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Meniscus Tear

Andrew Bulczynski, MD

Sports Medicine Physician & Orthopedic Surgeon located in Marina Del Rey, CA

Any sudden twist or turn can end in a painful meniscus tear, but the sooner you seek help, the better. Dr. Andrew Bulczynski in Marina del Rey, California, treats a wide range of knee injuries, such as meniscus tears, to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. To book a consultation, call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.

Meniscus Tear

What is a meniscus tear?

The meniscus is made up of two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage that absorb shock in your knees. Located between your thigh bone and shin bone, the menisci are strong yet rubbery to keep your knees stable and flexible. There are several types of meniscus tears that affect athletes and nonathletes alike, but the most common include:

Radial tear

The most common type of meniscus injury, a radial tear, occurs in the avascular zone of the meniscus, where there is no blood supply, making it difficult for these injuries to heal properly. Because there are few nonsurgical treatment options for a radial tear, it typically requires surgery.

Incomplete tear

While incomplete meniscus tears are relatively common, most people don’t even realize they have them until they undergo an MRI. Fortunately, incomplete tears rarely require surgery to treat.

Horizontal tear

When your meniscus sustains a horizontal tear, it’s easier than other knee injuries to sew the tear rather than remove the damaged tissue. If the tear occurs in a vascular region of the knee, then it can be repaired, but it may not heal well if the injury is located in a nonvascular area.

Flap tear

If you incur a tear in the flap of your meniscus, the flap itself can typically be removed to relieve pain and allow your injury to heal without disturbing too much tissue.

Do I have treatment options?

After Dr. Bulczynski performs imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, he will devise an individualized treatment plan to heal your injury and relieve knee pain. The treatment you undergo depends entirely on the type of meniscus tear you have, as well as the location and size of the tear.

In many cases, you can lessen meniscus tear pain through at-home treatments such as:

  • Rest
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Compression bandages and sleeves
  • Elevation
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers

If your tear occurs in a vascular region, then it can often be repaired with surgery. However, a meniscus tear in an area that does not have a blood supply typically cannot be healed through surgery. In more complex cases, the damaged tissue must be trimmed away.

A meniscus tear doesn’t have to stop you from doing the activities you love. For more information on your treatment options, call Andrew Bulczynski, MD, or book an appointment online today.