meniscus tear

A torn meniscus is a common knee injury.

Among the internal injuries of the knee joint, meniscal injuries occupy the first place. According to the CITO Sports and Ballet Injury Clinic, where mainly athletes who have this injury most often receive treatment, meniscal injuries account for 60.4% of 3019 people, of which 75% are patients with injuries of the internal meniscus, 21% with injuries and diseases of the external meniscus and 4% – with damage to both menisci. Thus, most often menisci are damaged in athletes and manual workers aged 18 to 40 years. In children under the age of 14, a meniscus tear, due to anatomical and physiological features, begins relatively infrequently. Damage to the meniscus in men is more common than in women – in a ratio of 3: 2, the right and left are equally affected.

The reasons

Causes – trauma: a jump or a fall from a height on straightened legs, a quick turn of the torso with a fixed foot, a sharp rotation of the foot and lower leg outward or inward in the position of flexion at the knee joint, a quick rise after a long squat.


There are three types of meniscal injuries, each with a specific set of symptoms.

A small tear in the meniscus is accompanied by non-cordial pain and swelling. Symptoms usually disappear within 2-3 weeks.

A moderate tear can cause pain in the central area of ​​the knee. Swelling increases within 2-3 days. This can lead to stiffness in the knee and limited ability to bend the knee, but the ability to walk is preserved. You may feel a sharp pain while twisting your knee or squatting. These symptoms disappear within 1-2 weeks, but may reappear due to excessive stress on the knee. If the problem is left untreated, pain can recur intermittently over many years.

With severe ruptures, fragments of the meniscus can get into the joint space. The knee with all this can make jerky sounds or become stiff. You will probably find it difficult to straighten your leg. The knee becomes wobbly or suddenly arches. Soon after the injury, or within 2-3 days, the knee swells and stiffness increases.


  • X-ray of the knee joint with contrast reveals foreign bodies in the joint cavity, changes in articulating bones
  • Tomography
  • Arthroscopy of the knee.


Acute stage of meniscus rupture (up to 4-6 weeks from the moment of injury) – plaster cast up to 3 weeks, therapeutic and diagnostic puncture of the knee joint, physiotherapy (UHF, magnetotherapy, Bernard currents, after removing the plaster cast – phonophoresis with hydrocortisone, physiotherapy)

Chronic stage – surgical treatment. In the postoperative period – a plaster cast for 7-10 days, UHF, magnetotherapy, physiotherapy exercises. Ability to work is restored after 6-8 weeks. According to indications, arthroscopic operations are performed. 

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