The Orthopedic Blog

Do I Need Surgery for a Meniscal Tear

Posted on Sun, May 5, 2013 @ 17:05 PM

Do I Need Surgery for a Meniscal Tear

As with any knee injury, any MCL tear can be awfully painful and excruciating. It is one of the commonly injured parts of the knee. Meniscal or meniscus is a layer of cartilage in the knee that is cushioned between the knee joints. The purpose of the meniscus is to protect the bones from damages. Nevertheless, the meniscus can sustain a tear if the knee twists or rotates unexpectedly.

Is Surgery Necessary?

In severe cases, a patient with a torn MCL should undergo surgery, as a layer of the tattered cartilage can break free and catch. When this happens, it can cause the knee to lock up or pop. To ensure the MCL heals properly, orthopedic surgeons often recommend surgery.

How Often Do MCL Tears Occur?

An MCL tear occurs relatively often especially among active athletes. Athletes participating inDo I Need Surgery for a Meniscal Tear volleyball, rugby, football, soccer, and similar sports tend to sustain a torn MCL more often than others who do not participate in sports. However, it does not necessarily mean that a person who lives a sedentary life will not incur a meniscal tear. All it takes is a sudden twist of the knee, and a tear can occur.

Symptoms of Meniscus or Meniscal Tear

Symptoms of an MCL tear vary, because there are three stages of this type of injury.

Minor Stage

At this stage, patients will feel minimal pain as the injury occurs. They will notice a slight swelling around the knee, typically after two to three days. Normally, this does not necessitate surgery.

Moderate Stage

Patients will feel pain at the side and in the center of their knee. Swelling is generally noticeable after two to three days and the swelling will make the knee feel rigid. When patients feel extreme pain while twisting or squatting, it is best to consult an orthopedic surgeon to find out if the MCL tear needs surgery.

Severe Stage

Lingering and intense pain are not avoidable at this stage. Sudden stiffness and swelling will occur and at this point, most orthopedic surgeons will recommend surgery for the MCL tear.  


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Topics: MCL tear