This is a common injury of the knee. Your knee joint is cushioned by two c-shaped wedges of cartilage called the “menisci.” Each individual cushion is called a “meniscus.” This injury is a tear of one of these cushions.
Causes & Triggers
Meniscus tears are often caused by physical activity. Twisting or rotating your knee suddenly can cause a meniscus to tear. Kneeling, squatting and heavy lifting can as well. And as you age, your menisci gradually become thin and brittle, which can increase your risk for a tear.
- Age-related degeneration
- Forceful bending
- Sports injuries
- Sudden twisting
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms may include a popping sensation and pain in your knee. You may have trouble straightening your leg. It may swell and stiffen, and it may lock in place.
- Difficulty or inability to squat
- Limited range of motion
Tips & Treatment
Treatment options include rest, ice and medications. You may benefit from physical therapy. If these are not helpful, you may benefit from a surgical procedure to repair the damage. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.
- Injury can occur suddenly.
- Symptoms may not be present, especially in age-related degeneration.
- Diagnostic testing may include X-rays and/or MRI.
- Non-surgical treatment may include rest, icing affected area, anti-inflammatory medications and/or corticosteroid injections.