Meniscus injuries affect 12-14% of adults, and they often occur together with an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Timothy C. Wilson, MD, in Lexington, Kentucky, has extensive experience treating a damaged meniscus and performing a minimally invasive meniscus repair that relieves your pain and restores mobility. If you have questions about a meniscus injury or you’d like to schedule an appointment, call the office or book your visit online.
The meniscus is inside your knee joint, and it consists of two C-shaped pieces of cartilage located on the top of the shin bone. Each meniscus reduces friction during movement, disperses body weight, absorbs shock, and helps to protect the articular cartilage.
When you suffer a torn meniscus, there’s a good chance you’ll need surgical intervention. If you’re not active, the tear is minor, or the tear is in a part of the meniscus that will heal, you may get by without surgery.
However, if you’re active or you intend to go back to playing competitive sports, you’ll probably need surgery to prevent ongoing instability and pain. Additionally, a torn meniscus that’s not properly repaired with surgery sets the stage for arthritis.
Most meniscus tears occur when you twist your knee by quickly turning or pivoting while your foot stays in place. As you get older, degenerative changes that occur over time weaken the meniscus. As it deteriorates, it can easily tear during everyday movements.
You may not experience immediate symptoms. However, your knee becomes swollen and painful over the two or three days after your injury. You may feel like your knee is going to buckle or collapse. If a piece of the meniscus comes loose and falls into the joint, your knee may slip or lock.
The type of meniscus repair Dr. Wilson performs depends on the location of the tear. The outer edge of the meniscus contains blood vessels, but the rest of the cartilage lacks a blood supply. While Dr. Wilson performs surgery in both zones, only the red zone with the blood supply can heal.
Dr. Wilson specializes in using minimally invasive arthroscopy to repair a meniscus tear. He also has extensive experience in multiple techniques.
One common procedure is an outer meniscus repair, in which he stitches the torn pieces in the red zone together so they can heal. In the white zone without blood, he may perform a partial meniscectomy to remove the damaged cartilage.
When your meniscus is severely damaged, Dr. Wilson may recommend meniscal transplant surgery or a knee replacement.
When you experience knee pain and swelling, call Timothy C. Wilson, MD, or schedule an appointment online.