A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries involving damage to the cartilage that stabilizes and cushions the knee joint. A torn meniscus occurs when there is a trauma caused by a forceful twisting or hyper-flexing of the knee joint. Athletes who engage in contact sports are particularly susceptible to meniscus tears. Symptoms of a torn meniscus include locking of the knee, inability to straighten the knee and a popping or clicking sensation.
Our orthopedic surgeons at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills are leading experts in their field and formulate individualized treatment plans for patients with all different types of knee conditions. Patients who opt to visit our world-renowned facilities receive an unparalleled quality of service and care. They also benefit from our knowledge and expertise in the very latest meniscus repair procedures.
When a patient sustains a torn meniscus, the doctor will analyze the tear to determine if it can be repaired. Radial tears can typically be repaired, while horizontal tears, as well as degenerative tears typically cannot be repaired. The doctor will also take into consideration the age, activity level and overall health of a patient when determining the proper course of treatment. Some meniscus tears can be treated non-surgically with rest, compression, elevation and physical therapy. Other meniscus tears require surgery.
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Meniscus Repair Surgery
Knee arthroscopy is the most commonly performed procedure to repair a torn meniscus. Meniscus repair surgery is done by open surgery in which a very small incision is made in the knee. The orthopedic surgeon will then insert an arthroscope (a thin tube containing a camera and light) into the incision, which sends the image of the knee to a monitor. From this image, the surgeon can see the damage to the meniscus and repair the torn edges using sutures or anchors. Meniscus repair surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis in less than an hour.
Recovery from a Torn Meniscus
After meniscus repair surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will develop a rehabilitation program based on the tear pattern. Usually the surgeon will advise that no weight be placed on the knee for a period of six weeks, unless a knee brace is being used. However, flexing and extending the knee will be allowed. Although the patient will be up and walking just hours after surgery, it may take another two weeks of limited motion before the patient is able to return to full daily activity. Formal physical therapy will usually begin six weeks after surgery. For athletes who engage in sports that put heavy stress on the knee, it will take three months before a full return to contact sports is advisable. Surgical repair for a meniscus tear, along with a successful recovery will usually result in less pain, a return to normal knee function and prevention from long term complications such as osteoarthritis.
Meniscus Surgery FAQ’s
Q: What are the potential complications of meniscus repair surgery?
A: The most common complication associated with repair surgery is re-tearing of the meniscus. Though other complications are uncommon, they may include infection, nerve or blood vessel damage around the knee, blood clots in the leg, as well as risks associated with anesthesia. This is why it is important to see an expert for your meniscus knee surgery!
Q: When and why does the meniscus need to be removed?
Q: Will I have to wear a knee brace after meniscus repair surgery?
A: Most patients who undergo meniscus repair surgery will have to wear a knee brace for at least four weeks. The brace is beneficial for keeping the knee straight and allowing it to heal.
Q: What can be done to control pain and swelling after meniscus repair surgery?
A: We will do everything in our power to reduce your post-surgery pain and swelling. Prescription pain medication is generally provided for up to three days after surgery. Cold packs are used after surgery to reduce swelling and control pain.
Q: How long before I can drive a car after meniscus repair surgery?
A: Most patients can drive one to two weeks after surgery, as long as they are no longer on narcotic pain medication. Patients should use good judgment as to when they feel it is safe to operate a vehicle.
Contact a Los Angeles Knee Surgeon
La Peer Health Systems in Los Angeles boasts the finest orthopedic surgeons in the country. We utilize the latest and most effective procedures when performing meniscus repair surgeries. To schedule a consultation with one of our talented knee surgeons in Los Angeles, call (888) 429-6865 or fill out our contact form. We’d love to verify your insurance for you! Fill out our Free Insurance Verification form!
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