What is the meniscus?

Cartilage acts as natural cushioning and its health is vital to the proper function of the knees and shoulders. The meniscus is a durable piece of cartilage in the knee joint that acts as a shock absorber to stabilize the knee as you twist or put pressure on it. Pain and swelling increase as cartilage wears down and, because it does not have a blood supply, the meniscus cannot heal on its own.

Untreated damage often leads to degenerative meniscus tears, wherein torn pieces of cartilage move around in the small spaces between the bones of the joint. These torn pieces become caught, causing pain and blocking natural movement.

basketball | meniscus

Meniscus tears occur most commonly:

  • In patients who have suffered a traumatic knee injury
  • After any activity in which the patient forcefully twists the knee
  • During kneeling, squatting, lifting heavy objects
  • In patients with untreated or degenerative knee cartilage damage (in these cases, tears can occur even during everyday activities)
  • In athletes who participate in contact sports or sports that involve pivoting

How can Dr. Karas help?

Dr. Karas utilizes his 25+ years of specialized expertise in orthopedic sports medicine to instruct physicians, trainees, and health professionals on the subject of the meniscus. Whether he’s instructing other physicians or treating professional athletes, Dr. Karas’ goal remains the same: to to provide patients with with the best range of surgical options available.

Meniscus Repair

  • Patients with meniscus torn near the outer 1/3rd, where a good blood supply exists, are great candidates for meniscal repair
  • During surgery, the torn portion of the meniscus is repaired with sutures
  • Normal “shock absorbing” capabilities are restored
  • Slows progression of arthritis

Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair

  • Minimally invasive (as opposed to open surgery, in which the surgeon must split the muscle to make an incision)
  • An arthroscopic camera (about the size of a pencil) is inserted through an incision which allows Dr. Karas to view the tear and perform the surgery with small tools
  • Results in less tissue trauma, less post-op pain, and faster, more dependable rehabilitation than traditional surgery