Meniscal Tears (Knee Cartilage)

Meniscal tears are a common source of knee pain, especially in athletes. If you have torn your meniscus, Coast Spine and Sports Medicine can help with tailored treatment options. We welcome patients in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire.

What Is a Meniscal Tear?

Meniscal Tears (Knee Cartilage)A meniscal tear is a tear in the meniscus, the cartilage in the knee joint that creates a cushion between the tibia or shinbone and femur or thighbone. Each knee has two menisci cartilage that can be torn or damaged when rotating or putting too much pressure on the knee.

The risk of a meniscal tear increases with age as the meniscus degenerates and thins over time, which can make the cartilage vulnerable to tearing just by rising from a seated position. Athletes are also at an increased risk of a torn meniscus. Sports that involve sudden stops or turns can make a meniscus tear more likely including tennis, soccer, basketball, and football.

How Much Does Meniscal Tear Treatment Cost in Orange County?

The cost to treat a torn meniscus depends on many factors, such as the severity and location of the tear and how long ago the injury occurred. We will review your customized treatment plan and care cost during your initial appointment. We accept many forms of insurance and financing through CareCredit® to make your care as affordable as possible.

What Are the Types of Meniscal Tears?

There are many types of tears of the meniscus which can affect how the tear can be treated. Common forms of meniscal tears include:

  • Radial tears. This is the most common meniscus tear and it happens within the avascular zone of the cartilage which has no blood supply. This means these tears have no ability to heal. When surgery is necessary, the only option is generally trimming away the damaged section of the cartilage.
  • Intrasubstance or incomplete tear. These tears are usually stable and do not require surgical treatment. They can be a sign of early degeneration and many people have them by their 30s.
  • Horizontal tear. This type of meniscus tear responds best to meniscus repair surgery and it runs along the cartilage’s circumferential fibers. If it’s located close to the outer edge where the meniscus has blood supply, the tear can often be sutured together.
  • Flap tear. This type of tear is uncommon and leaves a flap of cartilage that can catch in the joint. Repairing the tear usually involves removing only the flap.
  • Bucket handle tear. This is a large, horizontal meniscus tear that usually makes the knee joint stuck when the torn section catches and blocks normal knee movements.
  • Complex tear. This is a tear with at least two pattern combinations such as a horizontal and radial tear. In some cases, these tears can be repaired or a damaged section of meniscus may be removed.

How Are Meniscal Tears Treated in Orange County, CA?

Treatment for a meniscus tear will depend on the severity and type of tear. Many meniscal tears are treated conservatively with observation and physical therapy. If these measures aren’t enough, meniscal repair may be necessary. There are two primary ways to surgically treat a torn meniscus: removing the damaged cartilage and suturing the tear. Determining which option will work best will depend on the location and severity of the tear, as tears in areas of the meniscus that do not have a blood supply can’t be repaired.

If you have torn your meniscus, Coast Spine and Sports Medicine can help with comprehensive treatment options to relieve your pain and restore normal function and strength of your knee. Call us today to schedule your appointment. We welcome patients in Orange County and Los Angeles County, California.