When is a Meniscus Tear Repairable?

When is a Meniscus Tear Repairable?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, one of the most common knee injuries is a tear in the meniscus. These rubbery pieces of cartilage act as shock absorbers in the knee to cushion and stabilize the knee joint. There are two menisci in each of your knees: one on the inside of the knee and one on the outer side.

Treatment of a meniscus tear depends on a number of factors, including the type of tear, its size and where the tear is located on the meniscus. Most meniscus tears result either from trauma or are degenerative. Traumatic tears come about from a twisting of the knee, often while engaged in sports and physical activity. Degenerative tears can occur as the body ages and tissue gradually breaks down over time.

The outer one-third of the meniscus has a rich supply of blood flow, which is important for any part of the body to heal. The inner two-thirds, however, have little to no blood flow. Nutrients from blood are necessary for the body to heal naturally, so when there are tears in the inner part of the meniscus, surgical trimming and removal of the torn piece is generally the best option.

Tears in the meniscus that are located near the outer edge of the knee are typically the result of trauma and are longitudinal – basically following parallel to the long side of the meniscus. This makes these injuries the best candidates for surgical repair.

Arthroscopic surgery for such tears can be very successful at repairing the damage. This is a minimally invasive treatment, as only a few small incisions in the knee are needed. A miniature camera is inserted in one incision, and surgical instruments are inserted in the others, allowing the surgery to all take place within the knee. The tear is closed by stitching the torn pieces together.

Recovery time from a meniscus repair is longer than for surgery where part of the meniscus is removed because the tissue must heal together, requiring 3-4 months away from sports. However, you can expect to fully return to your previous level of activity once healing is complete.

If you have sustained a knee injury or are experiencing knee pain, contact us at Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine. Dr. Irvine has extensive experience in treating knee pain and injuries, and is trained in the most advanced techniques in arthroscopic surgery.

Secrets To Maximizing Your Recovery And Rehabilitation Following Knee Surgery

Following arthroscopic knee surgery, you’ll be faced with the recovery and rehabilitation process. This time of healing can sometimes feel overwhelming. Fortunately we’ve got some ideas on how you can maximize your healing. Eight ways, to be precise.

  • Be patient: Arthroscopic knee surgery is the least invasive way to repair knee injury or disease, and Dr. Irvine is very good at it. But the recovery process – when your body is rebuilding tissues and strengthening connections – takes time. Be patient.
  • Be ready to start rehab immediately: With very few exceptions, you’ll be starting physical therapy within 24 hours of your surgery. In order to get your full range of motion back, you’ve got to move!
  • Communicate: Your doctor and others involved in your rehab need to know how your knee is feeling, what hurts and what doesn’t, and how well you’re following the rehab plan.
  • Expect a little pain: You’ve heard of “no pain, no gain” right? Recovery following knee surgery is no different. We think you’ll be surprised at how little pain you have, and will provide you with pain medication to help.
  • Don’t suffer: Having a little pain while you’re following the exercise plan outlined for you is normal. But if your pain feels unmanageable, speak up! Although pain can be a normal part of the healing process, when pain is extreme it can signal complications or infection.
  • Don’t push ahead of your rehab plan: Depending on your pre-surgery activity level and the condition or injury that made surgery necessary, you may think that pushing harder will make your healing progress faster. This is rarely accurate. Your rehab plan is carefully designed to maximize your healing without creating any additional injury.
  • Expect peaks and valleys: Your rehabilitation progress won’t be a straight line. Expect peaks and valleys as your body heals. This will help you manage a tough day or when you feel like you’re not seeing the progress you’d like.
  • Pay attention to your mental health: Moments of frustration and even depression are perfectly normal. Denny Hamlin, NASCAR racer, talked about this recently following a repeat knee surgery. “That’s the biggest hurdle mentally that we fight through all this is not being able to do some of these activities [golfing and running] that we use to…” during the rehab process.

