To relieve the pain and swelling associated with a torn meniscus, the patient can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil or Aleve, states WebMD. However, these medications should be taken occasionally to avoid potential side effects, including ulcers and bleeding, unless the doctor orders otherwise.
If a meniscal tear is large and unstable and causes the knee to lock up, then surgery is required to resolve the problem, according to WebMD. If the symptoms seem to resolve with the pain medication, surgery is not necessary. Simply employ non-surgical treatments, such as applying a cold compress to the knee, using an elastic bandage to control swelling and doing knee stretching and strengthening exercises.