The meniscus is shock-absorbing cartilage in the middle of your knee. There are two menisci – one on the inside (“medial”) and another on the outside of the knee (“lateral”).
Patients with meniscus tears will complain of pain on either side of the knee. Sometimes there is associated swelling of the knee. Twisting or squatting can cause increased pain. Occasionally, if there is a large meniscus tear, a patient can complain that their knee locks, that is, it gets stuck in a certain position then needs to be “wiggled” to get it back into place.
The meniscus can be torn in two main ways.
– twisting injuries to the knee can cause meniscus tears. This can happen during sports or even while doing things around the house or office. Road accidents are another common way of injuring the meniscus.
– as you age, so do your menisci. They “wear out” and can tear with minimal trauma. Often people don’t remember what caused the tear at all!
Meniscal tears are usually diagnosed from the patient's history and physical examination but a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan is very useful for confirming the diagnosis. If your knee continues to produce pain, your physician in Singapore may recommend keyhole or arthroscopic surgery. However, not all people with a meniscus tear require surgery. Some people are able to avoid surgery if they can cope with their symptoms.