What is a Torn Meniscus?
A torn meniscus or meniscus tear is one of the most commonly seen knee injuries in all sports. The meniscus is the medical term used to describe the small disc like layers of cartilage that help to protect the knee and allow the range of motion necessary for the knee joint to function properly. The most common way to suffer a torn meniscus is from sudden stopping or twisting of the knee. These movements place a lot of stress on the joint of the knee and can cause the cartilage to tear. Following a torn meniscus, it is vitally important to fit yourself with the proper brace to help provide the stability that you will need in the knee and to prevent further damage. A torn meniscus is commonly seen in sports such as soccer and baseball.
Medical Definition of a Torn Meniscus
The medial and lateral menisci are fibrocartilaginous pads that function as shock absorbers between the femoral condyles and tibial plateaus. A torn meniscus or meniscal tears can occur alone or in association with ligament injuries such as ACL tears. Tears to the meniscus disrupt the mechanics of the knee, leading to a wide range of torn meniscus symptoms, and predisposing the knee to degenerative arthritis.
- Meniscus Tear
- Torn Cartilage
- Locked Knee
What are the symptoms of a Torn Meniscus?
- Tear typically linked to a significant twisting of the knee.
- Swelling and stiffness gradual increases within the first 2-3 days of the injury.
- Locking, catching, and popping of the knee are common torn meniscus symptoms.
- Pain on the medial or lateral side of the knee when twisting or squatting.
- Range of motion in the joint of the knee may be very limited.
- ACL Tear
- MCL Tear
- LCL Tear
Treatment of Torn Meniscus
- Initial meniscus tear treatment following injury should involve the R.I.C.E. principles.
- Proper usage of NSAIDS to help alleviate any painful symptoms.
- Sports activities should be restricted until MRI evaluation is completed.
- Surgery for a meniscus tear is often used if you don’t respond to non-operative treatments.
- Meniscus Repair
- Knee Arthroscopy
- How to Rehab Your Knee After ACL Surgery
- The Best Ways to Prevent Knee Injuries
Greene W.B. (Ed). (2001). Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care.Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (379-381)