Your knee contains two menisci. These pieces of tough cartilage rest between your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia).
The menisci act as shock absorbers, allowing your thighbone and shinbone to glide against each other smoothly without causing joint damage.
A meniscus tear is an injury to one of the menisci in your knee.
The two most common causes of meniscus tears are:
Anyone, at any age, can suffer a meniscus tear.
You are at higher risk for a torn meniscus if you play contact sports, such as football.
Left untreated, a meniscus tear can cause a piece of cartilage to become loose and drift into the joint.
This can make your knee slip, pop, or lock. It can also make it hard to straighten the knee joint fully.
To make an appointment or learn more about meniscus tears, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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If you tear your meniscus — pieces of tough cartilage in your knee — you may have symptoms such as:
If your doctor suspects that you have a meniscus tear, he or she will discuss your medical history and perform a physical exam to rule out other knee problems.
To help confirm a meniscus tear diagnosis, your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as x-rays and MRI scans.
To make an appointment or learn more about sports-related meniscus tears, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
When deciding how to treat a torn meniscus, your doctor will look at:
Your doctor may suggest the following nonsurgical treatments for your meniscus tear:
There are a few surgical options to repair a torn meniscus.
Types of meniscus tear repair surgery include:
Recovery time from meniscus tear repair surgery depends on the type of procedure.
It can be hard to prevent a meniscus tear.
Using proper mechanics when exercising or playing sports can help lower your risk of this injury.
To make an appointment or learn more about meniscus tear treatments, contact UPMC Sports Medicine at 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
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