Meniscal Injuries
 
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The knee contains two menisci one medial and one lateral. The menisci are tough cartilage structures that function as cushions between the femur and tibia. The menisci (cartilage) are contoured to accept the femur, this contouring aids in stabilizing the knee joint and weight distribution along the joint line.


Injuries to the menisci (cartilage) can be either traumatic, as seen with sports injuries, or brittleness due to aging. The menisci (cartilage) have a very poor blood supply and do not respond well to surgical repair. Typically the smallest portion of the cartilage is removed when torn.
Symptoms Include:
  • A clicking sound in the knee.
  • Locking after bending.
  • Pain and swelling after prolonged weight bearing.
Treatment:
Non-surgical treatment

Meniscus tears can be treated with RICE
  • R: Rest means keeping off the injured knee as much as possible. Crutches enable the patient to move about when necessary without placing weight on the injury. A cast or splint may be applied to the knee for support and severe sprains occasionally require a hard cast.
  • I: Icing, cold therapy to stimulate blood flow and relieve the pain associated with inflammation. Cold therapy should be applied several times over the course of the day.
  • C: Compression means supporting the knee with a firmly (not tightly) wrapped elastic bandage, compression stocking, or gel wrap. If swelling causes the bandage to become tight, it should be loosened immediately.
  • E: Elevating the knee minimizes bruising and swelling. This should be done as often as possible during the first 48 hours.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease pain and swelling. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.

Surgical treatment
  • Arthroscopy to remove loose bodies or repair the torn cartilage.
  • Meniscal (cartilage) transplant.


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Meniscal Injury