What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is a small C-shaped piece of tissue in the knee, generally referred to as ‘the cartilage,’ that lies between your thigh bone (the femur) and your shin bone (the tibia). Each knee has an inner (medial) and outer (lateral) meniscus. It acts as a shock absorber within the knee when walking, running and bending. It provides stabilisation to the knee, equally distributing weight on the knee bones and allow for smooth movement in many directions.
How meniscus injuries occur?
Meniscus tears are often caused by twisting sudden movements from sport and/aging which causes the cartilage to dry out and become brittle.
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?
- Pain is the main symptom, felt typically in the inner and outer sides of the knee as the torn fragment catches in the knee when twisting or turning.
- Swelling due to inflammation in the knee.
- Locking or catching due to a piece of torn meniscus getting trapped in the knee.
During your consultation Mr Jackson will discuss your symptoms and perform a physical exam checking for tenderness. Diagnostic tests such as a MRI and x-ray will also be performed to aid Mr Jackson in his diagnosis.
Treatment depends on the type, size and location of the tear. Non surgical options may be looked at if the injury settles down and pain doesn’t exist.
If the decision is to proceed with surgery, a knee arthroscopy will be performed as a day case procedure. The meniscus will then either be repaired or removed (meniscectomy).
– A meniscal repair involves suturing the tear and anchors it in place.
– A meniscectomy removes the meniscus or trims the damaged meniscus.
– A partial meniscectomy removes the damaged parts while a total meniscectomy removes the entire meniscus.