Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries, but prompt treatment with meniscus repair surgery can relieve pain and improve knee strength. Highly-skilled orthopedic surgeon David Lintner, MD, performs arthroscopic meniscus repair at two locations in Houston and Baytown, Texas. As team orthopedist for the Houston Texans and head physician for the Astros, Dr. Lintner has extensive expertise in getting athletes back to their usual activity level. To find out if meniscus repair is right for you, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
The two menisci are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that provide stability and cushioning in your knee. They act as shock absorbers between your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone).
Meniscus tears often occur during sports, especially contact sports like football. Older adults are also prone to meniscus tears due to degenerative damage that weakens the cartilage over time. Simply twisting your knee awkwardly when rising from a chair can be enough to cause a meniscus tear.
Meniscus tears may cause knee pain, swelling, and decreased range of motion. You may also feel like your knee is giving out and experience a catching or locking sensation.
To determine whether you need meniscus repair, Dr. Lintner carefully evaluates your condition. He examines your knee and reviews imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Then, he creates a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. His treatment approach depends on the size, type, and location of your meniscus tear as well as your age and activity level.
The outer one-third of your meniscus has a blood supply, which means it may heal on its own or with meniscus repair surgery. A tear in the center of the meniscus lacks a blood supply and will not heal, even if Dr. Lintner stitches the pieces together. He may trim cartilage from this type of tear.
Dr. Lintner uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to perform most meniscus repairs. Arthroscopic surgery requires smaller incisions than open surgery, which leads to less pain and a shorter recovery time for you.
During meniscus repair, Dr. Lintner inserts a thin, flexible camera called an arthroscope into your knee. If the tear is repairable, he stitches the torn pieces of cartilage together. Otherwise, he may trim the cartilage.
Most people can go home the same day. Dr. Lintner bandages your wounds and informs you of how to care for your knee at home. He starts you on a physical therapy plan as soon as possible to restore your knee to its pre-injury level of strength and mobility. Recovery may take a few weeks to months.
For expertise in meniscus repair, call the office of David Lintner, MD, or book an appointment online today.