What is it?
– The meniscus is a crescent shaped fibrocartilage structure located within the knee joint
– There is both a medial meniscus located on the inside of the knee and a lateral meniscus located on the outside
– The menisci’s role is to absorb shock and distribute load at the knee joint
How is it caused?
– Most commonly meniscal injuries are from a twisting mechanism
– Can be degenerative or traumatic
– Degenerative tears are more common in the older population but can also be due to repetitive overload
– Traumatic tears are more common with athletes and more commonly medial injuries
– Swelling and stiffness
– Pain especially when trying to bend or twist the knee
– Knee instability and giving way
– Locking, popping or catching
What can be done to alleviate pain?
– Rest, ice, compression , elevation
– Avoid aggravating activities
– Guided strengthening programme to reduce meniscal overload
– If tear is large may need MRI and onward referral to Orthopaedic surgeon for arthroscopic repair/debridement
Chances of requiring surgery?
– Depends on size and location of the tear. The meniscus has a poor blood supply; especially in the inner portion so if the tear is small and on the outer portion it will have a better chance of healing