Treatment For A Meniscus Tear
Specific treatment for a meniscus tear will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your overall health and medical history
How bad your injury is
How well you can tolerate specific medications, procedures, and therapies
The length of time it will take to heal
Your opinion or preference
Study Design And Subject Recruitment
We recruited subjects from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. Framingham census-tract data from the year 2000 and random-digit telephone dialing were used to recruit study participants they were not selected on the basis of having knee or other joint problems. Repeated efforts were made to contact potential subjects by telephone, with a minimum of 15 attempts made over at least a 4-week period before a telephone number was retired from the list of randomly selected numbers. Potential subjects were called at least once each during daytime hours on a weekday, evening hours on a weekday, and weekend hours, although most were called several times during each of these periods. All persons who initially declined to participate were called back in an attempt to reverse their decision. Unless they were adamant at the time of the second refusal, they were also called a third time at least 2 weeks later. To enhance recruitment efforts, community leaders and Framingham senior centers were informed of the study, and flyers were posted in public areas. The institutional review board of Boston University Medical Center approved the study, including our call strategy, and we obtained written informed consent from all participants.
Recruitment and Enrollment of Study Participants from the General Population in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Meniscal Tear In Knee Can Usually Be Diagnosed Without Mri
Dear Dr. Roach: While chasing my cat, I dove to the ground and both my knees took a beating. They were bruised but felt fine. A few days after this, my left knee started to bother me. I put on a brace to see if that would help , but it didn’t. I went to my chiropractor a few days later and had an adjustment and deep tissue massage. The next day, I was walking my dog and had to stop, as I couldn’t move my knee. About 13 years ago, I had a torn meniscus in the same knee, and it healed without surgery with the assistance of my chiropractor, massage therapist and acupuncture.
I called my doctor’s office, and he was out of town. His nurse suggested that I go to an urgent care facility to have an X-ray of my knee, which I did. The doctor said that nothing was broken but that I should follow up with an MRI. I saw my doctor a few days later and brought my X-ray, etc. He said I don’t need an MRI. I am not looking for knee surgery, but wouldn’t an MRI indicate if it is a torn meniscus, pulled ligament, osteoarthritis, etc., so I could get the proper treatment? What would that be? R.Z.
Dear R.Z.: The menisci are ring-shaped cartilage structures that sit on top of the tibia and provide stability and shock absorption to the knee. Given the mechanism of injury and your prior history, a meniscal tear is a very likely possibility. Symptoms that support a tear in the meniscus would include a locking of the knee or a giving sensation while walking, often associated with pain.
Read Also: What Exercise To Do For Knee Pain
What Are The Symptoms Of A Meniscus Tear
Symptoms of a meniscus tear may be different for each person, but some of the most common symptoms are:
Pain in the knee joint: usually on the inside , outside or back of the knee
Catching or locking of the knee joint
Inability to fully extend or bend the knee joint
The symptoms of a meniscus tear are similar to other medical conditions or problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Meniscus Tear| Grace’s Story
Pinpointing The Cause Of Ligament Tendon Or Meniscus Injury
Magnetic resonance imaging is a technology often used to investigate the sources of knee problems. It works by creating a magnetic field that causes the water molecules in tissue, bones, and organs to orient themselves in different ways. These orientations are then translated into images we can use for diagnosis.
MRIs are not used on their own to make a diagnosis but can often provide strong evidence to support one. When faced with a knee injury, infection, or joint disorder, doctors will often use an MRI to not only pinpoint the cause but to help direct the treatment plan.
While some people find MRIs distressing, either because they are claustrophobic or jarringly noisy, they are invaluable tools which offer a less invasive means of diagnosis.
Don’t Miss: How To Run With Bad Knees
Christopher J Centeno Md
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in Interventional Orthopedics and the clinical use of bone marrow concentrate in orthopedics. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a subspecialty of pain medicine through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Centeno is one of the few physicians in the world with extensive experience in the culture expansion of and clinical use of adult bone marrow concentrate to treat orthopedic injuries. His clinic incorporates a variety of revolutionary pain management techniques to bring its broad patient base relief and results. Dr. Centeno treats patients from all over the US who…
Meniscus Tears: Understand Your Mri Results
Findings on an MRI scan can be difficult for many to truly understand. As an orthopedic surgeon, I spend many visits with patients going over the MRI findings and help to make sense of them for you. This includes discussing meniscus tears, cartilage damage, cysts behind the knee, and more. There are two aspects to better understanding: First, what are they talking about? Second, is it a relevant finding to your particular situation ?
