What Is a Meniscus Tear?
The meniscus is a wedge-shaped cartilage in the knee between your shin and thigh bone that provides cushioning. Twists and maneuvers, especially during contact sports, can cause damage to this cartilage. While athletes are particularly at risk, it can affect anyone.
You’ll usually hear a pop when you sustain an injury that tears the meniscus. It is typically followed by extreme swelling and stiffness. You’ll experience pain that worsens when you use the knee. If the condition is left untreated, it can prevent a person from being able to participate in sports or disrupt their daily activities. Severe damage can lead to chronic knee problems, such as arthritis.
If you continue to move around with an untreated meniscus tear, you risk worsening the tear. Parts of the meniscus cartilage could end up between the knee joints and require major surgery for repair.
Treatment for meniscus tears depends on the severity of the injury. A tear that affects the outer one-third of the meniscus may heal on its own with care. If the tear is deeper than this, surgical repair is often the only way to treat it.
This article discusses some treatments for a meniscus tear.