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Meniscus Tear Specialist

Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C.

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Englewood, CO & Aurora, CO

If you play contact sports like football, hockey, or rugby, you’re more likely to suffer a meniscus tear. At Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., John Schwappach, MD, has years of experience diagnosing and treating meniscus tears in teens and adults. To make an appointment at the practice in Englewood or Aurora, Colorado, call the nearest office to speak with a team member or book online today.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear is a knee injury that’s especially common in athletes. 

Each of your knees has two menisci, which are tough, C-shaped pieces of cartilage that provide a cushion between your shin and thigh bones. If you unexpectedly twist or rotate your knee while putting weight on it, a meniscus can tear, triggering a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

Common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Pain when twisting or rotating your knee
  • Difficulty straightening your knee
  • Feeling your knee give way

You might also experience popping or clicking sounds whenever you take a step or try to move your knee.

Who is at risk of a meniscus tear?

Meniscus tears affect people of all ages and genders, but they’re especially common in athletes and other active individuals. That’s especially true for those who play contact sports like football or sports, including sudden stops and turns like soccer or tennis.

Other factors that increase the risk of a torn meniscus include being overweight and having a history of sports-related injuries.

How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?

At Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., your provider diagnoses meniscus tears by conducting a thorough physical exam. During your appointment, they have you move your knee in different positions and ask you to do a series of easy exercises. This allows them to observe your range of motion and pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

If these measures don’t provide enough insight, Dr. Schwappach might order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This diagnostic imaging procedure provides detailed photos of the soft and hard tissues in your knee. It’s a safe and effective way to spot a meniscus tear.

How is a meniscus tear treated?

Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. Usually, Dr. Schwappach recommends conservative treatments like ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medication. 

Once the swelling goes down, physical therapy can strengthen your knee's muscles and help stabilize the joint.

If your symptoms persist even after physical therapy and rest, surgical intervention may be necessary. If you have a minor injury, your surgeon might recommend repairing the meniscus. If you have a meniscus tear and arthritis, you might benefit from a knee replacement.

To receive treatment for a meniscus tear, make an appointment at Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C. by calling the nearest office to speak with a team member or book online today.