Meniscus Tear Specialist

James P. Crutcher Jr. , MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeon located in Seattle, WA

James P. Crutcher Jr., MD, is an expert at diagnosing and treating meniscus tears. Dr. Crutcher understands that every patient recovers from an injury differently, so he emphasizes individualized treatment plans for each of his patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Crutcher at his practice in Seattle, Washington, call the office or use the online booking tool.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear is among the most often seen knee injuries. The meniscus is the cartilage that provides protection between the shinbone and thigh bone. Each knee joint contains two menisci.

A meniscus tear is caused by a forceful twist or by putting too much weight on your knee. Symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Knee pain
  • Limping
  • Popping sensation
  • Difficulty straightening your knee
  • Feeling as if your knee is locked
  • Feeling like your knee is giving way

Typically, activities that require aggressive pivoting, sudden turns, and sudden stops can tear your meniscus. Older adults can more easily tear their meniscus because of degenerative changes in their knee joints. Obesity also commonly causes meniscus tears.

How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?

If Dr. Crutcher suspects a meniscus tear, he does a thorough physical exam that includes health history questions. He also orders X-rays and/or an MRI of the knee. A meniscus tear diagnosis is made only after Dr. Crutcher inspects the results of these tests.

How is a meniscus tear treated?

A torn meniscus is treated in several ways. Your personalized treatment plan depends on things like:

  • Your age
  • Your preference
  • How long it will take you to heal
  • Your health
  • Severity of your injury
  • Your ability to tolerate specific treatments

Nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Rest
  • Icing your knee
  • Taking anti-inflammatories and other medications
  • Physical therapy

Unfortunately, the injury might not heal using these treatments. If you don’t heal, Dr. Crutcher will discuss surgery with you. The most common surgery used to treat meniscus tears is arthroscopy. 

What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery used to treat among other things a meniscus tear. During the surgery, Dr. Crutcher inserts a small optic tube, called an arthroscope through a small incision in the joint.

The arthroscope projects images of your inner knee onto a screen. Guided by what he sees on the screen, Dr. Crutcher repairs the torn areas of the meniscus.

How long does it take to recover from arthroscopy?

After arthroscopy to repair a torn meniscus, Dr. Crutcher provides you with a personalized recovery plan. The recovery time is typically two weeks and includes frequent physical therapy.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Crutcher regarding a torn meniscus, call or use the online booking tool today.