Meniscus injuries (knee injury interior)
Legs | Rheumatology | Meniscus injuries (knee injury interior) (Disease)
Both the covering of the bone within the joint and the meniscus are made of cartilage - this makes the issue a little confusing. People often say cartilage to mean the meniscus (the wedges of cartilage between the bone) or to mean the joint surface (so-called articular cartilage which caps the ends of the bone).
Individuals who experience a meniscus tear usually experience pain and swelling as their primary symptoms. Another common complaint is joint locking, or the inability to completely straighten the joint. This is due to a piece of the torn cartilage physically impinging the joint mechanism of the knee. The most common symptoms of a meniscus tear are: knee pain, swelling of the knee, tenderness when pressing on the meniscus, popping or clicking within the knee, imited motion of the knee joint.
Causes and Risk factors
The two most common causes of a meniscus tear are due to traumatic injury (often seen in athletes) and degenerative processes (seen in older patients who have more brittle cartilage). The most common mechanism of a traumatic meniscus tear occurs when the knee joint is bent and the knee is then twisted.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Any patient who has knee pain will be evaluated for a possible meniscus tear. A careful history and physical examination can help differentiate patients who have a meniscus tear from patients with knee pain from other conditions. Specific tests can be performed by your doctor to detect meniscus tears. X-rays and MRIs are the two tests commonly used in patients who have meniscus tears. An x-ray can be used to determine if there is evidence of degenerative or arthritic changes to the knee joint. The MRI is helpful at actually visualizing the meniscus. However, simply seeing a torn meniscus on MRI does not mean a specific treatment is needed. Treatment of meniscus tears depends on several factors, as not all meniscus tears require surgery.
Treatment of a meniscus tear depends on several factors including the type of tear, the activity level of the patient, and the response to simple treatment measures. When surgical treatment of a meniscus tear is required, the usual treatment is to trim the torn portion of meniscus, a procedure called a meniscectomy. Meniscus repair and meniscal transplantation are also surgical treatment options. ...