During daily activities, various levels of damage and discomfort may occur in the tissues that make up the musculoskeletal system. Especially as a result of some sports activities, various joints and tissues may be damaged over time. Among these damages, meniscus tear and meniscus injury are the most common disorders in society.

What’s a Meniscus Tear?

Meniscus; It is a C-shaped connective tissue located in the knee joint, which prevents the joint surfaces of the thigh bone (femur) and the tibia from touching each other during the movements of the knee joint, facilitating joint movements and acting as a cushion against impacts to the knee and protecting the articular cartilages. There are two meniscus in both knees.

Especially due to physical traumas from the outside of the knee or the repetition of various movements of the knee for a long time, the meniscus can be injured at different levels by bending and stretching abnormally. Meniscus tissue; Since it is located in the knee joint and partially shows insufficient vascularization, it may not be able to fully heal as a result of injuries. Due to repetitive injuries, the tissues of the meniscus may weaken and tear. In this case, various clinical manifestations appear, mainly knee pain.

Meniscus Anatomy

The meniscus is a structure consisting of cartilage tissue located in the human knee. The tissue is located at the junction of the two main leg bones in the knee, upper and lower, and plays an important role in preventing the friction of these two bones.


Knee meniscus tear can occur for different reasons. Meniscus tears occur as a result of traumatic, deterioration over time or congenital problems according to the frequency of their occurrence. Its can occur in all segments of society and at any time.

  • Meniscus tears; may be injured in activities that cause a sudden stop, turn, knee bending or turning.
  • Kneeling, squatting, or lifting something heavy can cause meniscus tears.
  • Meniscus injuries can often occur in sports that require bilateral contact such as football, basketball, or even in sports where sudden maneuvers such as volleyball and tennis take place.
  • Meniscus injuries can be seen at any age. In young people, since the meniscus tissue is intact, they are torn as a result of severe trauma, but degenerative changes in the knee with advancing age can lead to meniscus tears. Even a simple twist when getting up from a chair can set the stage for meniscus tears. It is observed in more than 40% of people aged 65 years and older.

Meniscus Tear Types

Meniscus injuries are classified according to their physical characteristics and the area of the tear. Common meniscus tears include:

  • Oblique tear of meniscus tears are the most common meniscus injuries. Such meniscus tears are usually experienced as a result of trauma in young patients.
  • Longitudinal (vertical) meniscal tear
  • Degenerative meniscal tears
  • Radial meniscal tear
  • Horizontal meniscal tear
  • Complex, that is, tears with many features

Meniscus Tear Symptoms

Meniscus tear knee injuries are frequently seen especially in athletes. But in any person, such tears can also occur. Common symptoms of the torn meniscus include:

  • Meniscus pain
  • torn meniscus pain at night
  • A popping sensation
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Difficulty straightening your knee fully
  • Feeling of your knee giving way

Medial Meniscus Tear

A meniscus tear can happen to many people, especially athletes. Those who carry heavy loads, those who stand constantly, housewives who are commonly engaged in household chores, such as the elderly. Because the medial meniscus is more immobile, the tear is more formed. Lateral meniscus tears or lateral medial meniscus tears are more common in acute injuries that cause anterior cruciate ligament tears. In elderly patients, the medial meniscus has more posterior horn tears.

For medical meniscus tear treatment, you must first rest your knee. Then you should apply ice and do compression. It is important that your leg is elevated at this stage. Nonsteroidal painkillers need to be used. Along with these, you should receive physical therapy by a specialist physiotherapist.

Meniscus Tear Treatment

In the torn meniscus treatment, total meniscectomy operations were performed in which the entire meniscus was removed. It has been scientifically proven that the cartilage surface destruction develops within 10-15 years in patients who have undergone this method and the series protective feature of the meniscus has been understood.

Non-Surgical Treatment of Meniscus Tears

It is generally known that the treatment method for this problem is meniscus repair surgery. However, mild cases can also be treated with non-surgical methods. These methods include the following:

  • Rest:You need to stay away from activities that aggravate your knee pain, especially those that cause you to bend or rotate your knee.
  • Cold application: Ice treatment can reduce your knee pain and swelling. You can apply this therapy to your knee several times a day for 20-25 minutes at a time.
  • Elastic bandage: Wrapping the knee with an appropriate bandage can give positive results for pain and swelling.
  • Medication:Painkillers prescribed by your doctor for you to use at home may work for you.
  • Physical therapy meniscus tear: Stretching and strengthening exercises can reduce stress on the knee. It may be necessary to seek help from a physical therapist for such movements.

Torn Meniscus Surgery

If complaints such as pain and locking in the knee as a result of non-surgical treatments continue to interfere with daily life, meniscus surgery treatment is on the agenda. In meniscus tear surgery:

  • Total meniscectomy, which involves removing the entire meniscus. Removing damaged meniscus tissue in total meniscectomy surgery gives good results term. But leads to the development of arthritis in the long term.
  • Partial meniscectomy.
  • Meniscus repairs. In some meniscus tears, the torn parts can be repaired by stitching them together. Meniscus repair depends on the type of tear and the general condition of the meniscus. Meniscus repair has good results. But there is a longer recovery time than meniscectomy. Meniscus repair is limited to eligible patients. Meniscus repair is recommended in patients with quality meniscus tissue who lead an active life.

If you have a few of the symptoms associated with this illness contact the Erdem Hospital call centre.

Frequently Asked Questions