Medicine (MD/DO)
Musculoskeletal (Orthopedics)
Lower Extremity Disorders
Meniscus Tear

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Meniscus Tear

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Meniscus Tear

Man-discus Tearing
The menisci are fibrocartilage semicircular bands that serve to stabilize the knee and absorb forces between the distal femoral condyles and the proximal tibial plateau of the knee. Injury can be sustained from trauma or in a degenerative manner. Syptoms include locking and clicking, as well as a positive McMurray test. Meniscus tears are typically managed conservatively, or in serious cases, surgery.
Fibrocartilage Semicircular Band
Fibrous-cartilage Semicircle

This structure possesses a high degree tensile strength and is present in joints that must bear with high forces, rotation and translation.


Meniscal injury often occurs due to trauma in sports-related injury.

Unhappy Triad
Unhappy Triangle-triad

Medial meniscal tear is part of the unhappy triad which also includes damage to the MCL and ACL. The lateral meniscus is often injured in ACL tear.


The destruction of the meniscus is a degenerative process, where repeated force (high impact sports) and external rotation can lead to "wear and tear" of the meniscus. Without menisci, the joint is at an increased probability of developing degenerative joint disease.

Clicking and Locking
Clicking-camera and Locking-lock

Patients with this injury often complain of clicking and locking of the joint.

McMurray Test

In the McMurray test the knee is placed in flexion while the patient is supine. To test the medial meniscus the examiner places a hand on posteromedial margin of the joint and with the other hand externally rotates the knee while extending it. To test the lateral meniscus the examiner places a hand on the posterolateral margin of the joint and with the other hand internally rotates the knee while extending it. The examiner listens and/or feels for a click, which indicates meniscal tear.

Pain on External Rotation
Pain-bolts on External Rotation

The patient often complains of pain on external rotation.

Conservative Management
Conservative Manager conservative with treatments

This involves use of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation), and painkillers such as NSAIDS, acetaminophen or oxycodone.


Meniscal repair, debridement or replacement is done in more serious cases.


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