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Meniscal tear


A meniscus is a type of cartilage and it is present between the tibia, which is also known as the shinbone and the femur, also known as the thigh bone. This piece of cartilage which is known as meniscus can easily undergo a tear or damage when you lay too much stress on it either accidentally or knowingly. This tear is known as meniscal tear. Meniscal tear is often seen in athletes but general people can get it too. Your treatment options will vary and it mostly depends on the degree of the injury that you have suffered. So, if you don’t want to undergo any such injuries, you must know the techniques during sports which will prevent your meniscus from getting hurt.

meniscal tear

What are the Causes of a Meniscal Tear?

A meniscal tear can result from a lot of things. Go through the points mentioned below to understand the possible causes:

  • The most common cause of a meniscal tear is a direct contact with something that can lead to twisting of your knee and thus leading to a meniscal tear.
  • Deep squatting, heavy lifting or sudden pivoting are some of the movements that lead to a meniscal tear.
  • Athletes who are involved with sports that require you to make sudden movements often suffer from meniscal tear. Some of these sports are football, soccer, basketball and tennis.
  • Older people who are aged more than 30 often undergo a meniscal tear during activities like deep squatting or carrying heavy items.
  • If you already have the problem of osteoarthritis, then you are at a higher risk of developing a meniscal tear.

What are the Symptoms of a Meniscal Tear?

The symptoms that result due to meniscal tear highly depends on the degree of injury that you have suffered. The major symptoms that result due to a meniscal tear are as follows:

  • If your tear is not much grave, then you will face swelling and pain of a minimal degree. But this stays only for a week or two and with a consistent rest, it will fade away.
  • If you have a moderate meniscal tear, a pain will be present mostly at the center or at the corners of your knee. You might sometimes feel that your knee is becoming stiff. If you try to move your knee or try to squat, then chances are that you can feel a sharp pain.
  • If you have a severe tear, the meniscus pieces move about in the joint area causing an excruciating pain and you wouldn’t be able to straighten your knee.

What are the Treatment Options for a Meniscal Tear?

You may undergo treatment at home or opt for surgery but that depends on the degree of your injury.

  • Wrap up your knee tightly with the help of a bandage and apply ice packs to the affected area.
  • Take enough rest.
  • A surgery can be done to mend the meniscus (Meniscus Repair) or remove the parts of the meniscus (Meniscectomy) that are moving around in your joint area.

A meniscal tear is indeed a painful condition but with proper diagnosis and treatment, you will be able to resume your usual activities.

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DR SHAILESH KESHAV MISHRA

Consultant Orthopedic, Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy Surgeon

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