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.

8 comments on “You Have Torn Your Meniscus: What’s Next ? Expert Series

  • Dr. Luks,

    I injured my knee while running (although I don’t remember any specific injury) and am trying to decide on what the best option regarding surgery is. The surgeon I had an appointment with suggests a partial meniscectomy. If you don’t mind taking a look at it, the MRI report is quoted below:

    “The ACL and PCL are intact. The medial meniscus is intact without evidence of tear. There is a focal tear of the posterior horn of the lateral meniscus at the posterior root attachment without any meniscus attaching in this location. There are no displaced meniscal fragments. The MCL complex and the lateral supporting structures are intact. The patellofemoral articulation is congruent. The quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon are intact. There is susceptibility artifact at the patellar attachment on the tibia, possibly related to prior surgery (note: I have never had surgery). The cartilage of the knee is preserved throughout. There is no evidence of acute fracture or aggressive appearing osseous lesion. Trace fluid is seen within the joint. There is no significant popliteal cyst.

    Impression: Focal tear of the posterior root attachment of the lateral meniscus. Otherwise no acute left knee pathology.”

    The orthopedic surgeon I saw said that I essentially have a partial tear of the posterior meniscal root in my left knee. His suggested treatment is to perform a partial meniscectomy to remove/debride the torn portion, and he stated in his notes that he doesn’t feel that it will be necessary to perform a root repair “per se.” Can I ask if you agree, in your professional medical opinion, with his assessment? Do you think it would be better to seek out an orthopedic surgeon who would prefer to perform a root repair?

    Thank you for your time; any assistance you’d be willing to provide would be sincerely appreciated.

    • Hi Henry … Root tears are almost always repairable. They are more difficult to repair so many do not try it. If you have a partial meniscectomy, or if the root is completely detached, then the entire meniscus is nonfunctional and the knee will likely become arthritic. I would start looking for someone who performs root repairs routinely.

      Good Luck
      Howard Luks

  • Dr. Luks, thanks for getting back to me and offering advice. When I previously talked with my doctor, he said that the root is apparently only partially torn. I will try to find a surgeon who will perform a root repair, but if I were to have a partial meniscectomy that left a portion of the root attached, would that still leave the entire meniscus in a nonfunctional state? In other words, is the entire meniscus nonfunctional if only a portion of the root is torn and removed?

  • Also, if you don’t mind, could you provide a recommendation for a surgeon in the southeastern US who routinely performs root repairs? Thanks…

  • Hi Dr. Luks,

    You have a very informative website, thanks for the all the information.

    My MRI results says;
    posterior horn medial meniscus tear grade 3 tear
    anterior horn lateral meniscus joint focal tear

    I don’t have any problems on my daily life activities, only when I do this movement; left ankle on right knee like this picture(http://0.tqn.com/d/exercise/1/S/G/j/seatedhipstretch.jpg), there is mild but sharp pain in my inner knee. First I felt this pain while trying to put of my boots on same position but while I’m standing instead of sitting (what a stupid way to tear a meniscus).

    I’m a 28 years old male, (6 feet 2 inch, 185 pounds). I have seen two doctors, one said go without surgery, other one said you need surgery and he will remove tear part. I’m confused and I don’t want to have surgery. What is your opinion on my me?

    Do you have any suggestions for physical therapy. I was considering squats to strengthen my muscles to stabilize my knee, do you think it is bad for me?


    • It doesn’t seem like your quality of life is being significantly altered by the pain you are experiencing. Non surgical options are certainly on the table.

  • Doctor, I am 59 and have a severe radial meniscus tear, I see a doctor on March 21st, I have been resting it for 2 weeks and my knee still can’t bend and I am in pain, will I need surgery? I can’t live like this, I am very active and at my job I walk all day. Thank you ……Kim

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