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Meniscal Tear


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.


Meniscal Tear

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
  • Falls
  • Forceful bending
  • Sports injuries
  • Sudden twisting
  • Trauma

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.

  • Catching
  • Difficulty or inability to squat
  • Limited range of motion
  • Locking
  • Pain
  • Popping
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

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.

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