Discoid Meniscus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Meniscus is a wedge shaped piece of cartilage present between the knee bones. It enables the knee to bend or straighten, provides a cushioning effect within the joint and protects the articular cartilage that lines the bones. There are two menisci in each knee - medial meniscus (on the inner side of the knee) and lateral meniscus (lies on outer side of the joint). These are attached to the bones by the meniscofemoral ligament.

Discoid Meniscus is a rare orthopedic condition that occurs when the meniscus attains a half moon or oval shape and thickens up. In most cases, the patients may not experience any symptoms throughout his life. However, in some instances, it may hinder the patient’s day to day life and needs immediate treatment. Depending on the severity of the condition, Discoid Meniscus may be classified as:

  • Incomplete- It involves slight thickening and change in shape of the meniscus
  • Complete- The meniscus becomes wide and thick enough to cover the shin bone
  • Hypermobile Wrisberg- The meniscofemoral ligament is absent which causes the meniscus to dislocate and slip into the joint

Causes

  • It is mainly inherited or occurs due to a congenital birth defect
  • Activities that require excessive running, jumping or rapid change of direction may injure the meniscus

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Instability, locking and popping sensation in the joint
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty in straightening the knee
  • Feeling that the knee may give away

Diagnosis

  • Analysis of patient’s medical and family history
  • Detailed clinical examination of the knee and the symptoms reported
  • The orthopedic doctor may manually flex the knee in different directions to check for popping sound
  • X-ray imaging to check for misalignments in bone structure
  • MRI test to examine the changes in soft tissue structures including meniscus

Treatment

  • Surgical reshaping of the meniscus, which is medically termed as Saucerization
  • The procedure may be followed by an arthroscopic surgery to remove the torn part of the meniscus or perform other soft tissue repairs
  • In case of a minor tear, the meniscus may be stitched back to the bone
  • Use of crutches or cane may be recommended to avoid putting pressure on the knee post-surgery
  • Physiotherapy may help to restore flexibility, strength and mobility to the joint during the recovery period

The knee surgeons at OrthoTexas specialize in the treatment of Discoid Meniscus and other orthopedic conditions. Patients in Plano, TX can call at(972) 985 – 1072 to schedule an appointment.

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