The ends of the three bones in the knee - the femur, tibia, and patella - are covered with cartilage (a smooth material that covers bone ends of a joint to cushion the bone and allow the joint to move easily without pain) that acts as a shock absorber. Between the bones of the knees are two crescent-shaped discs of connective tissue, called menisci, which also act as shock absorbers to cushion the lower part of the leg from the weight of the rest of the body.
Meniscus tears can occur during a rotating movement while bearing weight, such as when twisting the upper leg while the foot stays in one place during sports and other activities. Tears can be minor, with the meniscus staying connected to the knee, or major, with the meniscus barely attached to the knee by a cartilage thread.
Diagnostic procedures may include the following:
The following are the most common symptoms of a torn meniscus. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
- pain, especially when holding the knee straight
- knee may click or lock
- knee may feel weak
- medication such as ibuprofen
- muscle-strengthening exercises
- arthroscopic surgery
Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here.