A torn meniscus is a common injury. Your meniscus is a small piece of cartilage in your knee joint that absorbs pressure, which includes bearing your weight.
The most common cause of meniscal injury is sports. Some motions that might injure your meniscus include twisting of the knee, sudden pivoting, or rapid deceleration. Additionally, a meniscal tear might occur if other ligaments of the knee have been injured. A meniscal tear is most common with ACL injuries.
When an injury occurs, you might hear a popping sound and immediate pain. Over the following 12 to 24 hours, pain, swelling and redness will follow. When this happens, consultation with your physician is necessary to decide the best treatment option.
Your doctor will initially tell you to follow basic home-care management, which will include resting your injured knee, icing the area, compressing the area, and keeping your affected leg elevated. Additionally, your doctor might prescribe an anti-inflammatory to help relieve pain. This medication might be the only treatment for a minor tear.
If there is a significant tear to the meniscus, arthroscopic surgery might be suggested. When surgery is performed, a brace or cast is often needed to support the repaired ligament.
If you suspect that you have signs or symptoms of a meniscal tear, please see your doctor for further evaluation and treatment options.