A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. Pain management specialist Alexander Kulick, MD, diagnoses and treats meniscus tears at his practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. For advanced treatment of meniscus tears and other knee injuries, call the New York City office or book an appointment online today.

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The knee is the body’s largest joint.  It is a hinge joint and allows the leg to bend and flex in one direction only.  The knee should not rotate! It bears all of the body’s weight when standing, jumping or running and is prone to injuries and to osteoarthritis. It is a complex joint that is made up of ligaments, cartilage and bones.  

Three bones join at the knee. The tibia or shin bone, the thigh bone or femur and the patella also called the kneecap. The patella covers and protects the front of the knee joint. It is kept in place by the patellar ligament and the quadriceps tendon that extends from the front of the thigh. Within the knee are four ligaments, connective tissue that connects the bones, that keep the knee stable.  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) prevents the knee from slipping forward and the Posterior Cruciate Ligament keeps the knee from sliding backwards. Collateral ligaments on either side of the knee prevent the knee from slipping sideways. The meniscus, a crescent shaped cartilage, in the knee acts as a cushion at the joint juncture of the bones. Knee ligaments, menisci and tendons are all at risk of injury.

At the Center for Integrated Pain Management customized treatment plans are designed to give patients optimal care and pain relief. Below is a list of knee conditions the Center treats.

  • ACL and PCL Ligament Injuries 
  • Meniscus Tear
  • LCL and MCL Ligament Injuries 
  • Knee Tendonitis
  • Knee Bursitis 
  • Muscle Spasms
  • IT Band Syndrome 
  • Knee Osteoarthritis

A diagnosis will be made once Dr. Kulick reviews your family history, competes a thorough physical examination and conducts an in-office ultrasound. If necessary,  Dr. Kulick may request that you obtain an MRI, a CT

Scan or additional X-rays in order to determine the diagnosis and treatment plan.

To learn more about the treatment of knee injuries please call us at 212-867-1777.

What is a meniscus tear?

Each of your knees contains two c-shaped pads of cartilage called menisci. These pads absorb shock and provide cushioning in between your shinbone and thighbone. A meniscus can become torn during activities that involve twisting or forcefully rotating your knee joint.

What causes a meniscus tear?

Meniscus tears can happen to people of all ages and activity levels, but they’re especially common among athletes. Many common activities can lead to a torn meniscus, including:

  • Deep squatting 
  • Heavy lifting
  • Aggressive pivoting
  • Sudden stops and turns

Older adults may also develop meniscus tears without major trauma as the result of degenerative changes to the knee joint.

How do I know if I tore my meniscus?

You may feel a popping sensation in your knee at the time you tear your meniscus. However, a ligament tear can also cause a popping sensation, so it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Kulick. 

Other common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Catching or locking sensation
  • Feeling like your knee is giving out

Most people with a torn meniscus can still walk on the injured knee. But without treatment, a piece of the meniscus can break off and float into the knee joint. This may cause your knee to slip, pop, or lock.

How are meniscus tears diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Kulick carefully examines your knee. You’re asked to describe your symptoms and explain how the injury occurred. They may bend, straighten, and rotate your knee to check for a clicking sound that indicates a torn meniscus.

Because meniscus tears have similar symptoms to other knee injuries, Dr. Kulick may confirm your diagnosis with an imaging test, like a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

Then, an individualized treatment plan is developed based on the size and location of your meniscus tear. A small tear on the edge of the meniscus may improve with nonsurgical treatments like the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).

Surgery may be necessary to treat severe meniscus tears or those that don’t improve with conservative treatment. Dr. Kulick is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and is highly qualified to treat meniscus tears with knee arthroscopy if needed.

If you have symptoms of a torn meniscus, call the office of Dr. Alexander Kulick or book an appointment online today.