Five Most Common Questions I Receive About the Meniscus

1. What is a meniscus?

Meniscus is made of cartilage and ask as a buffer between the bones of your knee joint. It helps with knee lubrication, stability and protection from getting arthritis.

2. How does a meniscus get a tear?

There are 2 types of meniscus tears. The first one is from trauma such as twisting your knee. A second type is degenerative and due to wear and tear much like a tire on a car.

3. Does a tear of the meniscus require surgery?

Not all meniscus tears require surgery. If you have no knee pain or swelling do not have surgery. If there is a tear it does cause pain, swelling or locking you probably will require surgery.

4. How long does the surgery for a torn meniscus actually take?

Those of us to hundreds of these surgeries every year, can do the surgery in about 15 minutes. If the meniscus requires repair, the surgery will take slightly longer. The surgery is done through two 1/4 inch incisions arthroscopically.

5. After surgery for a torn meniscus how quickly can I get back to soccer?

Most patients after meniscus surgery are back to full sports by 6-8 weeks.

Dr. Rick Weinstein, MD, MBA is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He is the Director of Orthopedic Surgery at Westchester Sport and Spine and has subspecialty training in knee and shoulder surgery, including minimally invasive surgery and arthroscopy. Dr. Weinstein is a Board Examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, determining certification for other orthopedic surgeons.