Do I Need Surgery for My Meniscus Tear? - Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital

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Published on April 03, 2017

Do I Need Surgery for My Meniscus Tear?

By: Sean Tracy, MD

Miniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. Learn more about possible treatments in The Edge blog by Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital.Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. They can be caused by a single traumatic event or as a result of chronic degeneration. These injuries are commonly referred to as a cartilage tear in the knee.

What is the Meniscus?

The meniscus is a spongy C-shaped cartilage shock absorber in the knee. It is found on both the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) part of the knee and provides a cushion between the bones when you walk, run or jump.

How is the Meniscus Injured?

Typically, the meniscus is torn as a result of a twisting-type motion while weight is on the leg. For example, a football player who gets his leg twisted during a tackle. The meniscus also degenerates as one ages and becomes more susceptible to injury. Because of this, older individuals often tear a meniscus with a much less forceful event. Standing up from a squatting position after gardening, for example.

When Does a Meniscus Need Surgery?

The meniscus has a very poor blood supply that is primarily along its outside border. Since a blood supply is necessary for healing, most meniscus tears do not heal on their own. Repair is more successful in younger individuals who have a better blood supply. Older individuals, who have a degenerative-type tear, often benefit from arthroscopic removal of the torn meniscus part. Some individuals have a meniscus tear that is not causing any problems and can avoid surgery altogether. There is a great amount of variability when it comes to meniscus tears.

If you experience a torn meniscus, turn to the experts at Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital.