In the knee joint, two thick, rubbery pieces of cartilage called the menisci help to provide stability, cushioning and shock absorbance. While these C-shaped bands are quite tough, they can be damaged or torn by forceful twisting motions, as well as worn down over time. With an acute meniscus injury, a patient may experience discomfort, swelling and/or loss of knee stability, depending on the severity. In certain cases, arthroscopic meniscus surgery may be recommended to help resolve symptoms, especially if conservative treatments aren’t delivering significant improvement. Let’s discuss this procedure, when it might be necessary and how it can be beneficial in further detail.
All About Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery
Arthroscopic surgery is a cutting-edge orthopedic procedure – one of the most frequently performed each year in the United States. Insertion of a video camera by means of a tiny tube called an arthroscope through a small incision gives the orthopedic surgeon a clear view of the inside of the joint. By consulting images of the joint broadcast onto a screen, the surgeon can assess what needs to be done to repair the damage and alleviate the patient’s symptoms.
Once the injury has been evaluated, the orthopedic surgeon will then insert and use the necessary tools to facilitate healing and improve functionality of the joint. To treat a meniscus injury, the surgeon might trim away frayed pieces of cartilage, remove loose pieces or suture torn edges back to the proper spot.
For patients whose meniscus injuries are severe or have not responded to nonsurgical treatment, clear advantages of arthroscopic meniscus surgery (as compared to open surgery) often include:
- Less trauma and scarring
- Shortened healing period
- High success rates
- Maximized chance of resuming normal activities in a timely fashion for young athletes
Whether an individual is a good candidate for this procedure will depend on the particular location, size, severity and pattern of their meniscus injury – along with factors such as their age and activity level. In some cases, first-line treatments like ice therapy, time off from activities and pain relievers can satisfactorily address a meniscus injury.
Work Towards a Pain-Free Lifestyle with Treatment from Dr. Soffer
If you are experiencing knee pain that is interfering with your daily life, it may be time to visit an orthopedic specialist such as Dr. Soffer. Proudly serving patients of all ages throughout the Reading, PA area, Dr. Soffer is equipped with rigorous experience and skill in performing arthroscopic surgery and other advanced orthopedic procedures. He is board certified and fellowship trained in sports medicine by Dr. James Andrews.
To learn more about Dr. Soffer’s surgical and nonsurgical offerings for knee issues including meniscus tears, reach out to our office today at 610-375-4949 and request an appointment.