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Alternative namesTear - meniscus; Knee injury - meniscus; Cartilage tear
Meniscus tears describes a tear in the shock-absorbing cartilage (meniscus) of the knee.
ConsiderationsA physical examination shows signs of torn meniscus. This includes various manipulations of the joint.
CausesThe meniscus is a C-shaped fibrous piece of cartilage which is found in certain joints and forms a buffer between the bones to protect the joint. The meniscus also serves as a shock-absorption system, assists in lubricating the joint, and limits the joint flexion and extension.
Meniscal tears are most commonly caused by twisting or hyperflexion of the joint.
The goal of treatment is to minimize the symptoms and protect the joint from further injury while it heals.
Physical activity is allowed -- as tolerated. Physical therapy should be involved to help regain joint and leg strength. If the injury is acute , and/or you have a high activity level, knee arthroscopy (surgery) may be necessary. Age has an effect on treatment. Younger patients are more likely to have problems without surgery.
Call your health care provider if symptoms of meniscus tears occur after an injury to the knee.
Call your health care provider if you are being treated for a meniscus tear and you notice increased instability in your knee, if pain or swelling return after they initially subsided, or if your injury does not appear to be resolving with time.
Also call if you re-injure your knee.
PreventionUse proper technique when exercising or playing sports. Many cases of meniscus tears may not be preventable.
Update Date: 6/12/2002Kevin B. Freedman, M.D., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT