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Do You Need Total Knee Replacement for a Meniscal Tear?

Do You Need Total Knee Replacement for a Meniscal Tear?

Your knees carry you through the ups and downs of daily life — literally! So, when you suffer from a knee injury like a meniscal tear, you risk knee joint instability and dysfunction that may seriously limit your mobility and your future quality of life.

Dr. Jeffrey Pearson and the team at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana take knee restoration seriously. After a knee injury, Dr. Pearson recommends the best plan to stabilize and strengthen your knee for years to come. He provides a range of interventions, including partial and total knee replacement surgery, from his locations in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana.

How a meniscal tear affects your knee

Meniscal tears account for a large amount of knee injuries. You’re at increased risk of this type of injury if you’re overweight or obese, or if you compete in contact sports or activities that involve twisting and pivoting your lower body.

And, your risk of a torn meniscus also goes up as you get older, due to ongoing wear-and-tear on your knee joints, as well as complicating degenerative conditions like arthritis.

In a meniscal tear, the C-shaped pieces of cartilage in your knee joints suffer from damage. You rely on these pieces of cartilage, two in each knee, to cushion the movement of your shinbone against your thigh bone.

It can take as long as a day or two to develop symptoms after the injury occurs. After a meniscal tear, you may notice swelling, joint stiffness, and blocked motion. Pain typically worsens with any bending or twisting of the joint. 

It may become difficult or impossible to fully extend the affected knee. You might notice a popping sensation in your knee joint, or find that it gives way under pressure.

When you need surgical knee replacement

Dr. Pearson begins your treatment for a meniscal tear by assessing the extent and severity of your injury. Other factors, like your current physical condition and your future activity plans, also make a difference in the best treatment for you.

If your injury isn’t too severe, Dr. Pearson recommends starting with conservative approaches, like rest, icing therapy, physical therapy, and pain relief medication You may also need treatment to get arthritis under control, improving the overall condition of your knees.

However, severe tears, and tears that block knee motion, may need surgery to be fully addressed. 

In some cases, Dr. Pearson may be able to surgically repair your torn meniscus. This type of procedure is more likely to be successful in younger adults. Dr. Pearson can also surgically trim away a torn meniscus, leaving your knee functional but more fragile than before the injury.

So, when do you need to consider surgical knee replacement after a meniscal tear? Total knee replacement is your best bet to repair the issue if you also have degenerative arthritis. In this type of procedure, Dr. Pearson replaces damaged parts of your knee joint, replacing them with surgical-quality prosthetics.

If your damaged knee needs surgery, you should know that Dr. Pearson uses cutting-edge robotic surgery tools and techniques, minimizing your risks and recovery time as much as possible.

If you’re concerned about a meniscal tear, or are suffering from knee joint pain or dysfunction, contact Dr. Pearson at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana and learn more about the right treatment plan to restore your knees to full, comfortable function.

Schedule your initial consultation appointment online or over the phone today.

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