Meniscus Kawana

June 8, 2011

Menisci are found in your knee resting between the thigh (femur) and the shin (tibia) bones. There is the medial on the inside and the lateral on the outside. They are made of cartilage and disperse forces across the knee joint, improve stability and allow the bones to glide against each other without damaging the bone.

Menisci can be injured/ torn from trauma or degenerative changes. Traumatic injuries usually occur with twisting on a grounded leg or from another player landing on the knee and are commonly associated with anterior cruciate &/or medial collateral ligament damage. A MRI will confirm a meniscal tear but other signs and symptoms can include joint line tenderness with swelling, decreased knee movement, positive physical tests and locking/ catching/ grating of the knee can be present.

The type of tear, the patient’s activity level and their response to conservative treatment usually determines whether or not surgery is indicated. Surgery is usually required if locking, clicking or a lack of extension/ straightening is present. Surgery is usually arthroscopic (through small holes). The torn segment of the meniscus can be removed (meniscectomy) and the patient is able to full weight bear immediately after the surgery OR the meniscus can be stitched back together which requires a period of bracing and 6 weeks non-weight bearing. The patient progresses through post-op rehabilitation as indicated by the type of surgery they have had.