Diagnosis and treatment of meniscus tear

It is usually sufficient for the patient to feel pain when the meniscus is pressed with a finger or when the inner and outer meniscus is compressed with various maneuvers. To shape the treatment, the patient’s knee is imaged with MR.

Because MRI shows the location of the meniscus tear, and the treatment is shaped accordingly. In the closest place to the joint, it may be possible for the tear to grow over time and cause damage to the joint, since the tissue does not have blood supply.

In such a case, a small part, more than half or all of the meniscus is removed with surgery. In cases of tears that are diagnosed as Stage 1 and Stage 2 and remain in the meniscus tissue and do not open to the surface of the joint, movement restriction is given for treatment.

Physical activities such as sports are limited. Medication and rehabilitation are also applied against pain and burning in that area. Tears on the articular surface in the MR image are defined as Stage 3. Such tears are sutured or removed.

Here again, the age of the patient is important. If the patient is doing sports professionally, these tears are treated by suturing, and in an elderly person, by removing the necessary amount of meniscus.

Does every meniscus injury require surgery?

In meniscus treatment, the location, nature and size of the tear (full thickness or partial), the complaints it creates (swelling, locking, feeling of discharge, etc.) are important in determining the treatment option. According to these, tears are divided into two as stable and unstable tears.

Cold application, quadriceps strengthening, other physical therapy applications to relieve pain and edema may be required for people who will not undergo surgical treatment.

When it was understood that the removal of the total meniscus, which was used in the surgical treatment, was problematic, this method was abandoned as a surgical option (it was observed that the load on the joint surfaces increased by approximately 35 percent after this application). Today, partial removal (partial meniscectomy) or meniscus repair is applied in the treatment of meniscal injuries.

Whether the meniscus can be sutured or not is a decision that the doctor can take during MRI and surgery.

The most important issue to remember is that the treatment should be planned individually.

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