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Meniscal Tear

What is Meniscal Tear?
Meniscal tear is the rupturing of the fibrocartilage strips in the knee called the Menisci, which is a C-shaped cartilage functioning as a cushion between the shinbone and thighbone. This is a common knee injury. Many knee injury treated with simple measures. Others may require surgery to correct.

Each knee has two menisci, one at the outer edge and another at the inner edge. Menisci help to keep the knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee and also in protecting the knees from stress during walking, running, climbing and bending. 


Meniscal tears usually occur during sports or fitness activities:

  • Twisting and turning quickly
  • Lifting something suddenly
  • Direct hit to the knee during a collision or tackle
  • As you age, the cartilage weakens and wears thin and is prone to tears

Meniscal Tear treatment Bangalore


There are three types of Meniscal Tears with their own symptoms.

  • Minor Tears where there might be slight pain and swelling that might go away in 2-3 weeks.
  • Moderate Tears can have the following symptoms:
    • Pain at the side or the knee’s center.
    • Swelling worsen slowly after 2-3 days.
    • Knee stiffens and limits bending of the knee with a slight difficulty in walking.
    • Sharp pain in knee when twisted or while squatting.
    • These symptoms might disappear in 2-3 weeks but will return if knee is twisted or overused.
    • If left untreated for years, pain might return.
  • In Severe Tears, the torn meniscus enters into the joint space with the symptoms:
    • Knee seems locked in place
    • Knee becomes wobbly and give way
    • Knee will swell and stiffen either right after the injury or within 2-3 days.

Diagnosis and Treatment
In a physical examination of the knee, the doctor will perform the following tests:

  • McMurray test is one of the main tests for Meniscal tear diagnosis. The doctor will bend your knee, straighten it and rotate it, putting tension on the torn menisci. If there is a tear, there will be a clicking sound.
  • Joint line tenderness – your doctor will feel for meniscus along the joint and when pressed if it is painful, it suggests a meniscal injury.

The following tests might also be suggested to help in confirming the diagnosis:

  • X-rays to get a clear image of the bones to rule out a fracture but it can’t visualize ligaments and tendons.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to see the extent of the ACL injury and damage to other tissues of the knees.
  • Ultrasonography to inspect for injuries in the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the knee


Some measures to be taken to prevent Meniscal tears are:

  • Wear the right footwear for the sport and the surface its being played on.
  • Strengthen and the stretch the major leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles.
  • Learning the right technique for the movement you going to perform like turning, jumping and stopping correctly.
  • In some cases, using of knee braces also helps.
Authored by Dr Banarji B.H - Shoulder Surgeon, Bangalore

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