What Can Cause a Torn Meniscus?

Man holding his knee

Knee injuries are a problem for a couple of reasons. The first is that they’re painful. Nobody wants to live with pain every time they move their knee. Second, knee injuries limit the range of motion in the knee, which prevents you from accomplishing many daily tasks.

The knees can be affected by a variety of injuries. Many of these injuries are minor and require a bit of rest and exercise for treatment. Other injuries are more serious and may require surgery for treatment. One of the most common serious knee injuries is a torn meniscus.

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage in the knee that rests between the shin and thigh bone on each side of the joint. Its role is to prevent friction between the shin and thigh bones and to absorb impact.

When the meniscus is torn, your knee may swell up and stiffen. A torn meniscus is painful and limits the range of motion of your knee. Over time, the swelling may go down and a torn meniscus may heal on its own, but, in many cases, surgery is necessary.

What causes a torn meniscus?

The main cause of meniscus tears is a sudden, forceful twist of the knee. This can occur from a traumatic injury or as the result of making a sudden change in your motion.

Since many sports require athletes to run back and forth, they are at higher risk for meniscus tears. Athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of pivoting, like basketball or tennis, are especially at risk.

How do you repair a torn meniscus?

One of the primary surgical methods for treating a torn meniscus is arthroscopic surgery. This is a minimally invasive form of surgery that uses small incisions to provide access for tiny surgical instruments and an arthroscopic camera. This camera is a small camera attached to the end of the tube. It gives the surgeon a visual of the operation, eliminating the need for large, painful, and risky incisions to provide a visual.

With arthroscopic techniques, a surgeon can either remove a portion of the damaged meniscus or reconnect the meniscus tissue together back into one solid piece. The surgery you need depends on the severity of your tear, but both options are effective in reducing pain and improving mobility.

Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for torn meniscus surgery

Do you have pain and limited range of motion in your knee due to a torn meniscus? Are conservative treatments not helping or is your injury too severe for conservative treatments? Our surgeons at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute may be able to help. Contact our team today for more information about torn meniscus surgery or to schedule an appointment.