The knee joint is cushioned by a crescent moon-shaped tissue between the thigh and shin bone called the meniscus which acts as a shock absorber. Discoid meniscus is a condition where the meniscus is abnormally shaped like a half moon or complete circle. The cause of discoid meniscus is unknown.
Discoid meniscus may cause popping, catching and locking of the knee, a feeling that your knee is giving way, inability to straighten the knee, pain, swelling or stiffness. In some cases, discoid meniscus does not show any symptoms. Patients with a discoid meniscus are at higher risk of injury.
Diagnosis of discoid meniscus is based on medical history and physical examination of your child’s knee. Your doctor may also order tests such as X-rays and MRI for a definitive diagnosis. Treatment may not be necessary if a discoid meniscus does not show symptoms. However, when your child experiences symptoms of pain, popping, etc., your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery, where the injured meniscus is removed or repaired with surgical stitches. An arthroscope, a thin tube with a light and camera attached to its tip, is inserted through a small incision in the knee to help the surgeon clearly view the operating site. After surgery, your child may need to use crutches or a wheelchair for a short time. Rehabilitation includes physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion in your child’s knee.
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