If you're suffering from the pain and immobility of a meniscus tear in your knee, you want relief. At Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix and St. Thomas, Dr. Jeffrey Chase can address that knee problem accurately. Recover well, and enjoy the long-term function.
What is a meniscus?
Actually, each of your knees has two of them, one on the medial side of the knee and the other on the lateral side. They provide cushioning for the space between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). These structures are subject to every day stresses from walking, squatting, and going up and downstairs. For the athlete, each meniscus takes on tremendous twisting pressures with sports such as football and skiing.
For younger people--even children--meniscus injuries are sudden tears which cause pain, stiffness, and immobility. Tears may be severe; however, because the tissue is youthful and more pliable, it heals quickly and completely.
Older patients at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix and St. Thomas often present with more fragmented tears, and the precipitating incident may be something as simple as squatting down to retrieve something off the floor, reports John Hopkins Health. Also, some senior patients are unaware they have a torn meniscus, but the injury shows up on X-ray or MRI as Dr. Chase investigates another orthopedic problem.
Along with a meniscus tear, the orthopedic surgeon may see co-existing arthritis, a deterioration of the articular cartilage in the knee. However, many patients have no arthritic changes while still others may have arthritis unrelated to their meniscus tear.
Treating a meniscus tear
If you have this knee injury, your treatment and recovery depend on your age and the extent of your injury. If you're like most patients, you won't require surgical repair (arthroscopic surgery with a thin scope and small incisions). You may do well with rest, ice, compression, and elevation--the traditional RICE protocol.
For all patients, treatment plans include pain control and physical therapy to promote healing and return to normal daily activities. For surgical patients, crutches, immobilization with a knee brace, physical therapy, and limitations on activities, such as driving and sports, vary according to the nature of the surgery.
It's your knee
Let us help you recover from a meniscus repair. At Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix, expect outstanding care and an excellent outcome. For an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Chase, please contact our St. Croix office at (340) 692-5000. For the St. Thomas location, phone (340) 714-2845.