What is a meniscus tear (knee) ?
The tearing of the cartilage pad(s) located between the two major bones in the knee (femur and tibia). The purpose of the meniscus is to prevent the femur and tibia from grinding together. The meniscus moves back and forth with knee motion and can be injured or torn with twisting motions of the knee. This commonly occurs when a running athlete makes a sharp pivot or cut to change direction.
What are the symptoms?
Pain and the sense of popping when the knee is injured. Later - pain, stiffness, and swelling can occur. Sometimes the knee can feel locked in one position as a part of the meniscus can get caught in the knee blocking its ability to bend.
What is the treatment?
The initial treatment is PRICE – protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In this case the protection would be a knee brace to immobilize the knee and crutches. Most cartilage tears do not heal on their own so if pain and swelling continues to limit your ability to walk or run, surgery is needed.