A meniscus tear is one of the most common injuries to the knee joint. Every fall or accident that results in a dislocation or other injury to the knee can cause a meniscus tear. Often, a bruised knee joint is sustained during a fall. How dangerous the injury or tear itself is depends on how much weight is placed on the knee and how active the knee is. The more the knee moves inwards and the more the metatarsophalangeal joint of the first toe is curved, the greater the risk of a meniscus tear. In this article we will look at the best therapies for meniscus tears.
If a torn meniscus is causing you severe pain in the knee and restricts your mobility, you should undergo surgery as soon as possible. Meniscus surgery is always done arthroscopically, in other words, using a minimally invasive technique.
Fresh tears – especially in the articular capsule where the blood vessels that supply the meniscus (the medulla) enter the meniscus – can be saved through minimally invasive surgery. Perfect arthroscopic sutures, especially in the anterior and lateral regions, are achieved using modern surgical techniques and special sutures. When choosing the suture technique, the surgeon takes the size and position of the tear into consideration.
Meniscus resection: partial removal
If the shape and position of the torn meniscus mean that conservative treatment and arthroscopic surgery cannot be successful, the torn part must be resected. By this intervention, the articular surface is smoothed out and the efficiency of the articular cartilage is increased. Even with this intervention, it is very important to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. The larger the component that is preserved, the longer the meniscus will retain its original function.
Meniscus tear: transplantation and synthetic implant
Donor material can be used for transplantation. In younger patients with a more serious injury, this method is often the only possibility to prevent the wear and tear of the knee joint. An artificial implant can also be used. Transplants and artificial knee joints are urgent procedures that are performed after unsuccessful earlier operations, in which meniscus function could not be maintained. Often, the operation is carried out earlier than necessary and more tissue is removed than is actually needed. The results of surgery with synthetic implants are promising, but the long-term effect of the operation is still lacking.
Therefore, these interventions should not be considered as primary treatment options for meniscus ruptures. For this reason, patients should contact a knee joint specialist as soon as possible after the injury who will carry out the necessary diagnosis and make the right decision concerning further therapy. No matter what, the goal of any meniscus tear treatment should be to preserve the actual tissue, preserve the natural function of the meniscus and thus avoid transplantation surgery.