Knowing what to expect, following your rehab plan, and communicating through the process will go a long way to maximizing your recovery and rehabilitation following knee surgery. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have, and we’ll stay with you until you’re fully recovered.

Knee Arthroscopy: Your First Step to Minimize Your Time on the Sidelines!

Your knee hurts. Maybe it’s been building slowly to this point, or maybe you know exactly when it happened. Maybe it’s a dull ache; maybe it’s a sharp pain that makes everyday activities unbearable. In any case, when you are tired of the pain impacting your performance, it is time to consult a professional like Dr. Irvine.

One of the most common methods of diagnosing knee pain is knee arthroscopy. With this procedure, several small incisions are made on and around your knee and a small high-resolution camera is used to view the joint. Arthroscopy can also help your doctor repair your knee, as the other incisions are used to insert small instruments to remove or repair damaged tissue.

The procedure can be performed under either local, regional or general anesthesia, and is commonly performed in a matter of hours as an outpatient procedure, so no overnight hospital stays are usually required.

While recovery time depends on a number of factors, typical recovery time from arthroscopic knee surgery is 4-6 weeks, which is generally much faster than the time required to recover from open knee surgery. Of course, your results will largely depend on your willingness and ability to be an active participant by following your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery care and adhering to your prescribed physical therapy regimen.

No procedure is guaranteed to alleviate knee pain, and it is important for your doctor to evaluate your symptoms and medical history before determining whether you are a candidate for knee arthroscopy.

For more information about knee arthroscopy, or to schedule an appointment, contact us to take the first step to getting off the sidelines and back into the game.

Common Hockey Injuries

Concussions, Back Injuries, Elbow Injuries

Hockey Players Take A Beating, Typically

It is no surprise that hockey player undergo some physical pushing and shoving during the game. Sometimes the game is so physical that it can lead to injuries to their body which requires the medical attention of a doctor. We recommend an advanced sports medicine doctor like our very own, Dr. Irvine.

Ice hockey players fighting during game, Dr. Irvine, Sport Medicine

What are some common hockey player injuries?

Concussion This is a traumatic brain injury which may alter the way your brain functions.

Shoulder Injury* Our team evaluates and treat shoulder injuries including labral tears, Bankart lesions, rotator cuff tears & more.

Elbow Injury* Dr Irvine helps east the pain from elbow injuries such as fractures.

Back Injury Hockey players are especially at risk for lower back injuries which can affect your skating stride and overall comfort.

Hip Injury* Dr Irvine is experienced in treating hip arthroscopy as well as performing total hip replacement.

Knee Injury* Our doctor can perform ACL and PCL reconstruction, whether it be minimally invasive or a total reconstruction. However, his experience does not stop there. He is also able to treat a number of other knee conditions and injuries.

Wrist Injury* If you are experiencing a mallet finger injury and/or a wrist or hand fracture, then Dr. Irvine is your guy to call.

* Denotes services in which Dr. Irvine can help diagnose & treat.

If you are interested in jumping onto the road of recovery, and would like to become a potential patient of ours, please call today to schedule your appointment 314-567-5850.

Hurt On The Job?

We help you stay on your feet

No matter how cautious your are, getting hurt while on the job is a possibility for anyone. Whether it’s due to lifting heavy loads, or continuously sitting at the desk, or the way you stand while working. A work relating injury can cost both you & your employer time and money.

At Missouri Orthopedic, Dr. Irvine specializes in treating common work place injuries such as knee pain, hip and/or shoulder pain and discomfort. No matter what pain or discomfort you are feeling, trust in our skilled and experienced care that we will get you back on the job and feeling well again.

Fluid, cartilage, ligaments & bone make up your knee joint(s). What helps your knee joint move is the muscle and tendons location within. If, and when any of the mentioned is hurt, strained or diseased (such as arthritis) you will have a knee pain, and knee problems that can cause difficulty walking or moving while on the job.

What is arthritis in your knee?

Cartilage gradually wears away in your knee, causing discomfort and swelling, and oftentimes pain while walking or even sitting.