Meniscus Surgery: A brief understanding.
Many people over the age of 30 have some sort of problem with their knees making walking, running or playing sport uncomfortable, and thousands of people each year have surgery to remove damaged cartilage from within their knees.
Sandwiched in the centre of the knee joint are two crescent-shaped wedges of cartilage - meniscal cartilage. Their function is to act as shock absorbers and allow the hinge-like joint to move freely. However, bending the knee becomes painful if this cartilage is torn or damaged. Some small tears may heal spontaneously, but larger ones will not. Surgeons then operate to remove the offending part of the cartilage. There are three main types of meniscal surgery: torn meniscus, bucket handle and meniscal cysts. .
A torn meniscus is simply the tearing of the meniscal muscle while performing some activity. The meniscus fist between the two long bones of the knee as a shock absorber; when it is torn in an injury, it is usually due to twisting motions used in such sports as basketball, volleyball, rugby and tennis. One normally experiences severe pain at the time of tearing and some swelling due to bleeding inside the joint is apparent almost immediately. One may progress to a feeling of extreme tenderness in the joints and complete instability (The Knee Guru: Knees and More). .
Bucket handle injuries are a specific type of tear of the meniscus. A bucket-handle tear of the meniscus is a vertical tear in which the inner fragment is displaced toward the inner notch of the knee resulting in mechanical locking of the knee joint. In this case, the fragment that is torn flips over and locks the joint (Filosto 9). Simply, bucket handle tears are a common cause of why a knee cannot fully straighten after the injury and a warning sign of diagnosing the injury. Surgery is often needed to "unlock" the knee. This is the type of tear resulting to severe trauma in athletes and usually occurs in the medial, or central, meniscus.