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Within each knee is a piece of cartilage called the meniscus. The meniscus is divided into two sections – a medial and a lateral. This layer of cartilage is one of the structures that allows the knee joint to have cushion and flexibility in movement. When one of them becomes damaged, the knee will usually have swelling, pain with almost any motion, and weird sensations such as grinding, catching, popping, and clicking. These may not all occur at the same time, but they are all usually indicators of a meniscus issue.
The meniscus can also suffer wear and tear over time. This is when you’ll classically hear the diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee, or a loss of cartilage. It is simply the meniscus thinning out. This can also cause difficulty with walking and pain with many movements. It is one of the top things that causes patients to lose their quality of life and their ability to be active as they age.
Traditionally, severe tears require surgery. But for those that are just mild or moderate, the usual treatments include cortisone injections, viscosupplementation, NSAIDs, or physical therapy. Regenerative medicine fortunately has options that allow healing to take place. Things like PRP and stem cells have been used successfully to get patients out of pain quickly and allow for full recovery.Call Us or Text Us at 480-267-7856