orthopedics, sports medicine

You don’t have to be an NFL quarterback to get a torn meniscus

Talk about a fast healer.

Pittsburgh Steelers  quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee trying to escape a tackle in a 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 16, 2016. He had surgery the next day and was not expected to play again for at least six weeks.

But somebody forgot to tell Big Ben. He was back in the lineup just three weeks later on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2016. He wasn’t at his best in a 21-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but the fact he returned to the field so soon is amazing.

At Signature Medical Group, we can’t promise that our orthopedic specialists can get you back on the field that quickly. But we can create a customized, treatment plan for you, sometimes just involving physical therapy and rest.

A meniscus tear occurs in the rubbery knee cartilage that cushions the shinbone from the thighbone. The meniscus can tear with forceful twisting or rotation of the knee.

Pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty extending the knee are symptoms.

You don’t have to be an NFL quarterback to suffer a torn meniscus or other knee injuries. Weekend athletes can fall victim, too, as can older people, who endure normal wear and tear.

For more serious tears, surgery and knee arthroscopy is one solution. Arthroscopy, the procedure Roethlisberger had, positions a miniature camera through a small incision in the knee. That allows your Signature orthopedic surgeon to have a clear view of your torn meniscus. Then, your Signature surgeon in St. Louis or Kansas City can trim or repair the tear using miniature tools.  If your meniscus is partially removed, you can start walking most immediately with crutches for only a few days. You can be back to many activities in a few weeks.

At Signature, our sports medicine specialists are trained to help you stay in the game. To diagnose you properly, your doctor will consider your symptoms, ask you about your activity leading up to the injury, and examine your knee carefully. Because meniscus injuries can also be accompanied by injuries to other soft tissue in the knee, your doctor will want to fully examine you to make sure that he or she creates the best treatment plan.  If you’re experiencing knee pain, call us or request an appointment online today.