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Torn Meniscus: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Feb 12, 2024

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Causes Of Torn Meniscus

Symptoms Of Torn Meniscus

Risk factors Of Torn Meniscus

Diagnosis Of Torn Meniscus

Treatment Of Torn Meniscus



Complications Of Torn Meniscus

Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee problems. Any movement that causes you to twist or spin your knee violently, especially when you are bearing all of your weight on it, might result in a torn meniscus.

Each knee contains two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as a sort of cushion between your thighbone and shinbone. Meniscus tears cause stiffness, edema, and discomfort. You can also find it difficult to fully extend your knee and feel as though your knee motion is blocked.

Sometimes conservative measures like rest, ice, and medication are enough to ease meniscus discomfort and allow the damage to heal on its own. In some cases, surgery may be required to repair a torn meniscus.

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Causes Of Torn Meniscus

A torn meniscus can occur from any activity that causes you to twist or spin your knee violently, such as sharp turns or pivoting. Occasionally, even deep squatting, kneeling, or lifting something heavy might cause a torn meniscus.

In senior people, degenerative changes in the knee can result in a torn meniscus with little to no stress.

Also Read: Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Symptoms Of Torn Meniscus

Pain and edema may not appear for up to 24 hours after a meniscus tear, particularly if the tear is tiny. The following indications and symptoms could appear in your knee:

  • A burst of sound
  • Stiffness or swelling
  • Pain, particularly when you rotate or twist your knee
  • Having trouble fully straightening your knee
  • Having the impression that your knee is stuck in place when you attempt to move it
  • The sensation of your knee buckling

Also Read: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Risk factors Of Torn Meniscus

Following are some of the risk factors for torn meniscus:

  • Participating in sports that demand violent knee twisting and pivoting can result in a torn meniscus. Athletes are more in danger, especially those who participate in contact sports like football or pivoting sports like basketball or tennis.
  • As you get older, the wear and stress on your knees increase the likelihood of a torn meniscus.
  • Obesity 

Also Read: Herniated Disc: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Diagnosis Of Torn Meniscus

The best way to diagnose a torn meniscus is frequently through a physical examination. Your doctor may ask you to squat, watch you walk, and move your knee and leg into different positions to help identify the cause of your problems.

X-rays for diagnostic imaging tests: Because a torn meniscus is made of cartilage, it cannot be seen on an X-ray. X-rays, however, can help rule out other knee problems that might be causing the same symptoms.

Magnetic resonance imaging is referred to as MRI: This uses a strong magnetic field to produce incredibly detailed images of the hard and soft tissues in your knee. This is the best imaging study to diagnose a meniscus tear.

Arthroscopy: Your doctor may occasionally use an arthroscope to examine the inside of your knee. The arthroscope is implanted through a little incision made near your knee. Using a tiny camera and light, the device presents a magnified image of the inside of your knee onto a monitor. If more small incisions in your knee are required, surgical instruments can be inserted via the arthroscope to repair or trim the tear.

Also Read: Bursitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Treatment Of Torn Meniscus

Treatment for a torn meniscus usually begins with conservative measures, depending on the kind, location, and severity of the tear.

Surgery is usually not advised because tears associated to arthritis usually heal on their own. Many other tears that are not associated with locking or a block to knee motion might wait to heal before requiring surgery because the discomfort will ultimately go down. Your physician may recommend:

  • Relax: Steer clear of any activities that aggravate your knee discomfort, particularly those that call for you to pivot, twist, or rotate your knee. Crutches may help you recover and reduce knee strain if your discomfort is severe.
  • Ice: Ice can help with edema and knee pain. Use an ice pack, a bag of frozen veggies, or an ice cube-covered cloth to raise your knee for fifteen minutes at a time. For the first day or two, do this every 4 to 6 hours, and then more frequently as needed.
  • Medications: Knee pain can also be reduced using over-the-counter painkillers.


To stabilize and support your knee joint, physical therapy can help you develop the muscles in your legs and the area around it.


If you experience knee locking or if your pain doesn't improve with rehabilitative therapy, your doctor may suggest surgery. Meniscus tears can occasionally be repaired, particularly in kids and teenagers.

Should the meniscus rupture prove irreparable, it might necessitate a surgical excision via microscopic incisions created with an arthroscope. After surgery, exercises are required to preserve and improve knee stability and strength.

If your arthritis is severe and degenerative, your doctor might recommend a knee replacement. Younger people who exhibit post-operative signs and symptoms but do not have severe arthritis may benefit from a meniscus transplant. During the process, a cadaveric meniscus is transplanted.

Also Read: Adult Still Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Complications Of Torn Meniscus

The sensation that your knee is giving way, persistent soreness, or an inability to move it as you typically would are all possible symptoms of a torn meniscus. The injured knee may be more susceptible to osteoarthritis.

Also Read: De Quervain Tenosynovitis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

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