The meniscus is a type of cartilage that acts as a cushion on the inside (medial) and outside (lateral) part of the knee. The meniscus acts as a cushion between the thigh and shin bones, and it adds stability to the knee joint.
Meniscus tears may be the result of trauma or degeneration (a natural breakdown of the tissue with age). The patient’s complaints and physical exam usually are the most important data. X-rays are often obtained to evaluate for arthritis. MRIs are used to confirm this suspected diagnosis.
Depending on the type of tear and the symptoms the tear is causing, tears may be treated differently. Nonoperative management includes rest, anti-inflammatory medication, therapy, or injections. Operative management includes arthroscopic surgery to cut away the torn tissue or repair it.