early as possible. The type of tears suitable for repair must be identified.

Initial treatment for people with meniscus tears often begins with conservative management including PRICE – protection, rest, icing, compression, and elevation, and physical therapy. When knee pain remains or causes locking with conservative treatment, surgery will be considered.

What are the treatment options for an acute meniscus tear?

Treatment options depend upon the size and location of the tear as well as the patient’s age, general health, activity level and associated injuries. Dr. Petrigliano may recommend arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure involving the insertion of an arthroscope, a device that contains a light and a camera, which will allow him to see inside the joint to evaluate the tears and if needed, small instruments can be inserted into the knee to treat the tears.

Surgical meniscus repair will be recommended for large acute tears in young and active individuals for pain relief and to prevent degenerative joint disease.  Meniscus repair is preferred when available because it reduces the risk of knee arthritis, allows for higher activity levels and long-term studies report that patient satisfaction is high.

  • Meniscal repair is a complex procedure used to treat large tears. Meniscus repairs require a longer rehabilitation but have a greater potential to help patients return to their same level of activity. There are various repair techniques available depending on the type of tear.
  • Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is the removal of the damaged part of the meniscus. It is usually recommended for small tears. Arthroscopic repair will relieve symptoms and restore function. It is one of the most common treatments. Recovery from arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is faster than with meniscus repair. Recovery takes six to eight weeks after surgery with physical therapy.

What are the treatment options for a degenerative meniscus tear?

Conservative management will include PRICE, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and possibly steroid injections. Conservative management of many degenerative tears may improve pain and function without surgery.

Why choose Dr. Petrigliano?

Dr. Frank Petrigliano is an orthopaedic surgeon who was fellowship trained in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery where he provided care to athletes of all ages. He currently serves as the head team physician for the LA Kings hockey team and associate team physician for USC Athletics. Dr. Petrigliano is a renowned orthopaedic surgeon and researcher who employs state of the art treatments and procedures to get you back to your active life and back to sport. He always treats his patients with compassion and respect. Dr. Petrigliano is located in El Segundo California, and serves greater Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, the South Bay, and the Santa Clarita Valley. Contact Dr. Petrigliano to schedule a consultation today.

At a Glance

Dr. Frank Petrigliano

  • Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at USC
  • Chief of the Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine
  • Team physician for the LA Kings and USC Athletics
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