Orthopedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine Physicians located in San Francisco, CA
Meniscus tears are a common injury easily caused by forceful twisting and rotating of the knee. If you experience a meniscus injury, Jeffrey Halbrecht, MD, in the Pacific Heights area of San Francisco, California, provides several advanced treatment options. As the leading provider at IASM, Dr. Halbrecht specializes in comprehensive sports medicine and treatment for injuries to the knee, shoulder, elbow, and ankle. To find out the right treatment for your meniscus tear, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Meniscus Tears Q & A
What is a meniscus tear?
The meniscus is a C-shaped disc of cartilage in each of your knees that functions as a cushion between your shinbone and thighbone. The meniscus can tear as a result of forceful twisting injuries or repeated impact over time. When the meniscus is torn, a piece of the cartilage becomes abnormally positioned inside the joint, causing pain and swelling.
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?
When the meniscus tears, patients frequently experience catching, or the feeling that the knee is locked in place when attempting to move it. Additional symptoms include:
- Knee instability or weakness
- Difficulty straightening the knee
- Difficulty twisting or rotating the knee
If left untreated, a torn meniscus can cause persistent pain and prevent you from moving your knee normally. If you experience symptoms, Dr. Halbrecht can help you determine the right treatment for your condition.
How are meniscus tears treated?
Before you begin treatment, Dr. Halbrecht has to determine the severity of your torn meniscus. To evaluate your condition, Dr. Halbrecht performs convenient in-office MRIs. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatment may begin with conservative care. Avoiding activities that worsen your knee pain like twisting or rotating can help promote healing. Physical rehabilitation can also help you regain strength and stability in your knee joint.
If your condition is severe or doesn’t respond to conservative care, surgery may be required to effectively treat your condition. Dr. Halbrecht specializes in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, a technique that allows him to repair your damaged joint without making large incisions. Dr. Halbrecht uses arthroscopic surgical techniques to place sutures on the torn areas of your meniscus.
If the meniscus cannot be repaired, Dr. Halbrecht removes as little of the damaged cartilage as possible to relieve pain while preserving the structure of your joint. In rare cases, meniscus tears require transplantation. Meniscus transplantation is performed when large sections of the meniscus have to be removed. The damaged areas are replaced with new meniscus tissue sourced from a cadaver.
If you experience symptoms of a torn meniscus, book an appointment with Dr. Halbrecht by phone or online today.