The meniscus is a cushion-like cartilage structure in the knee that sits between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia), and functions as a gasket or shock absorber between the two bones. One is located on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) and one on the outside (lateral meniscus). These structures are often injured during twisting injuries to the knee, but most commonly damage results from wear and tear and associated arthritis.

Usually pain is felt in the area of the tear, commonly worsened by twisting or pivoting. Squatting can be problematic and swelling and/or mechanical symptoms, such as locking, catching, or painful popping may be present. Inability to fully bend or straighten the knee is a concerning sign and demands prompt consultation.
The diagnosis is typically made by a combination of the patient’s history, the findings on physical examination, and an MRI scan. X-rays are useful is determining if arthritis exists.
The treatment approach depends on the symptoms experienced, the age of the patient, the pattern of the tear, and whether or not arthritis is present in the knee. Conservative options include rest, activity modification, ice, anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections. If pain and/or functional limitations persist, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery is a good option. This involves trimming the torn segment of the meniscus while preserving the intact tissue. Sometimes a repair can be possible, based on the patient age, nature of the tear and duration from injury.

At Oceana Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, Dr. Aboka performs minimally invasive Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy and Meniscus Repair Surgery.

This procedure is outpatient/same-day surgery, and leads to less pain and scarring and quicker recovery and return to pain-free function.