Lets begin with a better understanding of what the findings mean. In this blog post, lets go over the different types of meniscus tears.
Recommended Reading: How To Lighten Knees And Elbows
Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear
A bucket handle tear is usually a very large tear, often so big that it looks like the handle of a bucket and can pop in and out. Often, people with these tears have a knee that is stuck in a position and can not move. Some have a history of having their knee get stuck intermittently. Surgery is often needed urgently to get it unstuck and either repair or trim it out. Most of these are very hard to repair if it has been there a while. If this is a new tear, urgent surgery can allow it to be saved and repaired.
What Will An Mri Show My Doctor
When your doctor requests an MRI, this is a type of diagnostic imaging test that will take pictures of your knee to give them more information on what is going on with your bones, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues. An MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging and it is a scan that uses a series of magnets and radio waves to see details of what is going on inside your body.
Unlike an X-ray or a CT scan, an MRI doesnt use any radiation either. Also unlike X-rays, an MRI shows more than just bones and that is why it is particularly helpful for a meniscus tear, since the meniscus is cartilage and doesnt show up in an X-ray. In an MRI, however, your doctor can even see where the tear occurred on the meniscus and how any swelling may be impacting other parts of your knee.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Cortisone Shot After Knee Replacement
The History Of Mri Findings And Knee Pain
You would think that if your doctor sees a problem like a meniscus tear on your MRI that this would be the cause of your knee pain. After all, something or nothing happened and your knee began to hurt. Hence, it makes sense that the cause of that pain could be seen on an MRI scan. However, the hard truth is more complex.
Back in 2008 researchers publishing in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that most people over age 35 without knee pain had everything from meniscus tears to cartilage loss on their MRIs . These findings began the first major questioning of whether meniscus tear MRI had much value. Meaning, were meniscus tears a problem or just a function of normal aging like wrinkles?
As more research came together, Scandinavian scientists in 2014 published an editorial that physicians and patients alike should look at meniscus tears with the same diagnostic weight we give wrinkles . Again, that meniscus tears were about as important as wrinkles on your face, they are simply of a sign of normal aging.
Do you want to learn more about how to read your knee MRI? See my video below:
Torn Meniscus Recovery Time
It takes six to eight weeks for a torn meniscus to heal completely. It all depends on the method you use to treat your injury. It is always a good idea to begin physical therapy. Before you can resume your normal activities, you’ll need to restrain your movement for at least two weeks.
Getting a diagnosis early and using the correct treatment methods like rest, physical therapy, heat with a Sacksythyme’s Everywhere Sack and Cold therapy with a cold therapy pack is important to recover fully. As you return to daily life, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. To prevent injury from happening again, you should continue to visit your doctor. A high-quality knee brace protects your knees and maintains a healthy joint.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Knee Surgery To Get Taller
How To Read An Mri Of A Medial Meniscus Tear
Minnesota knee surgeon, Dr. Robert LaPrade details the specifics on how to read an MRI of a medial meniscus tear. There are different types of meniscus tears and a horizontal cleavage tear occurs within the fibers of the meniscus and splits the meniscus in the top and bottom pieces.
To begin, we start with a sagittal view on the lateral side. As we start to go more towards the midline we start to see the lateral meniscus. There is a dark appearance to it, so there is no evidence of disruption. As we scan further we see the ACL and PCL, which both look normal.
Moving more towards the medial side of the knee there is evidence of signal changes in the medial meniscus. In this case, we see a complete white pass of fluid in the meniscus, which indicates that there is a horizontal cleavage tear.
The next view is a coronal scan. As we course more posteriorly we can see the meniscus is in relatively good position, but we are starting to see increase signal in the body of the meniscus, which is indicative of a tear. All the way to the posterior medial aspect we can see signal intensity, which is consistent with the horizontal cleavage tear.
The last view we look at is an axial image. In some cases it is challenging to see the tear within the meniscus from this view, but it is important to assess.
When Should I See A Doctor
If you injure your knee and suspect a torn meniscus, you may want to visit your doctor to confirm and find out what more you can do to help ease the pain. In general, it can be helpful to see your doctor any time an injury is preventing you from going about your daily activities without feeling a lot of pain and discomfort. Swelling can also be a concern and a reason for going to the doctor, especially if you notice the swelling is getting worse instead of better. It is especially important to call your doctor if you are experiencing trouble walking, bending, or straightening your knee after the injury because of the pain. Your doctor will likely want to run a series of diagnostic imaging tests, such as an MRI, to get a clear picture of what is going on inside your knee in order to provide you with the most effective treatment options.
