Meniscus injury Vienna
Tears or complete tears of the meniscus are unfortunately quite common injuries of the knee joint, which can very often occur during sports such as soccer. If the knee is twisted in full extension or flexion under heavy load, the meniscus can tear. Most acute meniscal injuries (usually “traumatic” meniscal tears) occur in individuals under the age of thirty. They are usually operated on, but may also be treated gently with strengthening exercises, painkillers and bandages.
The treatment that is best for you depends on the size and type of tear, as well as its symptoms. The goal of treatment is primarily to preserve as much of the meniscus as possible! To treat a meniscus tear, be sure to consult a knee specialist. Learn more about the meniscus, possible effects and forms of treatment, and how I can help you in the rest of this article!
What is the meniscus?
The meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber in the joint space between the bones in the knee joint and is made of fibrocartilage. It also helps distribute weight evenly across the joints and prevents bones from rubbing against each other.
There are two menisci (menisci) in each knee – an inner (medial meniscus) and outer (lateral meniscus) meniscus. These structures are made of a tough, rubbery material called collagen, which gives them their flexibility and strength.
What are the functions of the meniscus?
The main function of the meniscus is to act as a shock absorber, distributing weight evenly among the bones in the knee joint. It also helps keep the knee stable by preventing the bones from rubbing together. In addition, the meniscus provides lubrication for the knee joint and protects it from wear and tear.
Due to the smooth surface of the meniscus, friction is prevented by cartilage. This is done between the condyle and the socket so that a smooth roll-slide motion of the tibia and femur can be enabled. In addition, the two menisci cushion differences in shape between the round condyles of the femur and the relatively flat tibial plateau. In this way, weight and pressure on the knee joint are distributed more evenly. In addition, the meniscus cushions about one-third of the load transmitted in the knee joint, ensuring smooth movement when walking, running and jumping.
Does a meniscus tear/injury require surgery?
If you have a meniscus tear, it’s important to see a doctor so they can properly diagnose and treat your injury. It is important to mention that not every meniscus tear requires surgery – this varies from patient to patient and must be decided individually!Your close clinical examination of your knee is especially important after the accident. Using medical images obtained by MRI, I can see exactly where your meniscus is torn, the size of the tear, and its shape. After that, it will be decided whether surgery is appropriate in your case. If surgery is appropriate, I will do my best to suture the meniscus tear (meniscus suture). The meniscus is an important structure in the knee that cushions and facilitates movement. Without it, friction between bones increases, which can lead to damage and pain. However, depending on the location of the tear and your age, a meniscus suture may not always be helpful. Therefore, broken pieces of cartilage sometimes need to be removed to prevent further damage to your joint(meniscus resection).
Who can help you with a meniscus tear?
Treatment of injuries to the knee primarily involves a specialist in orthopedics. Treatment by a knee specialist is particularly useful here. Since injuries to the meniscus can occur more frequently during sports, it is recommended to contact a sports physician directly if a meniscus tear is suspected. This person will bring the necessary expertise to examine your injury in detail and suggest the necessary therapy. The well-being of the patient is always my first priority! Feel free to contact me if you suspect a meniscus lesion for an appointment at my office in 1080 Vienna.
Are you looking for a meniscus injury specialist? Visit me in my practice at MZA – together we will find the most suitable therapy solution for you!
Symptoms of meniscus tear
With an acute meniscus tear, there is often a stabbing pain and swelling of the knee joint. This pain occurs mainly during twisting and bending movements of the knee.
Smaller meniscus tears often go unnoticed at first. The pain may not appear until several hours or days later. Similarly, some people don’t realize they have a meniscus injury until several weeks after the injury. You then feel pain with irregular movement, such as bending and extending the knee .
Larger meniscus tears are usually more painful and cause the knee to swell. They can also interfere with the normal movements of the knee, making it feel “jammed.” If part of the meniscus tears off, it can lock the knee in place, preventing it from fully extending.
Diagnosis of a meniscus lesion
During a clinical examination, a meniscus tear can be detected by various tests. Examination of the meniscal tissue is of great importance here. In addition, the attending physician will ask when and how the injury occurred and what the symptoms are. The knee is then examined in more detail and palpated to determine which movements cause pain. In the process, the joint is rotated, flexed and stretched.
An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan can analyze a meniscus tear in more detail. An MRI is useful if a meniscal injury is suspected and if the meniscus requires surgery.
What happens if a meniscus lesion is not treated in time?
Timely therapy is crucial! If left untreated, meniscus damage can lead to fluid buildup in the joint, cartilage damage and wear and tear on the joint. In severe cases, this can lead to arthritis. If you think you have a meniscus tear, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. He can properly diagnose your injury and recommend the best treatment.
How can a meniscus tear be treated?
Depending on the shape and type of the tear, the appropriate therapy is offered. For a wide variety of indications, the therapy is individually adapted to you and your injury!
Depending on the severity of the meniscus tear, it can be treated either by surgery or conservative therapy. Physical therapy with stretching and strengthening exercises may be recommended to reduce pain and swelling of the knee joint. In addition, support bandages or crutches can provide support and stability when walking. Surgical intervention may be required for severe tears that do not respond to conservative treatment or for large cartilage loss. It is important to discuss all options with your doctor before deciding on the right course of action. For the right advice, contact your knee specialist, Dr. Martin Gruber.
Partial meniscus resection (also called smoothing)
The most common surgical treatment for a meniscal tear is a partial resection, which is performed during arthroscopy. In this procedure, the parts of the meniscus that have broken and cannot regenerate are removed as sparingly as possible and the remaining tissue is smoothed. It is important to preserve as much of the meniscus as possible. The main advantage of a meniscal suture is that the entire meniscus is preserved and can continue to function.
Meniscus suture for meniscus damage
If the meniscus is injured in an area with a good blood supply, it makes sense to preserve the injured substance as well. During this procedure, the meniscus is sutured and fixed. The inner surface of the crack is minimally damaged in a targeted manner (freshening). Thus, the site grows back together more stably after a meniscus lesion.
If the meniscus is completely torn out at its root, it is necessary in individual cases to reattach it to the bone via a narrow drill channel.
If the meniscus is so badly injured or has already been operated on several times and removed to such an extent that it can no longer perform its cushioning and stabilizing function, this causes permanent pain and the knee joint is worn out. Here there is the possibility of a transplantation with a donor meniscus – a so-called allograft.
What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a tiny camera to visualize the inside of a joint. The arthroscope is inserted into the joint through a small incision, and the surgeon uses the arthroscope to look for damaged tissue. A sterile saline solution is injected into the joint to stretch the tissue and allow the surgeon a clear view. Arthroscopy is particularly popular for the treatment of a meniscus tear. Arthroscopic surgery has many benefits, including less pain and scarring, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times.
Is meniscus surgery painful?
Most patients report only mild discomfort after meniscus surgery. You may experience pain and swelling around the incision, but this can usually be managed with pain medication. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery and can help reduce pain and swelling.
How long does recovery take after a meniscus tear?
Recovery from meniscus surgery usually takes four to six weeks. During this time, you must refrain from strenuous activities or sports such as running or jumping. Once your doctor has given you the go-ahead, you can slowly increase your activity level again. Full recovery can take several months!
It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions during recovery to reduce the risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome.