Athletes are at risk for a number of knee injuries. A common knee injury experienced by many players—especially those participating in contact sports—is meniscus tears. Meniscus are the pieces of cartilage situated between the thighbone and shinbone that cushion the joints, provide stability, and act as shock absorbers.
There are multiple ways the meniscus can tear, the most frequent being bucket handle, flap, and radial. A common reason for a meniscus tear is a sudden twist of the knee, but it can also happen as cartilage weakens with age.
Common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:
– Inability to move the knee
– Locking of the knee
While many with a meniscus tear can still walk on their knee—or even keep playing sports—over a period of a few days, the knee will get more stiff and swollen. And if not treated properly, pieces of the cartilage can even get loose and move into the joint, causing further discomfort and problems. Many times, meniscus repair requires a surgical procedure known as knee arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a common procedure done through a small incision in which a small camera is inserted into the knee joint. This allows the orthopedic surgeon the information needed to repair or removed the damaged cartilage, which is done with other small surgical tools being inserted through other small incisions around the knee.
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