There are two meniscuses in your knee. The menisci are made of tough cartilage and acts as if it were a shock absorber between the femur and tibia. They also act as smooth articulating surfaces that help the joints glide during the normal flexion and extension of the knee joint.
The meniscus also helps distribute weight evenly across the knee joint. The menisci are C shaped and wedged in profile. It also cups the rounded end of the femur to keep the femur stable on the flat tibial surface.
The two most common cases of meniscus tear are traumatic injury and degenerative process. Most common mechanism of traumatic meniscus tears occur when the knee is bent and twisted. This is often seen in professional athletes. Degenerate tears are seen in older patients when the cartilage becomes brittle. Pain and swelling are the common symptoms of meniscus tears.
Joint locking is also common as pieces of torn cartilage block the normal mechanism of knee movement.
The most common symptoms of a meniscus tear
- Popping and clicking
- Loss of normal motion
Diagnosis of meniscus tear
- Physical exam
- Arthroscopic surgery
Treatment of meniscus tears
- Platelet rich plasma
- Bracing and support