Meniscal Injuries

The meniscus is a shock absorbing cartilage in the knee. Each knee has a medial and lateral meniscus and they are generally “C” shaped.

Causes & Symptoms

Meniscus injuries commonly occur with twisting motions, though they can occur with out a significant even especially in those over 40 years old.

Typical symptoms of a meniscus tear include clicking, popping, swelling, and stiffness of the knee. There can also be tenderness over the joint.

Evaluation & Treatment

Initial evaluation includes medical history, physical examination, and x-rays to rule out underlying conditions such as arthritis. Specialized physical examination maneuvers may be used to further determine the location of pain. An MRI may be ordered if there is suspicion of a meniscus tear to evaluate its size and type further.

Typical treatment of meniscus tears depends on age, type of tear, and activity level. Conservative treatment includes rest, ice, elevation, and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Meniscus tears do not heal so surgical treatment is often required to reduce symptoms. Arthroscopic surgery is performed through small poke holes with specialized cameras and instrumentation as an outpatient to trim or repair flaps of cartilage. After surgery, rehabilitation is dependent on the type of tear and treatment.