A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries and can be extremely difficult to manage without proper treatment. At Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ, we understand the challenges and pain a torn meniscus can bring. We provide innovative meniscus repair treatments to help patients get their lives back on track.
How Does a Meniscus Repair Work?
Patients have several options available when it comes to a meniscus repair. At our facility in Phoenix, AZ, we offer surgical repair, partial meniscectomy, and total meniscectomy. Our goal is to provide the best possible outcome for each patient. We will carefully assess each case and determine which treatment most suits that specific situation.
To determine which treatment option is right for you, we look at various factors, including the type of tear in the meniscus, age of the patient, activity level before injury, and any other existing medical conditions. Based on this assessment, we can decide which procedure is best for long-term relief.
A surgical repair is both minimally invasive and highly effective in restoring the cartilage in the knee. Depending on the severity of the tear, the surgical technique used to repair the damage will vary. We usually perform a surgical repair in cases where the cartilage is torn but not extensively damaged.
In this procedure, Dr. Mattalino uses specialized tools to help secure and reattach the torn pieces of cartilage. These tools include arthroscopic probes to inspect the joint and suture anchor systems to hold tightly-tied knots while we reattach the cartilage. Surgery might be the best course of action if the cartilage has been severely damaged due to injury or age-related degeneration.
Partial meniscectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing parts of a torn meniscus from the knee. It’s typically performed when the tear cannot be treated through less invasive methods such as rehabilitation. This procedure ensures that only the torn or damaged parts of the meniscus are removed while leaving healthy tissue intact, thus providing greater stability and strength to the knee.
After surgery, patients may require physical therapy to help restore movement and strengthen muscles near the joint to aid recovery.
A total meniscectomy is a procedure that completely removes the meniscus in a knee joint. This treatment is usually necessary when other alternative procedures attempting to preserve a portion of the meniscus are unsuccessful. Additionally, a total meniscectomy can be used to treat advanced stages of arthritis, although other types of treatments, such as injections and physical therapy, may be attempted first.
How Long Does a Meniscal Tear Take To Heal?
Healing times for a meniscus tear can range from a few weeks to several months. If the tear is small and does not impact joint mechanics, it may heal quickly with simple bracing and physical therapy. A more complex tear typically requires arthroscopic surgery, followed by a period of rest and physical therapy.
Ultimately, every patient heals differently. Following our doctor’s instructions will help you achieve an optimal outcome while ensuring you can return safely to regular activities as soon as possible.
Is Walking Good for a Torn Meniscus?
Whether walking is good for a torn meniscus depends on the repair technique used. Generally, if we perform cartilage repair, you could start walking again much sooner than total meniscectomy. We usually recommend using crutches and other assistive devices during this time to keep stress off your knee joint.
How Painful Is a Torn Meniscus?
A torn meniscus can be intensely painful. Every movement can become unbearable as the pressure shifts around the tear, making bending or twisting especially uncomfortable. Unfortunately, these tears don’t heal independently and require urgent medical attention to restore your full range of motion. If you are experiencing pain from a tear in your meniscus, it’s crucial that you get in touch with our sports medicine doctor in Phoenix, AZ, right away.
How Successful Is a Meniscectomy?
A meniscectomy is a highly successful surgical procedure for the repair of a torn knee meniscus. From diagnosis to surgery, we take comprehensive steps to ensure patients experience an effective outcome and successful recovery. Following surgery, we provide careful monitoring to maximize patient outcomes.
What Is the Most Common Cause of a Meniscal Tear?
The most common cause of a meniscal tear is an injury to the knee. This type of injury is often experienced through sports, as forceful twisting or turning of the knee can cause a tear in the cartilage between the femur and tibia. Also, repetitive activities such as deep squats and running can cause microscopic tears over time. While aging may weaken the menisci, it’s not the most common cause of a meniscal tear.
Other potential causes of meniscal tears include injuries to the joint caused by falls or collisions, bone degeneration due to age, and structural abnormalities present from birth. Regardless of the cause, a torn meniscus often results in pain, instability, and an inability to fully straighten the joint.
Benefits of a Meniscus Repair
When you’re living with chronic pain, it can be difficult to enjoy even simple pleasures. Daily tasks such as walking around the house take more energy than usual. From minor stiffness to grinding pain upon movement, the symptoms of a torn meniscus are wide-ranging and often hard to manage.
Moreover, without proper treatment, any improvement in a meniscus injury is usually only temporary. A meniscus repair is an effective way to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with a cartilage injury.
Restored Range of Motion
When you have a torn meniscus, your range of motion can rapidly decline, decreasing your daily comfort levels. Even something as simple as moving in and out of a chair can be painful and nearly impossible without straining your knee. Repairing the meniscus can enable better use of restricted or injured knee joints.
Reduced Risk for Osteoarthritis
Failure to repair a torn meniscus can lead to the development of osteoarthritis, a chronic condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the smooth protective cartilage at the end of bones breaks down and wears away. As the cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other directly, causing extreme pain and discomfort.
Osteoarthritis can also cause severe inflammation in affected joints, further damaging the cartilage and surrounding tissue. In advanced stages of osteoarthritis, deformities may occur in the affected area due to bone spurs. Many people with osteoarthritis find that their range of motion is severely limited due to these deformities.
How Can You Speed Up Recovery From a Meniscectomy Surgery?
Following our doctor’s instructions is the most important factor for speeding up recovery from a meniscectomy surgery. These instructions include taking pain relief medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and other medicines that may help reduce any potential discomfort in the knee joint.
Keeping the incision area clean while avoiding further injury is essential to reduce the risk of infection and speed up the healing process. Additionally, it’s crucial to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, wearing loose-fitting clothing over the affected area, and keeping any open wounds covered with dressings.
Resting and elevating your leg on pillows or a recliner several times throughout the day helps to reduce swelling in your knee joint. Applying cold compresses can also help promote faster healing after a meniscectomy surgery.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can provide additional nutrients necessary for fast healing after surgery. Consuming plenty of fluids also helps flush toxins out of your body while aiding in quicker recovery following this orthopedic procedure.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for recovery after a surgical procedure. During sleep, the body can rest and efficiently heal itself due to the secretion of hormones such as melatonin, which stimulates the production of collagen fibers to repair damaged tissue. Additionally, studies have found that deep sleep promotes cell proliferation and differentiation for quick recovery from surgery.
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
If you’ve been diagnosed with a torn meniscus, Dr. Angelo Mattalino can provide safe and effective treatment options to help you manage this condition. During your initial consultation, he’ll take the time to discuss your medical history and thoroughly assess your injury. Afterward, he’ll recommend the best course of action tailored to your needs. Contact Mattalino Orthopaedic in Phoenix, AZ, to schedule your consultation and get started on the path to recovery.