Meniscus rupture: what you need to know

Sports injuries such as meniscus tears vary in severity and pain depending on the extent of the damage. Rotation of the knee causes the cartilage of each meniscus to rupture completely or partially. An athlete who engages in foot-related sports is more likely to suffer this injury. In addition to meniscus tears, anterior cruciate ligament tears are also common knee injuries.

Meniscus rupture: what you need to know

Anatomy of the meniscus:

It is a piece of flexible rubber cartilage that softens the knee bones. Each knee has two menisci attached to the joint around the thigh:

The middle meniscus on the inside of the knee is the letter C. The lateral meniscus is the letter U. In standing, the two menisci work together to reduce shock, stabilize the amount of impact on the legs, and facilitate movement between the knee surfaces.

The meniscus is situated between the layers of cartilage covering the femur floor and the top of the tibia (where the two bones meet).

In the case of a damaged meniscus, more force is applied to the articular cartilage, which eventually leads to osteoarthritis of the knee.

In order to prevent further knee damage or increased wear due to gradual wear and tear of the knee joint, early diagnosis and treatment are essential.

In sports, meniscus ruptures are caused by the following factors:

 When diving to catch a ball on a basketball or soccer court, athletes experience this problem.

Any meniscus can rupture due to excessive rotation of the knee. Football and basketball games are prone to this type of incident.

Walking fast or squatting on uneven surfaces can cause disproportionate force on the knees and tear the meniscus. Crossovers, dribbles in football, or sudden falls are all examples of this movement.

When a basketball player collides with another player, the knee joint’s sudden flexion can cause a meniscus tear.

Knee meniscus wear and tear is caused by:

The meniscus cartilage of the knee becomes more vulnerable with age, and even the slightest blow can damage it. Meniscus tears are also common in people with meniscus disease or activities that involve the knees.

In osteoarthritis of the knee, the meniscus can rupture over time, weakening the cartilage and rupturing it.

Activities that require jumping or squatting weaken the meniscus cartilage over time. Meniscus tears are more common among plumbers and carpet installers who spend most of the day squatting.

Meniscus rupture: what you need to know

Meniscus rupture symptoms include:

Pain near the rupture site

A lateral meniscus tear causes pain along the outer edge of the knee. The inner edge of an injured knee is painful when the internal meniscus tears.

After an injury, there is immediate pain

Meniscus ruptures often cause pain immediately after injury. This condition is usually caused by a sudden and severe blow to the foot while twisting.

Symptoms appear slowly

People with osteoarthritis of the knee and the elderly are more likely to suffer meniscus tears without any symptoms.

Moving causes pain

Localized pain may intensify with each knee movement in some cases.

Knee joint fluid accumulation

Knee swelling is caused by a fluid accumulation in the knee joint.

Symptoms of a torn meniscus in the knee include:

  1. When bending and straightening, you feel a tapping sound

  2. The patient learns to move their knees out of the closed position by locking the knees, which sometimes prevents them from opening.

  3. My meniscus is causing joint pain. The severity of the pain depends on whether the rupture is in the internal or external meniscus. When you press the affected area, you feel more pressure.

Meniscus rupture is diagnosed as follows:

Medical history of the patient

The doctor begins by asking the patient about the pain’s occurrence, location, and severity. The next step is to review the patient’s medical history.

Examination of the physical body

Physical examinations are performed after reviewing a patient’s medical history to determine the extent, location, and presence of the rupture. MC Murray’s test is as follows:

After straightening the leg, the doctor grabs the thigh muscles and rotates the shank in two directions so that the femur rotates inwards and outwards. In order to diagnose lateral meniscus rupture, an internal rotation test is performed, while in order to diagnose internal meniscus rupture, an external rotation test is performed.

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRI scans are necessary to determine the location and severity of a meniscus tear, so you can see deeper into the knee joint’s soft tissues.

Several methods may be used to diagnose meniscus ruptures. Suppose, for instance, that the fluid in the knee is swollen. The doctor cannot gather all the information needed through physical examination alone, so an MRI scan is required.

There are three types of meniscus tears in the knee:

Flap rupture

The flap may rupture if the inner meniscus ruptures.

Burnout of the meniscus cartilage

As cartilage burns out over time, the meniscus ruptures and becomes inflamed.

Knee cartilage deformity

A ruptured internal meniscus causes the rest of the meniscus to separate and eventually deforms the cartilage in the knee.

Radial rupture

A radial rupture occurs when one of the meniscus’ edges breaks, moving into the tissue perpendicular to the edge.

Doctors can determine the type of treatment based on the type and severity of the tear.

Meniscus rupture treatment:

Treatment methods are influenced by the severity and location of the rupture. Because the third part of the meniscus delivers blood and nutrients to the damaged tissue, it heals faster.

A physician will consider a patient’s medical history, professional sports activities, and willingness to return to exercise.

Non-surgical treatments for meniscus ruptures include:

Drugs that reduce inflammation

For swelling in the affected area, your doctor may prescribe a steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen.

Physical therapy

After an injury or surgery, physiotherapy exercises are usually used. Exercises in physiotherapy are designed to control pain and swelling, restore knee range of motion, and strengthen knee muscles.

Stimulation by electricity

Meniscus and surrounding tissues may be strengthened by electrical stimulation of the knee muscle.

The injection

Injections of corticosteroids may relieve knee pain and inflammation.

Surgery for a ruptured meniscus

Meniscus surgery usually involves removing damaged tissue, repairing it, or removing it altogether. Surgery is the most effective treatment for people under 30 years of age, despite the fact that success depends on many factors.

Meniscus ruptures are commonly treated with the following types of surgery:

The laminectomy

The surgeon uses an arthroscopic camera to find and observe the rupture in the knee. Usually, the damaged part of the meniscus is removed, and then stitches are used to reconnect it. In extensive injuries, the entire meniscus is removed in a partial penectomy.


An arthroscopic camera is used to locate the rupture, and then surgical sutures are used to repair the damaged area.

Following surgery, the patient’s recovery depends on the severity of the rupture and the nature of the treatment. However, physical therapy and reduced activity are often required until range of motion is restored and swelling subsides.

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