Meniscus tear -
Causes and treatment options
There are two shock absorbing discs of cartilage between the articular parts of the femoral and tibial bones, the medial and lateral menisci. Their role is the optimal load distribution in the knee joint. During movement, they absorb around a third of the weight load and act as the shock absorbers and stabilisers of our musculoskeletal system. The special vascular system, which supplies blood to the menisci, largely determines their capacity to regenerate and heal.
Meniscus tears are very common injuries. The meniscus can be injured in almost all sport injuries, for instance due to a torsional load or compression. The ligaments, such as the anterior cruciate ligament are often injured at the same time. The meniscus can also tear „without provocation“ if it is overstrained due to malalignment or constant pressure.
The symptoms area sudden, severe pain in the moment of the meniscus tear, bruising and swelling. During diagnosis, pressure and turning movements cause strong pain. The knee can no longer be extended. The entire joint hurts when attempting to squat. Victims frequently feel painful, uncomfortable friction.
A meniscus operation is then imperative, as without the medial meniscus, the knee joint cartilage will bear an additional load of 50%, and an additional load of 70% if the lateral meniscus is missing.
The therapy for a meniscus tear is normally an arthroscopic meniscus operation. In the process, the torn part of the meniscus is removed or fixed by a suture. If there is also cartilage damage, this can also be treated during the same procedure. Meniscus transplantation is a relatively new treatment.
You can obtain more detailed information on meniscus tears from our telephone info-line or by email. All contact details can be found on our Contact page.