Remember that song that went something like “Your thigh bone’s connected to your shin bone?” Well, if the composer had wanted to get technical, they’d have included a verse about the meniscus, the elbow macaroni-shaped soft tissue cartilage disc that actually does connect your thigh bone to your shinbone.
Your meniscus stabilizes your knee and acts as a shock absorber when you jump and perform other activities. It’s also easy to tear and otherwise damage.
Although people who play sports like football, volleyball, and hockey tend to suffer these types of knee injuries, “regular” people can injure their menisci also, by lifting something heavy, twisting awkwardly, or squatting like you would when gardening.
Because of Dr. Struan Coleman’s extensive experience treating professional athletes, he’s especially versed in treating meniscus injuries, from minor tears to more complex ones. He’s used to treating teams, but he’s also enlisted a caring team at the practice, and our focus is you.
You might know you’ve hurt your meniscus just because of a sudden onset of pain from trauma sustained during a workout, an abrupt twist or turn of your leg that your foot doesn’t follow along with, or you may hear a click or pop alerting you that something’s not right.
Aside from physical activity, simply getting older increases your chances of tearing your meniscus, since it weakens over time or as a result of a condition like osteoarthritis.
Many meniscus injuries are not severe and heal with proper home care or conservative medical treatment, but a serious injury can send bits of your meniscus into your joint, where they definitely shouldn’t be.
You’ll know it if this happens, because not only is your movement greatly impaired, you feel like something’s amiss internally as your knee feels “stuck” and hard to move fluidly.
You couldn’t be in better hands if you’re diagnosed with a severe tear. Often arthroscopy is the best course of action when your injury is bad.
If Dr. Coleman recommends arthroscopic surgery, he makes sure that he knows your complete medical history, arranges for imaging tests that provide him with valuable visual clinical data, and that all of your questions about the procedure are answered.
During the procedure, Dr. Coleman takes out any stray meniscus tissue from your knee joint area and either mends your knee joint or removes any unstable elements from it. He does this all using an arthroscope, a very slim tool with a camera and bright light on the end of it.
He inserts it into the area he works on through a small incision, and the arthroscope allows him to look inside your joint and see everything clearly, including what’s he’s doing, because the camera projects a real-time image of your surgery site onto a large screen in the operating room.
You’re able to go home the day of your surgery, and the only thing you need to do at that point is get lots of rest. During your rehab and recovery, you receive physical therapy so you can go back to being the fully mobile, active person you remember being. And best of all? The pain’s gone!
To find out whether arthroscopy is the right treatment for your meniscus repair, call one of our three offices to arrange a consultation with Dr. Coleman, or request one through our website.