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Reconstructive Orthopedics – Meniscus Overview

Brad Bernardini, M.D., John Gray, M.D., and Jeffrey Murray, D.O., M.S.P.T., share an educational overview of the meniscus, including what it is and how it helps the knee.

Please see below for the full video transcript.

Dr. Bernardini: The meniscus is a flexible type of cartilage. We have two in each knee, and they basically are these C-shaped discs, or partial discs of cartilage, that provide a cushioning effect to the knee and also provide some stability.

Dr. Murray: It helps dissipate forces throughout the knee, decrease the pressures across what's called the articular surface of the knee. And when the meniscus is damaged, those things can increase, which can lead to early arthritis and breakdown inside the knee.

Dr. Bernardini: The most common mechanism to tear meniscus in a younger patient is usually more of a high-energy or a sports-related energy type of tear. As we get older, middle-aged and up, we start to see that the meniscus can tear with just normal everyday activity.

Dr. Gray: In general, the meniscus has a very poor blood supply, so when you do injure the meniscus, it doesn't have a lot of ability to fix itself. There is a very specific type of injury that can happen to the meniscus that does allow us to fix it. In those situations, it's in the patient's best interest to repair that meniscus if we can.

Dr. Murray: The older end of the population often suffer what are called degenerative meniscal tears, meaning that the meniscus starts to wear out over time, and that's actually an early sign of early arthritis inside the knee. Those can often be treated nonsurgically with courses of physical therapy, possibly injections, and other treatments that don't involve surgery.

Dr. Gray: One of the things about Reconstructive Orthopedics is, we're gonna educate you on what all your options are. We have a highly skilled team of people, from the first day you come in, presenting all of your options, to you're finished with your care and back to the activity and the life you're looking forward to.

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