Meniscus Tear

Meniscus Tear

What is Meniscus tear?

Meniscus tear or injury is a common cause of knee pain in the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) sides of a knee joint. The knee meniscus is fibrocartilage that helps to “cushion” the shock between the thigh and shin bone when weight-bearing and prevents damage to the joint cartilage. 

A meniscus tear can increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis if left untreated. It also changes the biomechanics and stability of the knee joint, resulting in an increased risk of developing other knee conditions.

Causes of Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear usually occurs following a direct trauma, accident involving a twisted knee, or degenerative changes with age. Patients with this condition typically complain of painful, locking sensation in the knee or the knee often “gives way”.

Risk factors of a meniscus tear include:

  • Old age (degeneration of the meniscus)
  • High-impact sports (e.g football, basketball)
  • Direct trauma to the knee
  • Twisting injury to the knee

Meniscus Tear Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a meniscus tear include:

  • Pain around the medial (inside) and lateral (outside) of the knee 
  • Knee “giving way” when walking
  • Locking, popping and clicking of the knee during movement
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Unable to fully straighten and bend the knee

Meniscus Tear Treatment

Establishing the extent of meniscus injury is essential as it will determine the effectiveness of the treatment. The meniscus is an avascular structure, which means a limited blood supply to allow natural recovery. Directed treatment that stimulates an increase in blood supply can help to heal the injury without going through surgery. 

Treatment options for a meniscus tear include:

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