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Meniscus tear: A Closer Look


Meniscal tears, also called cartilage tears, occur when the “shock absorber” or the cartilage between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone) is injured. A meniscus tear is one of the most common injuries in the knee. Traumatic meniscal tears often happen during sports with an injury. Players may squat and twist the knee, causing a tear.



Degenerative meniscus tears are common in the aging population. Cartilage weakens and wears thin over time and this worn tissue is more prone to tears. Even a small twist when getting up from a chair may be enough to cause a degenerative meniscus tear.


The most common symptoms of meniscal tear are:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness and swelling
  • Catching or locking of your knee
  • The sensation of your knee “giving way”
  • You are not able to move your knee through its full range of motion


Without treatment, a piece of meniscus may come loose and drift into the joint. This can cause your knee to slip, pop or lock.


How your orthopaedic surgeon treats your tear will depend on the type of tear you have, its size, and location.


For more specific information, please check with your provider.


Source and for additional information: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)

Mas informacion sobre desgarros de los meniscus:  AAOS en Español