A Torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. It refers to a tear in the shock absorbing cartilage of the knee. Any physical activity that causes aggressive twisting or rotating of the knee, can lead to a torn meniscus. When the meniscus is torn or damaged, the cushioning system between the bone joints is tarnished, making weight distribution uneven. In turn, grinding and wearing occurs as bone meets bone and eventually causes stress to the knee joints.  Meniscus tears are most common with participation in contact sports such as football. Symptoms may include knee joint pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement.  Treatment options for a torn meniscus typically include resting, icing and taking medications to relieve symptoms and ease discomfort. In other more severe cases, surgical repair may be necessary.



Signs and symptoms of a Torn meniscus include:

  • Popping or clicking sound within the knee
  • Pain in the knee
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Locking of the knee
  • Stiffness of the knee
  • Difficulty extending or straightening the knee
  • Limited motion of the knee joint



A Torn meniscus can occur in all age groups. The two most common causes of meniscal tear are due to traumatic injuries such as from participating in contact sports and degenerative processes from natural wear and tear of the knee. When pressure is put on the knee, it can cause a forceful twisting or rotating of the knee that is likely to cause restricted joint mobility and range of motion. In addition to causing problems in participating in contact sports such as football and soccer, a torn meniscus can also interfere in an individual’s daily activity routine such as kneeling, squatting or heavy lifting.


Risk Factors

Several factors that can increase the risk of a torn meniscus include:

  • Physical activities that involve forceful twisting and rotating of the knee
  • Participation in contact sports (football, soccer)
  • Older age



Complications that can arise from a torn meniscus include:

  • Persistent pain in the knee
  • Restricted movement of the knee
  • Osteoarthritis



A few recommendations for preventing a torn meniscus are:

  • Wearing proper foot attire for the sporting activity and surface that the activity is taking place on
  • Strengthening and stretching the major leg muscles through proper exercising
  • Learning the correct technique for the activity or movement that is taking place (jumping or landing correctly on the surface)