A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. It can result from any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, such as aggressive pivoting or sudden stops and turns. Even kneeling, deep squatting or lifting something heavy can sometimes lead to a torn meniscus. In older adults, degenerative changes of the knee can contribute to a torn meniscus with little or no trauma.
Each of your knees has two menisci — C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully.
Conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and medication — is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair. When surgical treatment of a meniscus tear is required, the usual treatment is to trim the torn portion of the meniscus, a procedure called a meniscectomy. Meniscus repair and meniscal transplantation are also surgical treatment options. You should see a doctor to get a tailored treatment.