Any athlete, competitive or recreational, is at risk for a meniscus tear, but contact sports are typically involved. That said, you don’t have to be an athlete at all to tear your meniscus. Twisting, bending, and squatting can do it, too. And the simple act of aging can deteriorate and weaken your meniscus enough that it rips without much force at all.
Fortunately, Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht at the Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine (IASM) in San Francisco can diagnose your knee injury, help you understand exactly what happened, and offer you the most advanced, minimally invasive treatments available.
Understanding your anatomy and what happens when you injure part of it is the first step in the healing process.
In your knee joint — where your shinbone, thighbone, and kneecap meet — you have two menisci to cushion those bones. They’re rubbery, tough discs that prevent bones from rubbing against one another.
You have two menisci in each knee. The medial meniscus is shaped like the letter C and protects the inside of your knee, and the lateral meniscus is shaped like a U and protects the outer part of your knee.
Although your knee joint is fairly flexible, it does have limits. If you twist it or bend it too far or too fast, something has to give, and it’s usually your meniscus.
As with most injuries, meniscus tears come in varying degrees of severity.
Treatment for your meniscus tear depends entirely on where it’s located. If your injury occurred in the outer portion of your knee where you have a healthy vascular system to support healing, repair is promising.
If the tear happens in a region without the benefit of blood flow, then healing is not an option, but trimming away the damaged portions is.
The best-case scenario is a small tear on the outer portion of your knee. That’s because it’s highly possible to treat your tear with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (the RICE method). Over time, your body naturally heals itself.
For more severe tears or those that aren’t candidates for conservative treatments, Dr. Halbrecht uses the most advanced arthroscopic techniques to repair or remove your damaged cartilage. Some procedures require tiny incisions, and some require no incisions at all. You may even be a good candidate for grafting, in which case he can give you a meniscus transplant.
If you’ve torn your meniscus and you’re wondering what to do next, call us at IASM at 415-233-7996 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Halbrecht right away. You can also book an appointment through this website using our online booking tool. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be back in motion.
You Might Also Enjoy...
If you’ve recently suffered a knee injury, you might be wondering if surgery is necessary for a full recovery. Here’s some insight into why certain knee injuries need surgical intervention.
The COVID-19 Pandemic definitely changed the face of sports in 2020. From professional athletes to stay-at-home moms and everything in between. This article takes a look at how things have changed and how you can safely get treatment in 2021.
Chronic pain from soft tissue or tendon injuries can be debilitating. Find out how platelet-rich plasma can help kickstart your body’s natural healing ability and reduce pain from common injuries.
Knee injuries can be frightening, especially if you’re an athlete whose professional or amateur career is at stake. Here’s everything any sports player should know about knee injuries.
When your doctor tells you that you've suffered an ACL injury, the next step is figuring out what treatment plan is best. Will you have to have surgery, or can a more conservative option restore your mobility?