Getting You Back in the Game Quickly with Meniscus Surgery
Whether you are a high school athlete or an adult who simply enjoys an active lifestyle, knee injuries can be painful and debilitating. A tear to the meniscus, the flexible tissue that provides support on each side of your knee, is one of the most common knee injuries. If you have been diagnosed or suspect you have injured this tissue, Dr. Aron Rovner can restore health to your joint with meniscus surgery at his New Jersey and New York City practice. Recognized for his exceptional skill in traditional and laparoscopic surgeries, Dr. Rovner has received numerous recognitions. Life is too short to watch the game from the sidelines. Contact Dr. Rovner’s practice today to learn more about meniscus surgery and whether it is right for you.
Flexible Support for Your Knee
The two menisci on either side of your knees are important in providing support to the joint and allowing flexibility. Menisci are crescent-shaped structures that are formed of fibrocartilage, a mixture of white fibrous tissue and cartilaginous tissue. When you turn, jump, land, or take off, each meniscus reduces the friction of your movements and disperses your body weight evenly. Your medial meniscus - which lies on the inside of the knee and is the more likely of the two menisci to be torn - acts as a shock-absorber between the tibia and femur and allows ease of movement in the knee. Your lateral meniscus is attached to the tibia and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and aids in movement, while also preventing overextension.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
You may know the moment you tear your meniscus - some patients report hearing a pop when their injury occurred. Other times, a patient may not realize that they have suffered a tear until they begin to notice other symptoms, which may include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Stiffness and swelling
- Loss of range of motion
- A sensation that feels like your knee is giving out
- Catching or locking of your knee
To diagnose a meniscal tear, you should be seen by a doctor who will perform the McMurray test. By bending your knee, straightening, and rotating it in a certain way, your doctor can detect a meniscal tear by the clicking sound your knee makes. Imaging tests, like an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, may also be ordered to confirm diagnosis.
Repairing Meniscal Tears
Some meniscal tears, if they are small and on the outer edge of the meniscus, can simply be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If symptoms persist, arthroscopic surgery may be the best route to enjoy a full recovery. Many tears can be treated with minimally-invasive arthroscopic surgeries that use small incisions and allow for fast healing times.
During an arthroscopic surgery, Dr. Rover will insert a miniature camera through a very small incision. The camera will project images onto a monitor, allowing the doctor a clear view of your meniscus and nearby structures. Surgical instruments will be inserted through other small incisions to repair the torn meniscus. Depending on your needs, the damaged meniscal tissue can be trimmed away (a meniscectomy), or sutured back together (repair).
You may need a brace to stabilize the knee, and rely on crutches for a few weeks after surgery. Once the initial recovery period is complete, typically about a month later, physical rehabilitation exercises will help you regain your mobility and strength. Most meniscus repair patients will need about four to five months of rehabilitation. Meniscectomy patients will only need about four to six weeks.