On Friday, October 21st Dr. Curran had the chance to appear on ABC 27s afternoon program, Good Day PA to discuss meniscus tears. During his time on the program with Amy Kehm Dr. Curran was able to share just some of his knowledge with the audience. We highly suggest watching the segment as you may learn something new!
What is a Meniscus Tear?
The key to understanding a meniscus tear is knowing what and where your meniscus is. Locate between the thigh bone and shin bone the meniscus acts as a shock absorber and provides some stability to the knee. This tough and rubbery part of the body helps cushion the joint and keep everything stable. Meniscus tears are among one of the most common knee injuries and often occur in athletes from all the contact and pivoting involved. In sports-related injuries meniscus tears often occur in tandem with other knee injuries including an ACL tear. Older adults are prone to tears from the deterioration of their cartilage weakening over time.
Diagnosing and Treating Meniscus Tears
When the meniscus tears there may be a popping sound but a majority of people can still walk and many are able to continue playing their sport. The next few days however, more symptoms will be apparent including increased pain, stiffness and swelling, catching or locking of the knee, and a decreased range of motion.
If you experience these symptoms, then you should make an appointment right away. Your doctor will check your range of motion as well as swelling and tenderness of the patient’s knee. Imaging tests will be able to help determine or confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment will vary based on the size and location of the tear. If the outside of the meniscus is torn, then it may heal on its own over 2-3 months due to the rich blood supply in that area. If the tear is on the inner two-thirds of the meniscus, then it will not heal on its own and will need to be surgically trimmed away. However, as long as the knee is stable nonsurgical treatments may be all you’ll need this includes: protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation to help alleviate symptoms.
About Dr. Curran
Dr. Todd Curran studied at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his surgical internship and orthopaedic surgery residency at Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Dr. Curran was appointed to the medical staff at Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida where he was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In his freetime Dr. Curran enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and their four children. He enjoys coaching youth athletics and being in the outdoors.