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A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. Anything that leads you to twist your knee, (and often in combination with putting your full weight through it), can lead to a torn meniscus.

Both of your knees have two menisci — these are C-shaped pieces of cartilage that are like a cushion between your thighbone and your shinbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness, and sometimes you cant starighten your knee.

Initial treatment should consist of rest, ice, pain relief and activity modification. This may help relieve the pain and lead to the injury healing on its own.

However, often a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.


A torn meniscus may lead to

 A feeling of instability

 Swelling

 Stiffness

 Pain, especially when twisting or rotating your knee

 Difficulty straightening your knee fully

 Experiencing what feels like a block to moving your knee


A torn meniscus can occur after a twist of your knee. Sometimes more minor activity like kneeling, or squatting or lifting can cause a meniscus tear.

In older adults, normal aging and wear and tear of the knee may lead to a torn meniscus.


A torn meniscus can cause knee instability, persistent knee pain, and may make you more likely to develop arthritis.

Diagnostic Tests

X-rays. A torn meniscus won’t show up on X-rays. But X-rays can help rule out other problems with the knee that may give similar signs.

MRI scans (Magnetic resonance images) are the Gold Standard Test. MRI uses a strong magnetic field to produce images of the body. It can give excellent images of your knees and other structures, in your body.

Initial treatment

Rest. Avoid activities that make your knee pain worse. Sometimes it is advisable to use

crutches to help healing.

Ice. Ice can reduce knee pain and swelling.

Simple Painkillers and sometimes antiinflammatory tablets.


Physiotherapy can help to strengthen the muscles around your knee and in your legs to help stabilize and support the knee joint. Which decreases the stresses through your damged knee.


In some cases, your knee doctor/specialist may recommend you may have to have surgery, which is normally a knee arthroscopy to look inside your knee and deal with problems within.

This is normally a relatively quick and simple day-case operation, performed through very small cuts (incisions) in your knee. Your knee doctor/specialist will give you more information.

Ask your doctor / specialist for more information

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