An injury to one or more of the two C-shaped pieces of cartilage in each of the knee joints, attached to the leg bone (tibia).
Damage to the meniscus most often occurs from a twisting or over-flexing injury, but can also deteriorate or wear out because of age and repetitive movements. A common cause of meniscus tears occur from being involved in an automobile crash or motorcycle crash where a high amount of exertion is often placed on the knee.
A torn meniscus may cause symptoms that include pain and tightness in the knee, especially when it is twisted, rotated or compressed. Swelling and stiffness in the knee area, as well as a “popping” sound may also occur.
Nonsurgical treatments, such as rest, ice and medication are sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and let the injury heal naturally.
If the meniscus tear is more severe, surgery may be needed to sew it back together or graft other tendons or muscles to it.