Meniscus Tear Surgical and non-surgical treatment options

What is the meniscus?

The meniscus is the cartilage that is C-shaped and is the shock absorber in your knee. Each knee has two menisci.

What is a meniscus tear?

Meniscus injuries, especially meniscus tears are one of the more common types of knee injuries.

Meniscus tears are common injuries that often occur alongside other knee injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament tears (ACL).

Athletes are prone to meniscus tears.

A sudden meniscus tear can often happen when:

  • You squat and you twist the knee which causes a tear.
  • Direct contact Sports where tackling is involved 

Common tears include bucket handle, flap and radial and are identified by how they look as well as where the tear has occurred in the Meniscus.

What is a Degenerative Meniscus Tear?

When the cartilage weakens and wears thin in older people then you are more prone to degenerative meniscus tears.

An awkward movement when getting up can be enough to cause a tear if the meniscus has weakened with age and you may feel a pop when you tear the meniscus.

What is a Lateral Meniscus Root Tear?

Lateral Meniscal Root Tears occur with ACL injury and can be easily missed on MRI. These injuries need to be repaired to restore normal function of the meniscus, prevent accelerated cartilage wear and also to provide additional stability to the ACL reconstruction.

Not all meniscus tears heal over time by themselves and it is best to seek treatment If symptoms persist.

Will I still be able to walk after a tear?

Many sportsmen keep playing with a tear as well as ordinary people who can still walk with an injured knee. Gradually, in a few days, your knee will become stiff and swollen.

What are the common symptoms of a meniscus tear?

  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Pain
  • Limping
  • Your knee slips, pops, catches or locks and a sensation of giving way. ( May be caused by a meniscus tear that has come loose and drifts into the joint )
  • Lack of full range of motion

Non Surgical treatment options for a meniscal tear

It is recommended to start with a period of rest, apply ice to reduce knee pain & swelling, compress and elevate your knee and take anti-inflammatory medication.

Although they don’t always require surgery, a consultation with a Pinnacle Orthopaedic Knee consultant can help diagnose the most appropriate treatment pathway that leads to a fast recovery

Your Pinnacle knee consultant will primarily discuss non-surgical options with you that may include:

Surgery treatments for Meniscus tears

What minimally invasive surgical options are available for Meniscus tears?

Surgery may relieve pain and reduce long-term joint problems. Here are a few types of Surgical Treatments

Partial meniscectomy

The damaged meniscus tissue is trimmed away by the pinnacle orthopaedic surgeon.

Meniscus repair

The Pinnacle surgeon with some type of meniscus tears is able to repair them by minimally invasive arthroscopy surgery suturing (stitching) the torn pieces together.

Successful surgery will be dependent upon the type of tear as well as the overall condition of the injured meniscus. It is normally a same day procedure that may be performed with local or general anaesthesia.

Greater recovery time is required for a meniscus repair than a partial meniscectomy to enable the meniscus to heal back together again.

Return to sports is likely to be possible after 4-6 months postoperatively but will depend on the nature of the repair.

What is the aftercare protocol after meniscus tear surgery?

The Pinnacle surgeon may well place your knee in a cast or brace to stop it from moving.

Following a repair, you will typically use crutches,to keep the weight off your knee. You will need to use them for at least three weeks to allow the repaired tissue to become attached and to avoid retearing the meniscus.

Physiotherapy will start immediately whilst you’re in hospital to encourage you to start moving your feet and ankles.

It will be recommended that you continue with physio and rehab when you’re back at home. As successful recovery from surgery is significantly dependent upon following the rehabilitation program.

Pinnacle team of orthopaedic surgeons and sports doctors regularly treat meniscus tears for top professional athletes and non sports related injuries.

If I want to have private surgery and self pay how is the cost of surgery determined with Pinnacle?

Pinnacle will provide you with a quote for your private treatment. The health care costs associated with private surgery include:

  • Hospital stay
  • Cost of the operating theatre
  • Equipment used
  • Surgical team fees
  • Cost of investigation is necessary such as imaging, blood tests et cetera
  • Post operative physiotherapy & rehabilitation

There is always a minor chance of unexpected complications and therefore incurring additional costs.

Do you provide private knee surgery at Pinnacle?

We specialise in all forms of minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery including meniscectomy or Meniscus repair.

How quickly can I be seen and operated on and how do I book an appointment?

After a detailed face to face consultation which is offered within days of receiving your enquiry, our top orthopaedic consultant that will be local to you, will determine the need for surgery, the type of surgery and its complexity.

At the face to face consultation the surgeon will take history, perform a clinical examination and review your imaging findings.

We will then put together a competitive quote for your surgery, discuss this and ensure that we have your approval and understanding, before fast tracking your surgery literally within weeks.

Our minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures only require a very small incision often less than an inch to be made. Most of our patients literally walk out on the same day, after a few hours of the procedure and experience minimal discomfort. They can start enjoying life once more being pain and injury free.

At Pinnacle we also welcome patients with private medical insurance that will also be taken care of with our utmost high standards of patient care.To find out more about our surgical and non surgical treatments, contact our patient care team

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