Meniscus Tear

Orthopedic Center of Arlington -  - Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Center of Arlington

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Specialists located in Arlington, TX

Meniscus tears are common sports injuries that cause pain and instability. At Orthopedic Center of Arlington, Bruce Prager, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, diagnoses and repairs torn menisci. If you live in or around Arlington, Texas, call Dr. Prager or schedule a consultation online for expert meniscus tear treatment.

Meniscus Tear

What is a meniscus tear?

Your meniscus includes two thick, C-shaped wedges of cartilage between your femur and your tibia and fibula. They absorb shock when you walk, run, and jump. 

A meniscus tear, sometimes called torn cartilage, occurs when a sudden twist or direct impact damages the tissue. Your risk of a meniscus tear increases with age, as your cartilage becomes dry and less flexible. Athletes are also prone to meniscus tears. 

What are the signs of a meniscus tear?

While overuse and aging contribute to your risk of a meniscus tear, the injury usually happens suddenly. You might hear or feel a pop in your knee, followed by pain. 

Your knee swells and becomes stiff, increasing your pain, especially when you twist or rotate your knee. You might also have trouble straightening your knee. The joint might feel locked in place when you try to move, or your knee could feel unstable. 

If you think you might have a torn meniscus, contact Orthopedic Center of Arlington and schedule an appointment for a diagnosis. 

How do you treat a meniscus tear?

Dr. Prager begins with a thorough exam, including diagnostic testing, like X-rays and MRIs, to confirm your injury. Then, he creates a customized treatment plan to heal your knee and ease your symptoms.

If your injury is mild, Dr. Prager might recommend wearing a brace and using either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or cortisone injections. He also offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, which can boost your body’s natural ability to heal itself. 

However, the most common treatment for a meniscus tear is knee arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows Dr. Prager to repair your knee using specialized surgical instruments inserted through a few small incisions. 

During surgery, Dr. Prager might remove torn or loose pieces of meniscus and pin or suture the tissue together to restore its strength and stability. 

What should I expect after meniscus repair surgery?

You can usually go home to recover after your meniscus surgery. Dr. Prager provides a brace and might prescribe medication to manage any post-surgical pain. However, over-the-counter painkillers and ice are often enough to reduce any discomfort.

You also start physical therapy almost immediately to preserve strength and flexibility in your knee as you recover. Your therapy progresses as your knee heals so you can return to your regular activities safely. 

Call Orthopedic Center of Arlington or book an appointment online today for expert knee surgery.