A meniscus tear is a common sports injury that affects the knee, causing pain and joint instability. Drew Stein, MD, PLLC, is an experienced orthopedic surgeon and sports injury specialist who provides effective treatments for meniscus tear injuries, including regenerative medicine therapies and advanced surgical techniques, at his practice in the Midtown West area of New York City. Call today if you have knee pain or book an appointment using the online tool.
A meniscus tear occurs when a section of rubbery cartilage in your knee called the meniscus stretches and tears. Sometimes small pieces of the meniscus separate completely and get stuck inside the knee joint, causing your knee to lock up.
The meniscus is a tough, thick shield that protects the bones in your knee, absorbing the shock created when you walk or run, and helping to stabilize the knee joint.
Meniscus tears are a common sports injury, but also develop as a degenerative problem in older people.
The meniscus typically tears while you’re engaging in some form of physical activity, so you’re likely to feel a popping at the moment of injury. You may also experience:
Meniscus tears aren’t always overly uncomfortable when they first occur but become more painful as the inflammation increases.
One of the issues with treating a meniscus tear is that the best approach depends on what part of the meniscus tears. The outer “red zone” of the meniscus has a good blood supply, so small tears may heal spontaneously. However, the larger “white zone” of the meniscus doesn’t have enough blood in it to heal without intervention.
Physical therapy plays a vital role in healing and strengthening red zone tears and surrounding tissues. Injections of regenerative platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or bone marrow aspirate stem cells can help, but severe tears or damage in the white zone require surgery.
Dr. Stein uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to repair the meniscus where possible. The arthroscope passes through small incisions that he makes in your knee, allowing him to see the tear clearly without needing to cut the knee open. He then repairs the meniscus tear using small, dart-like devices that your body absorbs once the meniscus heals.
He can also remove the damaged section, or remove the meniscus altogether, depending on the extent of the injury.
If you have knee pain, get an accurate diagnosis and expert treatment by calling Drew Stein, MD, PLLC, or booking an appointment online.