A meniscal tear, as explained by OrthoInfo, is a common knee injury that occurs when the cartilage between the thighbone and the shinbone tears. These tears often occur in athletes who engage in contact sports.
There are a number of different ways in which the menisci tear. These include longitudinal, parrot-beak, flap, bucket handle and mixed/complex. OrthoInfo shares that sports-related meniscal tears are often accompanied by other knee injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament tears.
OrthoInfo shares that meniscal tears are generally found in athletes due to twisting or direct contact, such as a tackle. Degenerative meniscal tears can be found in the elderly due to weakening, worn cartilage and can occur from an awkward twist or movement.