Tears are common injuries to the meniscus of the knee. Menisci are "C" shaped structures made of thick cartilage that cushion the bones in the joint. The weight of the body rests on these four soft structures, located in pairs in each knee. According to WebMD, tears are painful and often require surgery for correction.
The symptoms of a torn meniscus vary with the severity of the injury. Some common symptoms include a loud pop at the time of the injury, followed by pain at the center of the knee. The joint begins to swell and becomes stiffer over the course of a few days following the injury. The pain of a torn meniscus usually does not go away without therapy and sometimes grows worse, according to KidsHealth.
It is possible to reduce the chances of injuries to the meniscus. Cross training strengthens muscles to provide additional support for the joint. Sport protective equipment, when properly adjusted, helps to reduce the risks even further. Boston Children's Hospital recommends children and teens take time to rest between exercise sessions to prevent this type of injury. When injuries occur, there are both surgical and nonsurgical options for treatment. When treating this injury, doctors use the least invasive procedure for the best results.