Therapy & Investigation
Lesion of the internal (medial) meniscus
Disease: The lesion of the internal semi-lunar cartilage is the most frequent among the injuries of the structures making up the knee joint. Its shape and location makes it susceptible to tears caused by twisting traumas. Such injuries frequently occur while playing football, basketball, handball and skiing. The tear may extend in various directions, involving the total thickness of the semi-lunar cartilage or only a layer of it.
Symptoms: The ruptured or torn piece of the meniscus may get pinched between the bones, causing sharp pain and joint lock. The joint gets swollen and the range of motion decreases, that is, the patient is unable to completely extend and bend his/her knee. The torn pieces scratch and ream the slick surface of the hyaline cartilage covering the bones. Depending on the circumstances and location of the injury and the compliance of the patient, the symptoms may be so acute that they require urgent intervention (joint lock), or surgery may conceivably be postponed for weeks or even months.
Treatment: Lesion of the meniscus can definitively be treated with surgical intervention using a fiberscope (arthroscopy), that is, the torn part of the meniscus is readapted with sutures or removed.
Lesion of the external (lateral) meniscus
Disease: Injuries of the external semi-lunar cartilage are considerably less frequent. Injuries may occur as a result of an accident or in childhood. The basis of the disorder in childhood is caused by a congenital malformation in which the shape of the meniscus is discoid and not semi-lunar.
Symptom: The enlarged cartilage causes a painful snap on the lateral side of the joint during squatting.
Treatment: Treatment is similar to that of the internal meniscus injuries.