What is an Meniscus Tear?

The two C-shaped pieces of cartilage in the knee that stabilize the joint and cushion its movement are known as the meniscus. The function of the meniscus is to distribute the weight of the body on these bones and improve the stability of the joint.

The meniscus most often becomes damaged for two reasons – injury or degeneration of the joint. Degeneration usually happens in older adults and can occur gradually over time. Injury to the meniscus most often happens during activities that may lead to a forceful twist of the knee.

Meniscus Tear

These actions can include aggressive pivoting and sudden stops or twists of the joint. It is common that a torn meniscus will accompany an injury to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).


• Pain in the knee

• Swelling

• Tenderness

• A “popping” sensation

• Limited range of motion

A torn meniscus is usually treated first with the application of ice, pain medications and lots of rest. If relief is not achieved through these measures, your physician may recommend the use of arthroscopic knee surgery.


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