Sports Injury Clinic

Knee Meniscus: What is it and how to heal it

on November 19, 2022

What are the knee meniscus?

The knee meniscus is a crescent-shaped piece of cartilage that is located between the knee joint. It serves as a cushion between the bones to reduce friction and absorb shock.

We have two parts to the meniscus, which is the medial meniscus (inside of the knee) and the lateral meniscus (outside of the knee

The meniscus can be injured by twisting or bending the knee too far, by falling on the outer side of the knee, or by an injury to the shin bone. The most common reason for injury is an injury to the meniscus from twisting or bending too far.

What are the signs and symptoms of a knee meniscus injury?

Knee meniscus injuries can be caused by a sudden twist or turn, or by an impact to the knee. Some common symptoms are pain in the knee, swelling, and difficulty walking. Knee meniscus injuries can be diagnosed through physical examination and imaging tests. Treatment options include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE), medication, and surgery.

The classic sign of a meniscus injury is pain in the knee. When a person has a meniscus injury it causes swelling around the injured area which leads to difficulty walking. The most common symptom is pain in the knee that worsens with activity such as running or squatting. Patients may describe a clicking or catching sensation in the knee.

Treatment of a Knee Meniscus Injury

If you have a knee meniscus injury there certainly isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Whilst some injuries to the meniscus may require surgery this is not always the case. It is important to make sure that any of the muscle structures that both directly and indirectly affect the knee are improved for tissue quality, flexibility and strength.

Whether surgery is required or not it is important to follow a personalised treatment and rehabilitation program to progressively allow for the increased load to the knee to facilitate a smooth return to sport and exercise. Care should be taken to understand what sport or exercise is looking to be returned to and design an appropriate program from there.

Whilst it can be a very frustrating injury, compared to some other knee pathologies, rehabilitation from this injury can be less extensive.

We work extensively with knee meniscus injuries at both our Orpington and Bromley clinics