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Discoid Meniscus

Our Pediatric Sports Medicine team put together these videos to provide information for you.
Drew Warnick, MD

Hello my name is Doctor Drew Warnick, and I am the surgical director of AllSports Medicine at All Children's Hospital. I am a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with special training in pediatric and adolescent sports medicine.

In this video, we are going to discuss discoid meniscus.


What is a discoid meniscus?

A discoid meniscus is an abnormally shaped meniscus in the knee. Because of its abnormal shape, it is more prone to injury than a normally shaped meniscus. The thick, abnormal shape of a discoid meniscus makes it more likely to tear or get stuck in the knee.

How is a discoid meniscus injured?

Some people with discoid meniscus may go through their entire lives and never experience any problems. Most people, however, will have knee problems related to the discoid meniscus.

Symptoms often begin during childhood and injuries to the discoid meniscus usually occur with twisting motions to the knee. In many cases, however, children who have never experienced a major injury can also have locking and popping in the knee from the discoid meniscus.

What happens if a discoid meniscus is injured?

A discoid meniscus causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the knee. Most people complain of catching, popping, and locking of the knee. Some patients may experience the feeling that their knee is giving away.

Once a discoid meniscus is torn, it usually does not heal because the meniscus lacks a strong blood supply

How do I know if I have torn my Discoid meniscus?

At AllSports Medicine, we will examine your knee with specific tests to help assess for a discoid meniscus. X-rays and an MRI may be used to confirm the diagnosis and show whether there are other problems in the knee.

What are my treatment options?

At AllSports Medicine, we will develop a treatment plan for your discoid meniscus.

If a discoid meniscus is not causing pain, popping, or other symptoms, then treatment may not be necessary.

When a discoid meniscus causes symptoms, arthroscopic surgery is often necessary. During arthroscopy, the surgeon inserts a small camera in the knee and uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments. In many cases, the most effective treatment is to remove the part of the discoid meniscus that is torn and then reshape and preserve the remaining meniscus.

Recovery?

Most patients will return to normal daily activities only a few weeks after arthroscopy for a discoid meniscus.

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