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Torn Knee Cartilage

Cartilage tears usually result in knee pain and swelling. While they are sometimes caused by one specific injury, they can also occur with every day use. You should consider seeing a specialist if you have persistent knee pain that lasts longer than 3 weeks or any swelling in the knee.

If you are experiencing pain in your shoulder see our Questions and Answers section and contact Dr. Pagnani for a consultation.

Procedures


Question and Answers

How do I know if I might have a tear?

Cartilage tears usually result in knee pain and swelling. While they are sometimes caused by one specific injury, they can also occur with every day use. You should consider seeing a specialist if you have persistent knee pain that lasts longer than 3 weeks or any swelling in the knee.

What might have caused the tear?

Often, the cartilage simply weakens with age and can tear with little or no trauma. In other cases, a twisting injury may result in a cartilage tear.

How long does the procedure last?

The operation to manage a torn cartilage generally takes around 30 minutes in our hands.

Will I have to go under general anesthesia?

Usually. However, in some cases, spinal or epidural anesthesia is used.

Will I have to stay in the hospital overnight?

No. Cartilage surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.

What will the aftercare be?

You may remove your bandage 48 hours after surgery. You can expect to be on crutches for a couple of days.

How long will I be in physical therapy?

Most patients can rehabilitate themselves at home without the need for physical therapy. If physical therapy is required, most patients will be expected to attend for around 3 weeks.

How long will I be out of work?

You can expect to be out of work for a week or so after surgery for a torn cartilage. You may be out for a longer period of time if your work requires heavy lifting, working at heights, running, or jumping.

How long until I can resume normal activities?

After cartilage surgery, most patients can resume normal activities after 2 -6 weeks. The recovery will be longer (8-10 weeks) in patients in whom the torn cartilage is repaired rather than removed.

How long before I can throw or play sports?

Generally, 2-6 weeks are required before athletes can return to sports after cartilage surgery. Again, the recovery is longer (8-10 weeks) in patients who require cartilage repair instead of removal.