Meniscus Tear, Treatment, and Symptoms


The forceful rotation or twisting of the knee causes knee injuries called meniscus tear. Sometimes, when a patient puts their full weight on the knee, it results in meniscus tear.

There are two menisci which act like cushion between thighbone and shinbone. There are different problems which result because of meniscus tear. There are many issues caused by a meniscus tear. Typical health issues may include swelling, stiffness, and pain. Sometimes, the meniscus tear can also result in blocking the knee motion.

The Causes behind Meniscus Tear of the Knee

Sometimes, injuries can also cause meniscus tear of the knee. At times, the lifting of heavy objects or age contributes to wearing down of the meniscus. Hence, older people have a greater tendency of getting this knee problem.

Common Symptoms Associated with Meniscus Tear

The symptoms vary with the extent of the tear. There are different levels of meniscus tear in the knee. The symptoms depend on the type of the tear including minor tear, moderate tear, and severe tear.

A minor tear only causes a small injury with less pain. The usual time for recovery from a minor injury is 2 to 3 weeks.

However a moderate meniscus tear takes usually 2 to 3 days to get worse. The moderate injury results in sharp pain. A moderate meniscus tear can also result in making the joint a lot stiffer. The patient needs to take a moderate meniscus tear seriously. If not treated properly this kind of knee meniscus tears can take years to heal.

The severe tears of the meniscus can also affect the knee joint. Sometimes, a severe tear like these can lock the joint. The severity of the tears can also result in inability of the patient to freely move their knee. Sometimes, torn meniscus pieces can go into the knee joint, making the condition more painful.

In older patients it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the tear. The patient can only feel pain when moving from a squatting position.

Doctor Diagnoses of the Treatment

These are some of the common ways of diagnosing the problem of meniscus tear.

Physical Examination the Patient

There are different methods used by the physician to look into the knee joint.

X-ray of the Knee

The X-ray may not necessarily show a problem in the meniscus but it can help ascertain other potential customers. Sometimes, an X-ray can reveal other issues responsible for the problem like osteoporosis.

MRI Scans

MRI uses latest magnetic technology to determine the cause of the knee pain. This may include taking pictures from different angles to get a better understanding of the situation.

The Use of Ultrasound

Ultrasound may help take images where ordinary cameras do not work. An ultrasound lets the physician know if there are any loose cartilages.

Physical Examination

A simple yet effective way can be physical examination of the patient. The doctor examines knee of the patient for testing the different motions. The doctor will have a closer look to ascertain exact place of the meniscus tear.

In some cases, the doctor may ask the patient to undergo McMurray test. The McMurray test involves bending the knee and straightening it up to see the joint rotation. The slight pop of the knee during this test can help the physician know about a tear.

Treatment for Meniscus Tear

There are different methods recommended by the orthopedic doctor. You need to consult your orthopedic doctor in Sioux Falls South Dakota for the right type of treatment.

  • The orthopedic doctor recommends their patient to take rest. Sometimes, the patient may be asked to temporarily use crutches. The doctor also asks the patient to avoid activities which may worsen their joint pain.
  • The application of ice every 3 to 4 hours for half an hour can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • The wrapping of an elastic bandage around the knee can help give temporary comfort to the patient.
  • Sometimes, the physician may ask the patient to elevate their knee to reduce swelling.

Surgery for Overcoming Meniscus Tear Problem

The doctor will recommend an arthroscopic surgery if the knee does not respond to the conventional methods of treatment.

  • The patient may need to use crutches until the day of the surgery.
  • The orthopedic surgeon will ensure all pre-surgery requirements are fulfilled. The tests that the orthopedic doctor may conduct include MRI, EKG, and desired medical clearances.

The patient is asked not to eat or drink the night before the night of the procedure.