If you were going about your daily routine when you suddenly felt excruciating pain in your knee, or if you were performing a sports-related activity and suddenly heard a pop and felt severe knee pain, then you might have a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a C-shaped section of cartilage in your knee, and each knee has two menisci to prevent the upper leg bone (femur) and lower large leg bone (tibia) from rubbing against each other in the knee as you move.
Let’s talk about some of the main factors which indicate that meniscal surgery may be warranted to alleviate your knee pain, and where you can go in Fort Lauderdale for outstanding orthopedic knee surgery to get you back to your active lifestyle.
Do I Need Knee Surgery for a Torn Meniscus?
A meniscus injury is common, especially among athletes and active adults. Sudden twists, turns, falls, or collisions could cause a torn meniscus.
Nonsurgical treatment options for a mild meniscus tear are generally tried first, including the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the area), physical therapy, pain-relief medication, and physician-administered steroid injections into the knee.
However, some people may need surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Here are a few things you should consider when deciding whether to have surgery:
Size of the Meniscus Tear and Your Age
Small meniscus tears are likely to heal on their own, especially in younger patients. But if the injury results in knee pain that makes it difficult to bend or straighten the knee, it is in your best interest to have an evaluation by a skilled orthopedic surgeon.
Location of the Tear in Your Knee
The precise location of the tear can affect whether the tear is likely to heal on its own or not. Certain parts of the meniscus have an abundance of blood vessels, which can facilitate healing, whereas other parts have no blood vessels and therefore no way to heal the tear.
Your orthopedic surgeon can explain the best way to treat and repair the torn meniscus based on where the tear is in your knee. The location can be determined based on various scanning methods, such as an MRI or a CAT scan (CT scan).
Severity of the Tear
The shape and extent of the tear is another factor to consider. For example, a longitudinal tear (a tear along the outer edge of the meniscus) is easier to repair than a radial tear or a flap tear (along the inside of the meniscus).
What to Consider Before Choosing Meniscal Surgery
Factors to consider before getting surgery for a torn meniscus include:
- You can treat most meniscus tears through nonsurgical means. Your orthopedic doctor can explain whether nonsurgical treatments might work in your case.
- While an experienced orthopedic surgical team can minimize risks, there are still possible complications as there are in any surgery – such as an infection, nerve or blood vessel damage around the knee, blood clots, joint damage, and continued pain and stiffness.
- You also need to consider whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Some of these include reduced or completely relieved knee pain, reduced risk of joint problems, improved mobility, increased stability, and restored function.
- Meniscus surgery is most likely to be successful if it is performed within the first two months after the injury.
Surgery to Repair a Torn Meniscus in Fort Lauderdale, FL
If you have severe knee pain or disability of any kind, see an experienced orthopedic knee specialist in Fort Lauderdale for a proper evaluation and treatment. Dr. Paul Meli is a prominent orthopedic knee surgeon and sports medicine doctor with over 30 years of experience in orthopedics.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Meli, contact our friendly staff today at (954) 324-7711 or fill out our convenient online appointment request form. We look forward to restoring your knee!