Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Torn Cartilage in the Knee Overview

Another name for Torn Cartilage in the Knee is Meniscus Knee Injury.

What is a meniscus knee injury?
A person with a meniscus knee injury has torn the meniscus inside the knee joint. The meniscus is made up of two pieces of cartilage: the lateral meniscus and the medical meniscus. The lateral meniscus lies along the outer aspect of the knee joint. The medial meniscus lies along the inner aspect of the knee joint. Both pieces of cartilage help to stabilize the knee joint during movement. Injuries to the medial meniscus are more common than injuries to the lateral meniscus. An injury to the medial meniscus is usually accompanied by injuries to the medial collateral ligament and the anterior cruciate ligament. Meniscus knee injuries are most common in athletes, but may also occur in elderly persons with degenerative arthritis in the knee joint.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus knee injury?
Symptoms of a meniscus knee injury include knee pain that worsens with movement, knee bruising, knee swelling, and knee tenderness. Additional symptoms of a meniscus knee injury include knee popping, reduced range of motion, and difficulty walking. In some cases, the knee may buckle or give out.

How does the doctor treat a meniscus knee injury?
The treatment for a meniscus knee injury varies with the severity of the injury. Treatment for a meniscus knee injury may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, crutches, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment may include an elastic wrap, knee brace, or splint. Treatment for a serious meniscus knee injury may require surgery.

Continue to Torn Cartilage in the Knee Symptoms

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Torn Cartilage in the Knee References
  1. Beynnon BD, Johnson RJ, Abate JA, Fleming BC, Nichols CE. Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, part I. Am J Sports Med. 2005 Oct;33(10):1579-602. [16199611]
  2. Boutin RD, Fritz RC. MRI of snow skiing and snowboarding injuries. Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2005 Dec;9(4):360-78. [16315118]
  3. Choi NH, Son KM, Victoroff BN. Arthroscopic all-inside repair for a tear of posterior root of the medial meniscus: a technical note. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2008 Jul 17. [18633598]
  4. Rodkey WG, DeHaven KE, Montgomery WH 3rd, Baker CL Jr, Beck CL Jr, Hormel SE, Steadman JR, Cole BJ, Briggs KK. Comparison of the collagen meniscus implant with partial meniscectomy. A prospective randomized trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Jul;90(7):1413-26. [18594088]
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