Meniscus Tear Specialist

Alexander Kulick, MD

Pain Management located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. Pain management specialist Alexander Kulick, MD, diagnoses and treats meniscus tears at his practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. For advanced treatment of meniscus tears and other knee injuries, call the New York City office or book an appointment online today.

Meniscus Tear Q & A

What is a meniscus tear?

Each of your knees contains two c-shaped pads of cartilage called menisci. These pads absorb shock and provide cushioning in between your shinbone and thighbone. A meniscus can become torn during activities that involve twisting or forcefully rotating your knee joint.

What causes a meniscus tear?

Meniscus tears can happen to people of all ages and activity levels, but they’re especially common among athletes. Many common activities can lead to a torn meniscus, including:

  • Deep squatting 
  • Heavy lifting
  • Aggressive pivoting
  • Sudden stops and turns

Older adults may also develop meniscus tears without major trauma as the result of degenerative changes to the knee joint.

How do I know if I tore my meniscus?

You may feel a popping sensation in your knee at the time you tear your meniscus. However, a ligament tear can also cause a popping sensation, so it’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis from Dr. Kulick. 

Other common symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Knee pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Catching or locking sensation
  • Feeling like your knee is giving out

Most people with a torn meniscus can still walk on the injured knee. But without treatment, a piece of the meniscus can break off and float into the knee joint. This may cause your knee to slip, pop, or lock.

How are meniscus tears diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Kulick carefully examines your knee. You’re asked to describe your symptoms and explain how the injury occurred. They may bend, straighten, and rotate your knee to check for a clicking sound that indicates a torn meniscus.

Because meniscus tears have similar symptoms to other knee injuries, Dr. Kulick may confirm your diagnosis with an imaging test, like a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

Then, an individualized treatment plan is developed based on the size and location of your meniscus tear. A small tear on the edge of the meniscus may improve with nonsurgical treatments like the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).

Surgery may be necessary to treat severe meniscus tears or those that don’t improve with conservative treatment. Dr. Kulick is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery and is highly qualified to treat meniscus tears with knee arthroscopy if needed.

If you have symptoms of a torn meniscus, call the office of Dr. Alexander Kulick or book an appointment online today.