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Meniscus Injury Clinic

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Meniscus Injury Clinic
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Meniscus Injury Clinic in Dubai at Emirates Hospitals Group.  The meniscus, a crescent-shaped wedge of cartilage in the knee joint, plays a vital role in shock absorption and stability. A meniscus tear, a common knee injury, can significantly impact your mobility and cause pain. At Emirates Hospitals Group, our state-of-the-art Meniscus Injury Clinic is staffed with Dubai’s leading orthopedic surgeons – all UK and German board-certified – offers comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for meniscus injuries.

Understanding Meniscus Injuries

The knee joint has two menisci – the medial meniscus on the inner side and the lateral meniscus on the outer side. Meniscus tears typically occur during sudden twisting motions or forceful landings, often seen in sports activities. Tears can also develop gradually due to wear and tear, particularly with age-related degeneration.

Meniscus Tear Treatment

Types of Meniscus Injury

Medial Meniscus Injury

The medial meniscus is located on the inner side of the knee joint. Injuries to the medial meniscus are more common due to the greater stress placed on this side of the knee. Such injuries often result from activities that involve twisting or turning motions, especially when the foot is planted, and can be more frequent in sports like soccer and basketball.

Lateral Meniscus Injury

The lateral meniscus is situated on the outer side of the knee joint. While less commonly injured than the medial meniscus, lateral meniscus injuries can still occur, particularly due to acute trauma or high-impact activities. These injuries can cause pain and instability, affecting the overall function of the knee.

Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear

The severity of a meniscus tear determines the intensity of your symptoms. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Pain: A sharp pain along the inner or outer side of the knee joint is a common symptom. The pain may worsen with specific movements like twisting or squatting.
  • Swelling: Swelling may occur within a few hours of the injury due to fluid buildup within the knee joint.
  • Catching or locking: The knee may feel like it’s “catching” or locking in a certain position, restricting its movement.
  • Giving way: In some cases, the knee may feel unstable or like it might “give way” during weight-bearing activities.
  • Decreased range of motion: Difficulty bending or straightening the knee fully is a possible symptom.

When to Seek Medical Attention 

While some mild meniscus tears may improve with conservative management, some situations require immediate medical attention from the Meniscus Injury Clinic at Emirates Hospitals Group:

  • Severe pain and swelling: If the pain is unbearable and accompanied by significant swelling, a doctor’s evaluation is crucial.
  • Locking of the knee: If the knee locks in a bent position and cannot be straightened, you need immediate medical attention.
  • Inability to bear weight: Difficulty putting any weight on the injured knee necessitates a doctor’s visit.
  • Persistent symptoms: If symptoms persist for more than a few weeks despite home care, a doctor’s visit is recommended.

Diagnosis of Meniscus Tears

Our experienced doctors at the Meniscus Injury Clinic will conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose a meniscus tear. This typically involves:

  • Detailed Medical History: Your doctor will inquire about the mechanism of your injury, your activity level, and any history of knee problems.
  • Physical Examination: The doctor will assess your knee for swelling, tenderness, range of motion, and stability. Specific tests will be performed to check for meniscal tenderness and instability.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays are usually used to rule out bone fractures. An MRI scan is the gold standard for diagnosing meniscus tears, providing detailed images of the cartilage and surrounding structures.

Meniscus Tear Repair Dubai

Treatment Options 

Treatment for meniscus tears depends on the severity and location of the tear, as well as your age and activity level. The Meniscus Injury Clinic at Emirates Hospitals Group will design a personalized treatment plan, which may include:

  • Non-surgical Management: For minor tears, this approach often involves the RICE protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), pain medication, and physical therapy to manage pain and inflammation and improve knee function.
  • Arthroscopic Repair: For certain types of tears, particularly in younger patients with good blood flow to the meniscus, arthroscopic repair may be possible. This minimally invasive surgery involves stitching the torn meniscus back together using small incisions and specialized instruments.
  • Meniscectomy & Debridement: For larger tears or tears in areas with poor blood flow, a partial meniscectomy (removal of the damaged portion of the meniscus) or meniscal debridement (trimming of frayed edges) may be necessary. This can also be performed arthroscopically.

Recovery Process and Protocols

Post-Treatment Recovery

The recovery process from meniscus injury treatment varies depending on the type of procedure performed:

  1. Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair Recovery:
    • Phase 1 (Acute Phase): Focus on reducing pain and swelling through rest, ice application, compression, and elevation (RICE). Patients may use crutches to limit weight-bearing.
    • Phase 2 (Rehabilitation Phase): Physical therapy to restore range of motion and begin strengthening exercises. Patients gradually progress to weight-bearing activities as tolerated.
    • Phase 3 (Strengthening Phase): More intensive strength training and functional exercises to rebuild muscle strength and improve knee stability.
    • Phase 4 (Functional Phase): Sport-specific drills, balance training, and agility exercises to prepare for a return to daily activities and sports. Full recovery typically takes several months.
  2. Meniscectomy and Debridement Recovery:
    • Phase 1 (Acute Phase): Similar focus on reducing pain and swelling with RICE and limited weight-bearing.
    • Phase 2 (Rehabilitation Phase): Early physical therapy to restore motion and strength.
    • Phase 3 (Strengthening Phase): Continued strengthening and functional exercises.
    • Phase 4 (Functional Phase): Gradual return to normal activities and sports, usually within a few weeks to months depending on the extent of the procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Meniscus injuries often occur due to sudden twists or turns, especially during sports activities that involve pivoting, cutting, or direct contact. They can also result from degenerative changes in older adults, where the meniscus weakens and becomes more prone to tearing even with minor movements.

Diagnosis begins with a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and a physical examination, including specific tests like the McMurray test and Apley grind test to assess the integrity of the meniscus. Advanced imaging techniques, such as MRI and X-rays, provide detailed views of the knee’s internal structures to confirm the extent of the injury and identify any associated damage.

  • Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair: A minimally invasive procedure to repair the torn meniscus.
  • Meniscectomy: Partial or total removal of the damaged meniscus tissue.
  • Debridement: Removal of loose fragments and smoothing of rough edges of the meniscus. The choice of treatment depends on the type and severity of the tear, as well as the patient’s age, activity level, and overall health.

To prevent future meniscus injuries, it is essential to maintain strong and flexible muscles around the knee through regular exercise, including strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance drills. Using proper techniques during sports and daily activities, wearing appropriate footwear, and avoiding sudden, high-impact movements that stress the knee can also help. Additionally, adhering to recommended rehabilitation protocols and staying physically active can contribute to overall knee health and reduce the risk of re-injury.

Last update date: 27-06-2024

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