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Knee Meniscus Specialist

Joe Cooper, MD

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA & Brentwood, CA

Up to 20% of all orthopedic surgeries involve the repair of a torn knee meniscus. Skilled fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist Joe Cooper, MD, offers meniscus repairs to restore your movement and ease your pain. To learn more about meniscus tear recovery, call either of the Los Angeles, California, offices in Brentwood and Beverly Hills to book your appointment with Dr. Cooper. Or book through online scheduling now.

Knee Meniscus Q & A

What is the knee meniscus?

The meniscus is a wedge of rubbery cartilage in your knee. You have two menisci in each knee: a medial meniscus on the inside of your knee and a lateral meniscus in the outer knee. 

The menisci sit in the middle part of your knee joint, between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). The menisci absorb shock, improve knee stability, encourage smooth knee joint motion, and nourish the joint.

What causes knee meniscus tears?

A knee meniscus tear can happen with either traumatic injury or gradual tissue degeneration over time. In general, people under 30 are more likely to experience a sudden traumatic injury — often a sports injury.

Those over 30 are more likely to have meniscus tears related to wear-and-tear (degenerative meniscus tears) over time. Degenerative meniscus tears are most common after 55 years of age.

What symptoms does a knee meniscus tear cause?

Traumatic meniscus tears generally cause immediate symptoms in the knee joint, including:

  • Pain
  • Clicking
  • Locking
  • Popping
  • Swelling
  • Restricted movement
  • Difficulty bearing weight

Traumatic meniscus tears frequently occur alongside an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, which can make symptoms much worse. 

A degenerative meniscus tear isn't as obvious — some people have no symptoms — because the symptoms can build up over time. 

What is the treatment for a meniscus tear?

Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on many individual factors, including the tear pattern, your age, your activity level, your personal preferences, and how the meniscus tear affects your life.

Traumatic meniscus tears 

With traumatic meniscus tears, it's important to preserve your meniscus health as much as possible because a tear could lead to early osteoarthritis in your knee. 

Dr. Cooper typically recommends arthroscopic meniscus surgery, a minimally invasive surgery with small incisions. He tries to repair the meniscus wherever possible, but if tears aren't repairable, Dr. Cooper can perform other meniscus preservation like shaving and reshaping the cartilage during arthroscopy. 

Degenerative meniscus tears

If you have a degenerative meniscus tear, Dr. Cooper may recommend conservative measures including physical therapy, activity modification, and anti-inflammatory medications. Steroid injections are also helpful for degenerative meniscus tears alongside osteoarthritis. Most people with degenerative meniscus tears don't need surgery.

Dr. Cooper can recommend a customized meniscus tear treatment protocol for you.

If you have knee pain, difficulty bearing weight, or other knee issues, don't wait to get help. Call Joe Cooper, MD, or book an appointment through online scheduling now.