Any type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug can treat pain caused by a torn meniscus, Healthline states. Resting and elevating the knee and applying an ice pack for half an hour every three or four hours may also be helpful. Physical therapy is typically helpful in the long term.
Patients who do not respond well to other types of treatment may also wish to consider surgery, Healthline notes. Knee surgery may entail significant risks, and an individual should only decide on this course of action in consultation with his physician. Post-surgery treatment includes physical therapy, and a patient who follows the treatment fully may expect to return to the same level of functioning enjoyed before tearing the meniscus. The surgical procedure relies on inserting a tiny camera and device inside the knee, which enables the surgeon to carry out extremely fine operations on the meniscus. This is typically an outpatient procedure.
Procedures helpful in accurately diagnosing a torn meniscus include a knee X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, arthroscopy and a McMurry test, Healthline states. The McMurry test requires the patient to first bend his knee, then return it to normal and rotate it. If the test produces an audible pop, the patient may have torn his meniscus.