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Symptoms Of Meniscal Injury In The Knee

The meniscus is the tough cartilage that cushions the bones in our knee joint. We explain how these injuries occur, and help you recognize the symptoms of a damaged meniscus.

Our knee is the largest joint in our body, and plays a critical role in stabilization and weight bearing. The ends of our tibia and femur bones meet and move against each other in the knee joint. Two types of cartilage assist bone movement in the knee. Slippery articular cartilage covers the bone tips and reduces friction during movement. A crescent-shaped pad of tough fibrocartilage, called the meniscus, lies between the weight-bearing bone surfaces to cushion them. There are two menisci in a normal knee. When the meniscus is damaged, knees can become painful, lose stability, and trigger the development of osteoarthritis.

There are two ways that a meniscus can be injured.

Types of meniscus tears vary from a short split in the body of the meniscus to a strip or flap of meniscal tissue torn from the cartilage. Symptoms of a damaged meniscus include the following:

If you experience these symptoms, consult an orthopedic knee specialist. Generally, arthroscopic surgery is the only way to repair meniscus tears. In cases where there is only a tiny tear in the outer edge of the meniscus, the peripheral blood supply in the joint may heal the tear with a period of immobilization, but this is the rare exception to the rule. There are currently no medications, braces, or physical therapy treatments that can heal these tears. Without treatment, a tear may worsen over time, and hasten the development of osteoarthritis in the injured knee.

Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise

From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.

Start your journey to stronger, healthier athletic condition. Find your sports medicine expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a sports medicine consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNVadnais Heights, MN, Plymouth, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.

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