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Meniscus Tears

“A common source of pain, especially due to sports, that often can be simply treated without surgery”

The meniscus in the knee is a piece of cartilage that sits between the bony surfaces of the joint. It is a rubbery tissue that acts as a shock absorber during activities such as walking, running and jumping. A meniscal tear occurs when the knee is forcefully twisted such as occurs during sports. With aging, degenerative meniscal tears can occur with simple activities such as arising from a chair.

Why your meniscus tear hurts.

The meniscus has nerves woven though it and if there is a tear, the pain can be severe. Joint swelling can also occur due to a torn blood vessel that can cause a great deal of pain on its own. If the meniscus is flipping back and forth while you are moving around that may also cause severe pain.


Symptoms can vary widely based on the severity of the tear and can include:
• Knee joint pain
• Knee joint swelling or effusion
• Giving way of the knee
• Difficulty with straightening and bending your knee
• The knee locks in one position
• An audible popping or snap is heard at the time of injury

If you are experiencing pain or weakness in the knee you could be suffering from a meniscal tear of the knee. Our expert doctors at Spine & Sports Medicine of New York use expertise in innovative assessments to accurately diagnose the cause of your knee pain.

Other diseases that can mimic a knee meniscal tear include:

• Knee osteoarthritis
• Anterior cruciate ligament tear (ACL tear) of the knee
• Fracture

Our Board-Certified Physicians Can Accurately Diagnose the Source of Your Pain

We conduct a thorough clinical evaluation to determine if the pain is generated from the knee meniscus as well as other conditions that share similar symptoms. We begin our evaluation of your problem with a complete medical history using detailed information gathering tools followed by a focused physical examination. We then confirm our diagnosis with specialized tests which may include x-ray, ultrasonography or MRI.

“Often, no surgery is needed to relieve your knee pain”


The treatment of your knee meniscal injury depends on the type of injury you have. Injuries located on the outside one-third of the meniscus with its excellent blood supply have a good chance of healing on their own. The inner two-thirds of the meniscus lack a blood supply so it cannot heal. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and crutches may be helpful when the injury first happens. As the initial symptoms settle down, a more definitive treatment plan will be decided on based on your age, activity level, and any related injuries. Treatments may include a course of physical therapy, a targeted cortisone injection to decrease the initial swelling and pain or a platelet-rich plasma injection to allowing healing to take place.

Here’s what you can expect if one of our pain specialists treats your pain:

• Relief of pain to get you back to living.
• Several treatment options available to target the root of the problem
• May be accompanied by physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint
• Innovative procedures to allow the menisci to heal
• No general anesthesia, surgery or prolonged recovery periods to slow you down from your busy schedule
• Thousands of patients have been helped by our innovative approach to knee injuries

This coronal knee MRI demonstrates a tear of the meniscus

This coronal knee MRI demonstrates a tear of the meniscus.

This diagram of the knee demonstrates the medial and lateral menisci.
This diagram of the knee demonstrates the medial and lateral menisci.


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Andre is very knowledgeable and did a thorough investigation of the issue. He is a great communicator and described the diagnoses and next steps clearly.

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