Meniscus Tear

Healthy Knee Arthritic Knee
Healthy Knee Meniscus Tear

Themenisci are small, semi-circular pieces of cartilage that act as a cushion in the knee. The knee has both an inner and outer meniscus. A torn meniscus usually occurs during movements that forcefully rotate the knee while bearing weight. A partial or complete tear of a meniscus sometimes occurs if an athlete quickly twists or rotates the upper leg while his or her foot is firmly planted. This often occurs in field sports such as soccer and football.

An injured or torn meniscus causes mild to severe pain (particularly when the knee is straightened) depending upon the extent of the tear. Severe pain is common when a torn meniscus fragment catches between the femur and tibia. Swelling is common at the time of injury, but can develop much later. Frequently, an injury to the meniscus causes an audible click or pop, or the knee may lock, or feel weak. If the meniscus injury is small, these symptoms may resolve over time without treatment, but some meniscus injuries may benefit from surgical treatment.

Treatment varies depending upon the extent and location of the tear; however, a large meniscus tear that causes pain or limits knee function may require arthroscopic surgery for repair. Surgeons often refer to this as "debriding" or "smoothing over" the tear.

Biomet is a manufacturer of orthopedic implants and does not practice medicine.

This information was prepared in conjunction with a licensed physician and is presented as general information only. Only an orthopedic surgeon can determine what treatment is appropriate. The life of any implant will depend on your weight, age, activity level, and other factors. For more information on risks, warnings, and possible adverse effects, see the Patient Risk Information section found within Always ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding your particular condition or treatment options.