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Help understand MRI results (knee)

My knee MRI stated "discoid medial meniscus with a complex tear of the body / very mid knee joint infusion for the left knee and "complex tear of posterior horn and body of the medial meniscus / large knee joint infusion for the right knee" . Can you explain what does it means ? Can I run ? Snowboard ?
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replied November 1st, 2011
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Left Knee:

The MRI basically shows that you have some very mild swelling within the joint cavity (effusion). This could be normal, as there is always a little joint fluid in the joint at all time, or it could be a tiny increase in the amount.

You have a tear in the center of a discoid meniscus on the medial side. Usually, as one develops in utero, the meniscus go from being thick discs of cartilage, to being their usual final shape of a C. The meniscus is usually thick on the rim and very, very thin on the inner edge. But, it someone with a discoid meniscus, the meniscus never thins out to become a C shape, but stays the thick disc of cartilage.

In your case, the center of this disc is torn.

Right Knee:

In this knee, there is a large amount of synovial fluid in the knee. This is not uncommon in a torn meniscus.

The posterior horn of the cartilage has a tear in it. The posterior horn in the sort of top of the C (the final hook) in the back/center of the knee. The tear does continue into the body or vertical part of the C, which is on the side of the knee. So, it is most likely either a buckethandle or a parrot beak (radial) tear. But, the report does not say.

As to whether you can do physical activity, it is up to your pain and pain tolerance. The meniscus will not heal on their own, but the tears may progress with continued twisting, pinching activities. And this will probably cause pain with activity.

It is usually recommended that the tears be treated with arthroscopic debridement. With the left, discoid meniscus, what they do is trim down the cartilage so that it looks more like a "normal" C shaped cartilage. In the right knee, with the posterior horn and body tear, the torn portion is cut out and the edges smoothed down.

The outside rim of the cartilage is left in. The outer one third of the cartilage is all that is necessary for stability of the joint. The menisci cushion the joint some, but their main function is to help stabilize the joint.

You should speak with your orthopedic surgeon about your treatment options. Good luck.
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