Meniscus Tear Specialist

Dr. Patrick McCulloch

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Houston, TX

Internationally known orthopedic surgeon Dr. Patrick McCulloch offers advanced treatment for acute and chronic meniscus tears at three Houston, Texas, locations, including Spring Valley, Bellaire, and the Texas Medical Center. He uses special techniques in meniscal repair and is one of the only doctors in the Texas Medical Center to perform meniscus transplantation. For expert care of meniscus tears, call your nearest office to book an appointment today.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

Each knee contains two menisci, which are rubbery pieces of cartilage that absorb shock between your femur and tibia bones. A meniscus tear is a common sports injury that can result from a direct blow or forceful twist of the knee.  

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

Some people hear a pop in their knee when they tear their meniscus. Other signs and symptoms of a torn meniscus include:

  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Locking or catching of the knee
  • Feeling your knee give out
  • Reduced range of motion

Many people can still walk with a meniscus tear. Swelling and stiffness usually worsen over the next 2-3 days. Symptoms often come and go depending on your activity and are usually worse with squatting or twisting.

You should call the office of Dr. Patrick McCulloch as soon as you suspect you may have a meniscus tear. Without treatment, a fragment of the meniscus may detach and float into the joint, causing further problems.

How are meniscus tears diagnosed?

First, Dr. McCulloch or a member of his team reviews your symptoms and medical history. They carefully examine your knee, checking for tenderness around the meniscus. They may also move your leg to check for a clicking sound that signals a meniscus tear. 

An imaging test, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, can help confirm a meniscus tear and rule out other conditions, like arthritis. 

What treatment options are available for meniscus tears?

Dr. McCulloch and his team provide individualized treatment for both acute and chronic meniscus tears. They recommend the best treatment for you depending on the size, type, and location of the meniscus tear.

Because the inner two-thirds of your meniscus lacks a blood supply, a tear in this region won’t heal without surgery. The outer portion of the meniscus has some blood flow and may be amenable to repair with sutures. 

When surgery is necessary, Dr. McCulloch favors meniscal repair whenever possible. He uses minimally invasive knee arthroscopy to trim the meniscus or stitch torn pieces together. He’s also one of only a couple of orthopedic surgeons in the Texas Medical Center who performs meniscal transplant surgery, a complex but potentially life-altering procedure. 

For expert care of meniscus tears, call the office of Dr. Patrick McCulloch to request an appointment today.