Meniscus Tear / Knocked Knee

What is Meniscus Tear?

Meniscus is a small C-shaped cartilage that acts as a cushion in the knee joint. There are two meniscus sitting between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) — one  on the inner side of the knee (medial) and one on the outer side (lateral). A meniscus tear occurs when one of these cartilages in the knee is injured and torn.

A meniscus tear occurs during movements that forcefully rotate the knee while the foot is firmly planted, for example during contact sports such as basketball or football.

Symptoms of meniscus tear include:

  • Clicking or popping sounds during movement
  • Limited range of movement
  • Locking sensation, inability to straighten the knee
  • Pain on either side of the knee
  • Swelling at the joint line area
  • Tenderness along the joint line

Some cases of meniscus tear can heal on their own, although surgery can be done to facilitate recovery. Otherwise, rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) protocol would be effective:

  • Compression — wear an elastic compression bandage to prevent additional swelling
  • Elevation — recline when rest, and put the leg up higher than the heart to reduce swelling
  • Ice pack on the injury for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) to reduce pain and swelling
  • Rest and take a break from the activity that caused the injury

If surgery is necessary to repair or remove the pieces of the torn meniscus, it is usually done by a minimally invasive surgery called arthroscopy.

A torn meniscus can cause long-term problems. Constant rubbing of the torn meniscus on the cartilage may cause the joint surface to become worn, leading to knee osteoarthritis.

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