Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Meniscal Tear

(Torn Meniscus)

 

Definition

A meniscal tear is a tear in the meniscus. The meniscus is cartilage, which acts as a shock-absorbing structure in the knee. There are 2 menisci in each knee, a medial one on the inside, and a lateral one on the outside.

There are different types of tears depending on the location and how they look. Treatment depends on the severity of the tear.

Torn Meniscus

Nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

Most injuries to the meniscus are caused by trauma. This usually includes compression and twisting of the knee. Because the aging process breaks down the inner tissues of the meniscus, minor trauma can injure the meniscus in an older adult.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

Older adults and men are at increased risk. Factors that may increase your risk of:

  • Degenerative tears:
    • Occupations that involve kneeling and squatting
    • Climbing stairs
    • Previous knee injuries
    • Obesity
  • Acute tears:
    • Participating in contact sports, such as soccer or rugby
    • Poor techniques for jumping, landing, pivoting, and cutting
 

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may include:

  • A popping sound at the time of the injury
  • Pain and swelling in the knee
  • Tightness in the knee
  • Locking up, catching, or giving way of the knee
  • Tenderness in the joint
 

Diagnosis    TOP

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your knee may need to be viewed. This can be done with:

 

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Recovery time ranges depend on the severity of your injury. Treatment steps may include:

Supportive Care

The knee will need time to heal. Supportive care may include:

  • Rest—Activities may need to be restricted at first. Normal activities will be gradually resumed as the injury heals.
  • Ice—Ice therapy may help relieve swelling. You may be advised to use heat as you begin to return to normal activities.
  • Compression—Compression bandages can provide gentle pressure to help move fluids out of the area.
  • Elevation—Keeping the knee elevated can help fluids drain or prevent them from building up
  • A knee brace to stabilize the knee
  • Crutches to keep extra weight off of the leg

Over-the-counter or prescription medication may be advised to reduce pain.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist will assess the knee. An exercise program will be created to help recovery and to stretch and strengthen the muscles.

Surgery    TOP

Repair or removal of all or part of the damaged meniscus may by done. This is usually done through small incisions of the skin. A camera and special tools are inserted through the incisions.

 

Prevention    TOP

To reduce your chances of a meniscal tear, take these steps:

  • Maintain proper technique when exercising or playing sports.
  • Wear appropriate footwear for your sport and playing surface.
  • Strengthen both the quadriceps and the hamstrings.
  • Consider wearing a knee brace for sports.
RESOURCES:

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

REFERENCES:

Knee sprains and meniscal tears. Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated August 2017. Accessed March 27, 2018.

Meniscal tears. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/meniscus-tears/. Updated March 2014. Accessed March 27, 2018.

Meniscus tears. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116776/Meniscus-tears . Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed March 27, 2018

Torn meniscus. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 27, 2018.

04/24/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116776/Meniscus-tears : Snoeker BA, Bakker EW, et al. Risk factors for meniscal tears: a systematic review including meta-analysis. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2013; 43(6):352-367.



Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT
Last Updated: 4/24/2014

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000