If you have a twisting injury and develop a meniscal (cartilage) tear it is important that it is identified quickly as to what type of tear you have. We do this by examining the Knee and looking for symptoms such as locking or catching and pain. An MRI scan would then be ordered to see in detail where the tear is.
There are several different ways the little disc of cartilage can tear and this changes how we can deal with it.
The meniscus is very important to the function of your knee and also in protecting your articular surface of the joint. If you have surgery to remove the torn meniscus completely, evidence has shown this will almost inevitably lead to osteoarthritis. And increase your chances of having a partial Knee resurfacing or a total knee replacement.
If you have what we call a bucket handle tear where the meniscus has a circumferential tear and the meniscus has flipped like the handle of a bucket, the often jams the joint and you get intermittent locking. The longer this is left the more damage that is done. If dealt with early the meniscal tear can be reduced and if possible repaired with special sutures all done via a keyhole or arthroscopic surgery and give it the best possible chance of healing. We also do a small micro fracture procedure to release stem cells into the joint to bring all the building blocks needed to increase the healing potential.
Meniscal tears like these often occur when you injure your ACL or anterior cruciate ligament. It is even more important if you have a meniscal tear repaired in that circumstance that your ACL is also stabilised to protect your meniscal repair. This can be achieved with either an ACL reconstruction or ACL repair with the internal brace. Hopefully saving you own cartilage preventing the need for a partial knee resurfacing or total knee replacement.
Call us to find out more.