Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear is a common injury to the knee joint. The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). A tear in this cartilage can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility in the knee joint.

Meniscus tears are often caused by twisting or rotating the knee forcefully while bearing weight, which is common during sports or other physical activities. They can also occur as a result of degeneration or wear and tear over time, especially in older individuals.

Sports that require sudden turns and stops may put you at higher risk for meniscus tears. Some of these sports include:

  • football
  • basketball
  • soccer
  • tennis

Symptoms of a meniscus tear can include pain, swelling, stiffness, a popping sensation, difficulty straightening or bending the knee, and a feeling of instability in the joint. Depending on the severity of the tear, the pain and symptoms may vary.

There are several types of meniscus tears, including:

  • Radial tear: This type of tear starts from the inner edge of the meniscus and goes straight towards the outer edge.
  • Flap tear: This type of tear happens when a piece of the meniscus is torn away from the rest of the tissue and hangs like a flap.
  • Horizontal tear: This type of tear is when the tear is parallel to the surface of the meniscus and can divide it into two separate parts.
  • Oblique tear: This type of tear is diagonal to the surface of the meniscus.
  • Bucket handle tear: This type of tear occurs when a part of the meniscus is torn in a way that resembles the handle of a bucket.
  • Complex tear: This type of tear is a combination of two or more of the above types of tears.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MENISCUS TEAR?Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the location and severity of the injury, as well as the age and activity level of the patient. In some cases, conservative treatment such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be enough to relieve symptoms and promote healing. However, for more severe tears or tears that do not respond to conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove the damaged portion of the meniscus. Doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery. The entire procedure typically lasts about an hour. You can usually go home the same day after this procedure. Full recovery will take time. However, you can begin participating in physical therapy exercises within days after surgery.