Formerly known as Alaska Hand-Elbow-Shoulder & Rhyneer Caylor Clinic.

What to do About a Torn Meniscus

Meniscus Tear Treatment in Anchorage, AK

When unfortunate knee accidents and injuries bring you constant uncomfortable pain, you need to see a doctor to address your pain and mobility. This blog post will help you identify the symptoms, causes, and treatments for a torn meniscus in the knee. The word meniscus is a Greek word meaning “crescent,” and the meniscus is a set of two crescent, moon-like shaped disks situated between the bones of the knee that serves as shock absorbers. There are two disks in each knee: the medial meniscus (located on the inner side of the knee joint) and the lateral meniscus (located on the outside). The fibrocartilaginous nature of each menisci gives the knee a cushion-like effect and helps stabilize the knee.

Causes and Risk Factors of a Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus can occur during sports or activities when a person rotates or twists their upper leg while their foot is planted and the knee is bent. Athletes are especially at risk for this condition. Regardless of age, athletes should place high importance on warming up well before exercise and on using proper technique. Other risk factors include old age as cartilage hardening occurs, and obesity because a fall or trip can cause a tear.

Common symptoms of a torn meniscus may include:

  • Swelling or stiffness.
  • Popping sensation.
  • Pain in the knee joint
  • Inability to extend or bend the knee joint
  • Feeling of heaviness when you try to move the knee, known as locking of the knee joint.
  • Limping

Diagnosis and treatments

Doctors can perform various diagnostic tests that may indicate presence of a meniscus tear, and the tear can be confirmed through an MRI.  An MRI can help pinpoint the exact location of the tear and can help your doctor determine next steps.

Treatment for a meniscus tear may depend on multiple factors including your age, medical history, activity level, the severity of your injury, and others. Some patients with small tears may benefit from conservative treatments such as rest, ice, compression, elevation, wearing a knee brace, and doing physical therapy exercises.

If conservative treatment is not successful, or the tear is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair the meniscus. This surgery is typically the most successful in younger patients, patients with stable knees, and patients who receive surgery promptly after the injury.

Alaska Orthopedic Specialists provides patients with professional knee pain management in Anchorage, AK. Our orthopedic specialists offer a wide range of conservative, non-surgical and surgical treatments for a torn meniscus.

Our orthopedic specialists have expertise in treatment for various other knee problems such as:

  • Cartilage injuries
  • Knee arthritis
  • Knee fractures
  • Knee replacement revisions
  • Ligament tears (ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL)
  • Patella instability
  • Partial knee replacements
  • Plica Syndrome
  • Quadriceps Tendonitis
  • Total knee replacement

Get Rid of Knee Pain | Torn Meniscus Treatment in Anchorage, AK

Stop suffering from knee pain and recover your mobility. Visit Alaska Orthopedic Specialists in the MGM Professional Building at 4015 Lake Otis Parkway Suite 201 Anchorage, Alaska 99508. Click here or call (907) 771-3500 to schedule your appointment today.