What Happens When You Have a Torn Meniscus?

Torn meniscus injuries are common, especially in those who regularly participate in physical activity. The menisci are C-shaped rubbery discs that help to protect the knee joint. The knee features two menisci, one located at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. When these are in place and in sound shape, they keep the knee stable by balancing a person’s body weight across the knee.

What Happens in a Torn Meniscus Injury?

Meniscus tears can occur with rapid knee movements, especially when the foot is planted and the knee is bent. When people age, their menisci can become worn, making them more prone to injury. This type of injury can cause painful symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?

The symptoms of a meniscus injury will vary according to severity. Minor injuries will only lead to swelling and slight pain. When the meniscus becomes completely torn, it will often cause the following:

  • Severe swelling
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Knee instability
  • Clicking or popping noises

Treatment for Meniscus Tears

The first line of treatment for any menisci tear is rest, ice, and elevation. Doctors will typically take a conservative approach to treatment, depending on a person’s age, health, and activity level. A knee brace torn meniscus can often be beneficial in helping a person overcome their injuries. This will help to keep the knee supported as it heals.

Surgery is sometimes needed when the above treatments are not helping. Surgery can be used to remove part of a torn menisci so it is no longer causing pain. A surgical procedure may also be used to suture the tear so it can begin to heal.

Most meniscus tear surgeries are done arthroscopically. This means less invasion to the knee and a shorter healing time. Following doctor’s orders will allow for a more successful healing process. Once the knee has become injured, it may be weakened so it is important a person wears braces to keep their knee stable.

If you are dealing with any of the signs of meniscus tears, it is important you seek care from your doctor right away. Failure to seek medical care can result in further damage.