Dr. Patrick McCulloch: Orthopedic Surgery: Houston, TX

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Meniscus Tear Specialist

Dr. Patrick McCulloch

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Houston, TX

Internationally renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Patrick McCulloch provides expert treatment for both acute and chronic meniscus tears at three locations in Houston, Texas: Spring Valley, Bellaire, and the Texas Medical Center. He employs advanced techniques in meniscal repair and is among the select few doctors at the Texas Medical Center who perform meniscus transplantation. For specialized care of meniscus tears, contact your nearest office to schedule an appointment today.

Meniscus Tear FAQ

What is a meniscus tear?

Each knee has two menisci, which are rubbery pieces of cartilage acting as shock absorbers between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). Meniscus tears are common sports injuries often caused by a direct impact or a sudden twist of the knee.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear may be heralded by a popping sound in the knee. Other typical symptoms include:

  • Pain in the knee
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • The knee locking or catching
  • A sensation of the knee giving out
  • Reduced range-of-motion

It’s possible to walk with a meniscus tear, but swelling and stiffness tend to increase within 2-3 days after the injury. Symptoms can fluctuate with activity levels and often exacerbate when squatting or twisting. Immediate consultation with Dr. Patrick McCulloch is advised if you suspect a meniscus tear to prevent complications like detached fragments causing joint problems.

How are meniscus tears diagnosed?

The diagnostic process begins with Dr. McCulloch or a team member reviewing your symptoms and medical history, followed by a detailed examination of your knee for tenderness and movement-induced clicking sounds—indicators of a meniscus tear. Imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans are utilized to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other issues like arthritis.

What are the treatment options for meniscus tears?

Dr. McCulloch tailors treatments to the specifics of each meniscus tear, considering factors like size, type, and location. Non-surgical options might suffice, especially if the tear is in the outer third of the meniscus, which has better blood supply and potential for healing. For tears in the inner two-thirds, which lack significant blood flow, surgery is typically necessary.

Dr. McCulloch prefers to preserve the meniscus through repair rather than removal whenever feasible. He performs minimally invasive knee arthroscopy to either trim or suture the torn meniscus. Additionally, he is one of the few surgeons at the Texas Medical Center who offers meniscal transplantation—a sophisticated procedure for cases where meniscal preservation is unfeasible.

For specialized treatment of meniscus tears, contact Dr. Patrick McCulloch’s office to schedule a consultation today.



Sports Injuries

Rotator Cuff Tear
Shoulder Replacement
Shoulder Instability
Meniscus Tear
Cartilage Injuries
Elbow Surgery