Knee pain is a common symptom of serious underlying conditions that will continue to aggravate the knee without proper treatment. As a top orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Petrigliano evaluates your knee pain to see if your pain might be caused by a meniscus tear. If needed, he uses only the most advanced surgical techniques to treat the tear. He specializes in arthroscopic procedures, meaning you have less down time and can get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible. He practices at the UCLA Orthopaedic Center in Santa Monica, California - call the office today to receive a consultation.
Your meniscus is a rubbery disc in your knee — each knee has two, one on the outer edge, and one on the inner edge. These discs cushion your knee and steady it by evenly spreading out your bodyweight.
When you get older, your menisci (plural of meniscus) naturally start breaking down, which can make them more prone to tears. But anyone of any age can tear their menisci with a quick knee jerk. If you lift something heavy, fall down, or turn too quickly with your foot planted, your meniscus can tear, leaving you in pain.
Probably, depending on the severity. If it’s just a small tear, you probably have some minor pain and swelling around your knee. With a little rest, it should be better after about 2-3 weeks.
When you have a more moderate tear, you likely have pain either on the side, or in the middle of your knee. Usually, swelling continues getting worse for a few days, which can stiffen your knee and minimize your ability to bend it. Most men and women can walk with a moderate tear, but complain that squatting or twisting the knee causes sharp pains.
As long as you allow your knee to heal and get treatment from Dr. Petrigliano, it should be better in about 1-2 weeks. If you continue with your normal routine — particularly squatting and lifting — your pain can continue coming back for years.
If your meniscus is severely damaged, torn pieces can get stuck in your joint space, causing swelling. You probably feel like your knee is locking up when this happens, or that it could give way. In this case, you likely need surgery.
The first option usually is rest and the use of anti-inflammatory medication. But if Dr. Petrigliano can see that your issue is complex, or if it doesn’t get better on its own, he might recommend surgery.
Most meniscus tear surgeries can be done with an arthroscope, which is minimally invasive. This procedure allows Dr. Petrigliano to go in using a small scope and surgical tools to address the tear. Depending on your injury, he may either remove damaged tissue, or repair your meniscus with stitches.
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