Torn Meniscus


When the cartilage in the knee is torn, it is referred to as a meniscus tear. Severe damage to the meniscus may cause the knee to lock up, displacing the torn portion. The tear can occur due to stress, injury, or degeneration. Recognizing the symptoms and promptly seeking medical attention is crucial as early diagnosis and management can help prevent further complications.

The meniscus is a robust, crescent-shaped fibrocartilage situated between the thighbone and the shinbone that acts as a cushion. Within each knee, there are two menisci, namely the medial (inner) meniscus and the lateral (outer) meniscus.

Injuries to the meniscus occur when the knees undergo forceful rotation or twisting during physical activity. A torn meniscus is a common knee condition that results from trauma, sports-related injuries, or a combination of both. Additionally, meniscal tears may affect older individuals with worn-out cartilage due to years of joint wear and tear.

Causes Of Meniscus Tear:

A meniscus tear typically results from a sudden twisting or pivoting motion, often when the foot is fixed in place while the knee is bent. This type of injury can happen during sports activities or when lifting heavy objects. Moreover, as one ages, the meniscus becomes more susceptible to wear and tear, making it easier to tear.

Symptoms Of Meniscus Tear:

Symptoms of knee problems may include:

  • Clicking sensation
  • Joint that feels locked
  • Discomfort (especially when the knee is kept straight)
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling

In older individuals with worn meniscus, the exact cause of the tear may be unclear. Pain following a squatting position, for instance, may be the only recollection of the event leading to the injury. Symptoms typically involve pain and mild swelling.


  • Non – Surgery For Torn Meniscus

    If the knee remains stable and symptoms are not limiting the patient's lifestyle, nonsurgical treatments may be considered. The decision to defer surgery will depend on the functionality of the knee joint and the patient's ability to participate in preferred activities, such as sports.

    One effective protocol for most sports-related injuries is the RICE protocol, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

  • Rest involves taking a break from the activity that caused the injury. The doctor may suggest using crutches to avoid putting weight on the leg.

  • Ice can be applied for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, but should not be applied directly to the skin.

  • Wearing an elastic compression bandage can help prevent additional swelling and blood loss

  • Reclining with the leg elevated higher than the heart can also reduce swelling.

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce pain and swelling.

  • Surgery For Meniscus Tear

    In the event that your symptoms persist despite nonsurgical treatment, arthroscopic surgery may be recommended.

    The procedure involves inserting a miniature camera through a small incision to provide a clear view of the inside of the knee. Additional small incisions are made through which miniature surgical instruments are inserted to trim or repair the tear.

    There are two main types of surgical procedures that can be performed on a damaged meniscus: meniscectomy and meniscus repair. Meniscectomy involves removing the damaged tissue, while meniscus repair involves stitching the torn pieces together. Whether repair is possible depends on the type of tear and the overall condition of the meniscus. However, because the meniscus must heal back together, recovery time for a repair is typically longer than for a meniscectomy.