The meniscus is a “C”-shaped piece of cartilage that provides cushion between the shinbone and the thighbone. You can tear your meniscus doing any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when you put your full weight on that knee. Participating in sports like football, tennis, or basketball can put you at an increased risk of a torn meniscus, which is one of the most common knee injuries. Symptoms of a torn meniscus include:
- A popping sensation in your knee
- Feeling like your knee is locked into place when you try to move it
- Pain that worsens when you twist or rotate your knee
- Swelling or stiffness
- Trouble straightening your knee completely
Your doctor will conduct a thorough exam and ask for your health history to diagnose this condition..
Your orthopedist may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a diagnosis.
In this test, your specialist inserts a long, thin instrument (arthroscope) into your knee joint to assess the cartilage injury.
While you’re at home, you should use the RICE method, which includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication – or recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen – to help reduce swelling and pain.
You may need to work with a physical therapist to help regain strength and use following a torn meniscus.
If your meniscus does not heal on its own, you may need to undergo surgery to repair the tear and help you regain strength in your knee.
Why Choose the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute?
World-class care in an academic health center. As a research and teaching institution, we treat children and adults with proven, leading-edge procedures based on clinical studies performed at the Miller School of Medicine. Our doctors, residents, nurses, and therapists work together to create healthy outcomes.
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