Meniscus Tear Process

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Knee Injury - Meniscal Cartilage Tear

The menisci are cartilage tissues which act like shock absorbers in the knee joint. A meniscus can be torn, commonly after a forceful twisting injury to the knee. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and locking of the knee. Some heal by themselves, but an operation to fix, trim or remove the torn meniscus may be advised.
Meniscal cartilage injury
The knee is commonly injured in sports, especially rugby, football and skiing. You may tear a meniscus by a forceful knee movement whilst you are weight bearing on the same leg. The classical injury is for a footballer to rotate (twist) the knee whilst the foot is still on the ground - for example, whilst dribbling round a defender. Another example is a tennis player who twists to hit a ball hard, but with the foot remaining in the same position. The meniscus may tear fully or partially. How serious the injury is depends on how much is torn and the exact site of the tear.

Meniscal tears may also occur without a sudden severe injury. In some cases a tear develops due to repeated small injuries to the cartilage or to degeneration (wear and tear) of the meniscal cartilage in older people. In severe injuries, other parts of the knee may also be damaged in addition to a meniscal tear. For example, you may also sprain or tear a ligament.

Meniscal cartilage does not heal very well once it is torn. This is mainly because it does not have a good blood supply. The outer edge of each meniscus has some blood vessels, but the area in the center has no direct blood supply. This means that although some small outer tears may heal in time, larger tears, or a tear in the middle, tend not to heal.
What are the symptoms of a meniscal tear?
The symptoms of a meniscal injury depend on the type and position of the meniscal tear. Many people have meniscal tears without any knee symptoms, especially if they are…...

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