Also Check: Why Does My Knee Hurt
Mri And Grading Of Meniscal Integrity
MRI scans of the knee were obtained with the use of a 1.5-tesla scanner with a phased-array knee coil. Images from three pulse sequences were used in the assessment of the integrity of the menisci: sagittal and coronal fat-saturated, proton-densityweighted, turbo spinecho images and sagittal T1-weighted spinecho images .
The MRI scans were read by one reader, who had a background in orthopedics for cases in which the finding was not definitive, confirmation was obtained from a second reviewer, who was a musculoskeletal radiologist. Readings were performed for each of the meniscal segments for both the medial and lateral menisci. Interob-server agreement for the detection of meniscal damage was 0.72. The readers were unaware of the characteristics of the subjects and of the clinical and radiographic data.
What Is A Meniscus Tear
This type of common knee injury involves a rubbery disc that separates and supports your shinbone and thighbone. If you turn or twist your knee too suddenly, this rubbery disc called a meniscus can tear, which weakens the separation and support your knee usually provides between those two leg bones. Your knees play such a huge role in keeping you mobile and also in helping to manage and balance your weight, so when you experience an injury in your knee it can really affect your daily life.
Recommended Reading: What Causes My Knee To Ache
Knee Meniscus Segmentation And Tear Detection From Mri: A Review
Volume 16, Issue 1, 2020
Page: Pages: 14
Background: Automatic diagnostic systems in medical imaging provide useful informationto support radiologists and other relevant experts. The systems that help radiologists in theiranalysis and diagnosis appear to be increasing.
Referenceset al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al. et al.
What Happens After An Mri
After your MRI, your doctor will review the images made during the scan and use these to determine a diagnosis and start a treatment plan for you. Depending on whether your meniscus tear is mild, moderate, or severe, your doctor will recommend different treatments to help ease the pain while you heal. Your doctor may also talk with you about ways to prevent meniscus tears in the future, especially if you want to continue participating in sports and other activities.
Don’t Miss: Do Bad Knees Qualify For Disability
When Should I Get An Mri Of My Knee
Magnetic resonance imaging plays an especially vital role in helping us to help you get rid of your knee pain. But when should you get an MRI of the knee? Most people with knee pain have arthritis, a torn meniscus or torn anterior cruciate ligament. Arthritis shows up on a plain x-ray but it takes MRI to know if you have a torn ACL or meniscus. That is why you should always have an x-ray before having an MRI: even if your problem does not show up on x-ray, your orthopedic surgeon will need to stage the degree of arthritis in your knee to develop the right treatment plan. If your problem is serious, you need an MRI and doctor visit emergently, which means today. But for most people MRI can wait how long depends on whether you are over 55, and what your x-ray shows.Have you had an x-ray of your knee and are not sure if you need an MRI? If you cant walk on it or youve had pain for more than 3 weeks despite taking anti-inflammatories then you probably need additional care. We can help your sort it out. Complete the form near the bottom of this page which allows you to upload a copy of your x-ray.
To figure out if you need an MRI scan, a little background is in order.
If you are over 55, your knee x-ray shows signs of arthritis, and the physical exam is not suspicious for a torn meniscus or ACL, then you have arthritis and should start rehabilitation in this case an MRI is not needed.
So What Does The Meniscus Do
The Meniscus a shock absorber and a spacer. So basically, its the shock absorber and the spacer inside your knee.
But before we start, its very important that you understand that there is no evidence that in middle aged to elderly patients a Meniscus tear causes symptoms. Now, you might be very surprised to hear about that, but theres very good research that shows that Meniscus tears in that age group are just as common as grey hair. So we cant look at a Meniscus tear on a MRI and say, Aha, thats causing your pain in middle-aged or elderly patients, so be very careful about someone who just looks at your image and says, Thats whats causing your pain because there is no science to support that.
In addition, theres no evidence that operating on a Meniscus tear with or without arthritis is effective. Again, you might be very surprised to hear that, but multiple high-quality studies have now shown that operating on a Meniscus tear isnt effective, doesnt help. So again, just to be absolutely clear on that point, were going to talk today about Meniscus tears, but the concept of operating on them has not been supported in the science.
And these are what the three planes look like. The Coronal plane is this front plane. The Sagittal plane is the side plane. And the Axial plane is the sawed in half view or the looking from the top or from the bottom plane.