Meniscus tears in children are relatively common due to sports.  Many of those meniscus tears will heal spontaneously over 4-6 weeks after the injury.  Certain meniscus tears in children will require surgery.

The meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage disc in the knee. The incidence of meniscus tears in children is on the rise.  Because of their significant importance for a healthy knee, meniscus preservation or repair is essential, especially in a knee of a child.

The meniscus serves a critical function. They are shock absorbers. Without an intact, functioning meniscus the knee is subject to a very significant increase in stress which very commonly leads to pain and arthritis.  Because of the essential function of the meniscus, tears of a meniscus in children are managed more “aggressively” than in the adult.

Children have a better healing potential so why not give them the chance to heal their tear and minimize the risks of future issues going forward

Normal Meniscus in children
Normal appearance of a meniscus

 

meniscus tears in children
A meniscus tear

Meniscus tears in children require special skills and attention to detail to minimize the risk of life long issues.

Without a functioning meniscus your child will be at an increased risk for developing pain and degenerative or arthritic changes within the knee.

If the pain due to a meniscus tear persists in your child, despite physical therapy and rest, surgery may become an appropriate option.  The majority of meniscus tears that occur in children can be fixed or repaired. That means that we take the time to put sutures or stitches in to sew the tear back together.

meniscus tear repair in children
Sutured (fixed) Meniscus tear

Recent studies show that more tears are actually repairable than previously thought possible. Children have a better healing potential so why not give them the chance to heal their tear and minimize the risks of future issues going forward.

There are many different repair techniques available, and the technique I will chose will depend on the tear your child has and its location within the knee joint.

 

This video goes into more detail about why meniscus tears in children require prompt, specialized attention.

Any questions ?

Disclaimer:  this information is for your education and should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations. Some links on this page may be affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer.

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About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

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