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.
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.
Patients with this injury often complain of clicking and locking of the joint.
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.
The patient often complains of pain on external rotation.
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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