Patient Education:
What is a Meniscal Tear?

Your knees are some of the most complicated joints in the entire body. Knees are often prone to injury, especially among patients who participate in sports on a regular basis. One of the most common knee injuries is known as a meniscal tear.

So, what exactly is a meniscal tear? Let’s learn a bit more about this injury and how they can be treated.

First of all, the meniscus is a disk composed of cartilage that acts as a cushion for your knee. Each of your knees have two of these disks, one for the outer knee and another for the inner knee. A meniscus is crucial for keeping the knees steady.

runner-kneepain-130x180These types of tears often occur when the knee is forcibly twisted, which is typically a result of playing sports.  Since knee cartilage becomes thinner with time, meniscal tears are also common in older people. The most common symptoms of a meniscal tear include swelling or severe knee pain, which will often decrease on its own. Other symptoms may include knee stiffness, as well as difficulties straightening out your knees.

At first, meniscal tears will be treated with conservative methods, including rest, icing the area, or taking over-the-counter medication for pain relief. However, conservative methods may not work for everyone.

Once conservative measures are no longer enough, surgical relief may be necessary. With arthroscopic knee repair or meniscectomy, the part of the meniscus that is torn will likely need to be removed.   However, there are cases in which a surgeon will be able to suture the edges of the meniscus, which will allow them to heal without being removed by surgery.

Whether or not your particular meniscal injury requires surgery, our specialists will work closely with you to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.

Orthopedic Surgeons in Hackensack, Emerson, Elmwood Park and Montclair

For more information, contact Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with offices throughout Bergen and Essex Counties to schedule an appointment today. We can be reached at 1-844-ACTIVE-ORTHO for 24-hour emergency care.