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Meniscus Tears

What is a meniscus?

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee joint that acts as a shock absorber and helps distribute body weight. It is shaped like a crescent moon. It is attached to the tibia at anchor points in front and back.

How do meniscus tears happen?

A meniscus tear can occur when the knee gets twisted, or from overuse injuries associated with certain sports. Meniscus tears are common with other injuries such as ACL tears. AS we get older, meniscus tears happen more easily. They can happen with a simple misstep in the yard or off of a curb.

Types Of Meniscus Tears:

How are meniscus tears treated?

Not all meniscus tears need surgery. If the tear is small and symptoms are mild, then patients may be advised to rest their knee for a while or wear a brace. Small tears might heal on their own, or simply become asymptomatic.

For other cases where surgery is necessary, there are two main options: repair or removal of the torn area. Doctors have several different techniques that they can use depending on the type of meniscus tear.

Surgery for meniscus tears is typically arthroscopic surgery. Doctors make small holes in the skin and use different tools to clean out damaged meniscus tissue or sew it back together.

Dr. Larson has helped study new ways of repairing meniscus tears that were previously thought to be irreparable, specifically horizontal tears, with great success. He has also consulted for Smith & Nephew, teaching these new meniscus repair techniques to other surgeons.

How long is recovery after meniscus surgery?

Recovery after meniscus surgery can be anywhere from 2-12 weeks depending on the type of surgery.

With a simple removal of damaged meniscus tissue, you can walk on the knee the same day. Patients typically resume normal daily activities after 4-6 weeks. Return to sports or strength training would depend on the types of activities they were engaged in before their meniscus injury.

If the meniscus can be repaired, recovery will usually be longer. You may not be able to walk on it for 4-6 weeks. You may need physical therapy for up to 3 months. Return to normal sports and strength training may take between 3 and 6 months. But the benefit is having a healthy meniscus afterward to protect your knee and reduce your risk of arthritis.

Our Sports and Arthroscopy Specialist

Surgeons Treating Meniscus Tears


Subservices Provided:

  • PRP

  • Amnioflow

  • Hip Replacement

  • Hip Labrum Repair

  • Hip Bursitis

  • Anterior Hip Replacement

  • Hip Arthroscopy

  • Rehabilitation

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