As an athlete, you rely on your knees and need them to be at full functionality. That’s why if you suffer a meniscus tear, you need the expertise of an experienced orthopedic surgeon like Dr. G. Jason Hunt at OrthoLinks Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Hunt and his team offer comprehensive care for meniscus tears, including minimally invasive repair surgery. Don’t let knee pain hold you back. Schedule an evaluation online or by calling the office directly today.
Your knee joint is made up of three bones, your shinbone, thighbone, and kneecap. To prevent shock between these bones every time you move, each knee has an attached cartilage known as the meniscus. This rubbery cartilage material cushions the joint and also keeps your kneecap stable.
A meniscus tear is a knee injury that can affect anyone but is especially common among athletes that play contact sports. Sudden movements or quick changes in direction can cause a tear in the meniscus. Meniscus tears can also be the result of age-related wear and tear.
Initially, you may hear a pop when the meniscus tears during activity. You may still be able to walk without difficult for a period of time, but eventually, your knee becomes swollen and stiff.
Other symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
You may also notice that your knee gives way unexpectedly when your walking or running.
Dr. Hunt can determine if your knee pain is the result of a meniscus tear by reviewing your symptoms and performing a thorough physical exam. He checks the area surrounding your kneecap for tenderness and swelling.
To confirm a tear, Dr. Hunt may order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan. These tests can also identify underlying medical issues, such as osteoarthritis, that may be causing your pain.
Dr. Hunt may initially try nonsurgical treatments to alleviate your pain and reduce swelling. He might recommend restricting activities to give your knee time to rest. Over-the-counter or prescription medications can keep you comfortable and treat the inflammation, and ice pack compressions can also help you reduce swelling.
If these therapies aren’t effective in relieving your pain or mobility issues, Dr. Hunt may recommend knee surgery. He can use minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, which involves tiny incisions and a small camera. The camera shows close-up images of the inner structures of your knee, so Dr. Hunt can make the needed repairs without causing much trauma to your body.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Hunt may opt to remove the damaged tissue, or he may stitch the torn cartilage together.
Learn more about the benefits of meniscus tear repair surgery by calling OrthLinks Orthopedics and Rehabilitation or booking an appointment online today.