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Meniscal Tear Specialist

Michael P. Leathers, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Michael P. Leathers, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Midtown, Sacramento, CA

Meniscus tears may be one of the most common knee injuries, but Michael P. Leathers, MD can get you back on your feet quickly. Dr. Leathers is an experienced orthopedic surgeon providing knee repair and sports injury treatments to men and women in Midtown Sacramento, California. If you’ve torn cartilage in your knee, call Michael P. Leathers, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.

Meniscal Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

Your knee joint has two menisci. These collections of cartilage cushion your knee joint, protect it from wear and tear and provide stability. If your meniscus cartilage catches on the knee joint or breaks loose, you’ve suffered a meniscus tear.

Common indicators a meniscus tear is present include:

  • Limited range of motion
  • Pain, swelling, or stiffness
  • Catching or locking in the knee joint
  • Having the sensation your knee will give out

Meniscus tears are common knee injuries, especially among athletes.

What causes a meniscus tear?

Meniscus tears frequently happen in both contact and non-contact sports — especially sports such as volleyball and soccer, in which a lot of squatting, jumping, and changing directions suddenly take place.

The meniscus cartilage also weakens as you age, increasing your risk of injury. This type of meniscus injury is called a “degenerative tear” and can even occur from getting up from a chair. An estimated 60% of men and women over age 65 have degenerative tear meniscus injuries.

Without treatment, your meniscus cartilage can move out of position, causing your knee to slip, lock, or pop.

How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?

To reach a meniscus tear diagnosis, Dr. Leathers performs a physical examination of your knee.

A typical indication of a tear during this examination is tenderness along the knee joint at the meniscus location. Dr. Leathers might also observe your ability to straighten, bend, and rotate your knee. These actions also apply pressure that causes a torn meniscus to click.

In addition to your physical exam, Dr. Leathers may suggest X-rays to rule out other underlying knee conditions such as arthritis.

How is a meniscus tear treated?

Based on your diagnosis, Dr. Leathers may suggest several treatment options. If surgery isn’t necessary, he may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and the RICE method. RICE reduces pain and swelling through Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

If surgery is required, Dr. Leathers might recommend an arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique that enables Dr. Leathers to perform your meniscus repair through two or three small incisions instead of one large one. This approach offers faster recovery times and less pain than traditional surgery.

Following your meniscus tear surgery, Dr. Leathers outlines physical therapy or rehabilitation exercises to strengthen your knee muscles and restore mobility.

To find relief for your meniscus tear or other knee injuries, call Michael P. Leathers, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.