Meniscus Tear Treatment Singapore
Dr. Bryan Tan
FRCS Ed (Orth)
A meniscus tear is a tear in the cartilage of the knee. The knee may lock if the meniscus is severely damaged, causing the torn portion to be displaced. A meniscal tear can be a result of stress, injury, or degeneration. It is vital to understand your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as early diagnosis and management can reduce further complications.
Dr. Bryan TanOrthopaedic Surgeon
Sports have always played a big part in Dr Bryan’s life. His interest in sports and varied sporting activities give him a deep understanding of sports injuries and the mindset of an athlete.
The condition often develops gradually over time and is difficult to detect. This painful condition affects 2-5% of the general population.
Dr Bryan Tan is a fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon, based in Singapore. He completed 2 fellowships in Orthopaedic Sports, Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in Sydney, Australia and Nice, France. Prior to private practice, Dr Bryan was a consultant in the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore. He is currently still a visiting consultant at NUH where he actively teaches medical students and young orthopaedic surgical trainees. In addition, he travels to regional countries to teach advanced arthroscopic surgical techniques.
Dr. Bryan has a special interest in keyhole surgery and performs most of his surgeries using advanced, modern keyhole surgical techniques. He regularly visits fellow surgeons from other countries to ensure his skills and knowledge are cutting edge.read full bio
What Is A Meniscus Tear?
A meniscus is a crescent-shaped, sturdy fibrocartilage that acts as a cushion between your thighbone and your shinbone. Each of your knees contains two menisci, the medial (inner) meniscus, and the lateral (outer) meniscus.
A meniscus injury happens when any form of activity causes the knees to rotate or twist forcefully. A torn meniscus is a common knee ailment brought by trauma, sports, or both. Meniscal tears may also happen to older people whose cartilage has thinned out from years of wear and tear on the joint.
A meniscus injury is commonly observed between ages 15 and 30 or 45 and 70.
What Are The Types of Meniscus Tears And Patterns?
A meniscus tear can be categorised through location, specific tear pattern, or proximity to a blood supply. The outside third of the meniscus is where tears are highly-likely to occur because of their proximity to the blood supply.
The following regions are prone to meniscus tears: The body; Anterior horn; and The posterior horn (the most common region for tears)
The most typical meniscus tear patterns are:
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Diagnosis Of Meniscus Tear
Your doctor may perform an in-depth examination of your symptoms and review your medical history to determine the cause of your injury.
In order to confirm the tear, your doctor may use and perform:
- The McMurray test to check the range of motion of your knee.
- A circular motion of your knee to identify the tear as it puts more strain on the meniscus and produces an audible clicking sound.
- Imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT Scan may also be required.
- If none of the aforementioned examinations confirms the diagnosis of a meniscal tear, your doctor may recommend surgery or meniscus transplantation.
Treatment Procedures for a Meniscus Tear
RICE. The majority of sports-related injuries can be treated with the RICE protocol. RICE is the acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
- Rest. Immediately stop engaging in the activity that injured you. Crutches may be suggested by your doctor to avoid putting too much pressure on your injured leg.
- Ice. Apply cold packs for 20 minutes, as frequently as needed. Do not apply ice to the skin directly.
- Compression. Wear a stretchable compression bandage to prevent swelling.
- Elevation. When resting, lean back and elevate your leg above your heart to help minimise pain and swelling.
To lessen the aftermath effect of the trauma, your doctor may advise you to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen to reduce pain, swelling, and discomfort.
Meniscal Allograft Transplantation
Meniscal allograft transplantation involves the implantation of a new meniscus, taken from a donor (a cadaver) into a patient’s knee joint.
Keyhole surgery, also known as ALL-Inside repair, can be used as a mode of treatment for some meniscal tears, without the need for external incisions. The restoration of the meniscal tear is frequently done simultaneously with an ACL reconstruction to treat both the ligament injury and the meniscal tear as much as possible. Despite its complexity, meniscal repair has a success rate of 60%-70%.
Meniscal Debridement (resection)
During the arthroscopic meniscal debridement treatment, microscopic surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions. The torn meniscus segment is removed, leaving behind a small but healthy piece of cartilage.
Meniscal scaffolding is the process of replacing the meniscal tissue with an artificial bio-absorbable scaffold. By stitching the meniscus scaffolds in the knee, the patient’s cells grow into the scaffold, thereby forming new meniscal tissue.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Meniscus Tear?
The following are the most common symptoms of a meniscus tear:
Your Treatment Roadmap with Dr. Bryan
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Initial Consultation & Diagnosis of your Condition
During your consultation, Dr. Bryan will evaluate your medical history and the pain you are experiencing. You may also ask Dr. Bryan any questions you may have about your condition.
Treatment & Follow Up Visits With Dr. Bryan
After your consultation with Dr. Bryan, our friendly clinic staff will assist you with your follow-up appointment, and provide you with instructions/information for any prescribed treatment plans from Dr. Bryan.
Will my meniscus tear heal on its own?
No, it won’t heal on its own. Due to its limited blood supply, the meniscus is incapable of self-healing. The outer third, or the “red zone”, is the only region that has blood vessels. The “white zones”, which comprised the inner two-thirds, are avascular or do not have a blood supply. This characteristic makes healing and recovery futile.
What is the role of the meniscus?
The meniscus functions as a cushion or shock absorber to keep the bones of the knee joint from grinding against one another, causing damage. It also distributes the weight of your body equally across the knee joint. The function and health of the menisci are crucial as it helps prevent knee injuries.
Can I still walk or move with a torn meniscus?
Yes, you can still walk or move as long as it does not include movements that require twisting or pivoting. However, tears can worsen over time gradually which may lead to further discomfort.
What will happen if I delay the treatment or leave a torn meniscus untreated?
Tears that are left untreated may worsen over time. Degenerative knee arthritis is more likely to develop in people with progressive loss of meniscus. It is best to seek early diagnosis and treatment with your doctor.
How long will it take for me to recover after surgery?
Your post-operation recovery is highly dependent on the severity of your injury and the extent of surgery. It may take six (6) weeks to three (3) months to fully recover. Four (4) to six (6) weeks of limited weight-bearing with crutches may be prescribed to hasten the recovery.
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