What Are the Usual Symptoms for a Knee Meniscus Tear?


Quick Answer

A torn meniscus often results in a popping noise, stiffness, swelling and pain. Sufferers often find it difficult to fully extend the leg or feel as if something is locking the knee in place. Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor if the knee is stiff, swollen or difficult to move.

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What Are the Usual Symptoms for a Knee Meniscus Tear?
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Full Answer

WebMD describes the meniscus as a C-shaped piece of thickened cartilage in the knee. Each knee joint has two menisci. These structures help keep the knees steady by spreading the weight evenly across the joint. Twisting or turning are common reasons individuals experience tears to this cartilage. With minor tears, the meniscus heals after two to three weeks, but with moderate to severe tears, the swelling gets worse with time. Moderate tears have the potential to cause years of pain without treatment.

The Orthopaedic Institute recommends treating tears to the meniscus using rest, ice, compression and elevation. If the joint gets better with this type of treatment, the sufferer often requires no further treatment. However, if the joint continues to pop, cause pain or swell, the patient usually requires surgery to correct the condition. The surgeon evaluates the injury and recommends repair of the meniscus or trimming the outer edge to remove the torn cartilage.

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