If you have knee pain, it could be due to a meniscus tear. The board-certified orthopaedic surgeons at LA Orthopaedic Specialists in Downtown Los Angeles, California, diagnose and treat meniscus tears and other painful knee conditions. Call LA Orthopaedic Specialists or schedule a consultation online today if you have knee pain and need expert treatment.

request an appointment

What is a meniscus tear?

Your meniscus is two rubbery discs of cartilage that cushion your knee joint. They act as shock absorbers and help stabilize your joint. 

However, like all cartilage, your meniscus is vulnerable to injury like tears. Meniscus tears are common sports injuries. Meniscus tears are also common if you damage your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Your risk of a meniscus tear increases with age as your cartilage becomes dry and less flexible. You can also tear your meniscus with a sudden, abnormal twisting movement or from a direct blow, like a football tackle. 

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear usually causes a popping sound and sensation. You might be able to continue to walk or even finish your game after a meniscus tear. However, over the next few days, your knee swells and becomes stiff, which interferes with your mobility. 

Other signs of a meniscus tear include pain, instability, a catching sensation, and a reduced range of motion. 

How is a meniscus tear diagnosed?

LA Orthopaedic Specialists provides comprehensive exams to diagnose meniscus tears and other knee injuries. Your doctor reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms. Make sure to share any details about how you could have injured your knee. 

They test your range of motion by bending, twisting, and rotating your knee. Your doctor listens for a clicking sound, which is a tell-tale sign of a meniscus tear. 

If necessary, your doctor orders imaging tests like MRIs or X-rays to examine the inside of your knee. They might also recommend knee arthroscopy to get a good look at your meniscus. 

How is a meniscus tear treated?

Treatment for a meniscus tear depends on the severity of your condition. Minor tears on the outside of your meniscus can often heal with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which is sometimes called the RICE method. Your doctor might also recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or corticosteroid injections.

However, more severe tears might require surgery. When possible, your surgeon performs meniscus repairs during minimally invasive knee arthroscopy. They might trim away the torn tissue or stitch the pieces back together. 

You typically need physical therapy to recover from a meniscus tear. In most cases, a torn meniscus heals in around three months. 

If you have knee pain and think you have a torn meniscus, call LA Orthopaedic Specialists or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment.