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Meniscus Tears


 

Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is commonly thought of as the shock absorber in the knee. It sits between the upper and lower bones of the knee. Many people with a knee injury or knee swelling worry about having a meniscus tear and possibly needing surgery. Over the recent past, studies have provided guidance on who is and is not likely to benefit from meniscus surgery. At Sports Health Northwest, we are happy to help our patients determine if a meniscus tear is causing their pain and discuss treatment decisions with them.

Meniscus Tears

Since the knee has the largest joint surface and is weightbearing, it is a commonly injured body part. In the U.S., over one million people go to the emergency department each year for knee pain due to injuries. 

The meniscus is commonly thought of as the shock absorber in the knee. It sits between the upper and lower bones of the knee. Meniscal tears are very common and occur with twisting type injuries. Tears sometimes occur with minimal twisting and stress. The degree of pain at the time of injury can sometimes be mild. Left untreated, large, complex meniscus tears can cause joint swelling, and even lead to premature arthritis. 

Many people with a knee injury or knee swelling worry about having a meniscus tear and possibly needing surgery. If you suspect you have a meniscus tear, it is important to rest from painful activity, consider using crutches to walk, or a knee brace if your knee feels unstable, and seek care from a sports medicine specialist. 

At a sports medicine clinic, like Sports Health Northwest in Portland, the sports medicine specialist can evaluate your knee closely for signs of swelling, stiffness, locking. Additionally, the sports injury doctor can perform specific exam maneuvers and imaging tests to help determine the diagnosis. Some, but not all meniscus tears need surgery. Recent studies have provided guidance on who is and is not likely to benefit from meniscus surgery. At Sports Health Northwest, we are happy to help our patients determine if a meniscus tear is causing their pain and discuss treatment decisions with them.

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