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Meniscus Tear

  • What is Meniscus Tear?

    A Meniscus Tear occurs when one of the pieces of cartilage in the knee is injured and tears. The Meniscus is a small C-shaped cartilage that acts as a cushion in the knee joint. There are two Meniscus that sit between the thigh bone (Femur) and the shin bone (Tibia); one is on the inside of the knee (Medial) and one is on the outside (Lateral).

  • A Meniscus Tear occurs during movements that forcefully rotate the knee while the foot is firmly planted, for example during contact sports such as basketball or football.

  • The symptoms of Meniscus Tear are:

    • Clicking or popping sounds during movement
    • Limited range of movement
    • Locking sensation (inability to straighten the knee)
    • Pain on either side of the knee
    • Swelling at the joint line area
    • Tenderness along the joint line
  • Some Meniscus Tears can heal on their own, although surgery can be done to repair such tears faster. Otherwise, the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) protocol is effective:

    • Compression to prevent additional swelling, wear an elastic compression bandage
    • Elevation to reduce swelling, recline when you rest, and put your leg up higher than your heart
    • Ice as cold packs on the injury for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which will reduce pain and swelling
    • Rest that allows you to take a break from the activity that caused the injury

    If surgery is needed to repair or remove the pieces of the torn meniscus, this is usually done by arthroscopy (key hole surgery).

  • A torn meniscus can cause long-term problems. Constant rubbing of the torn meniscus on the cartilage may cause the joint surface to become worn, leading to knee Osteoarthritis.

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