A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.
Each of your knees has two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. The medial meniscus sits on the inside of the knee and the lateral meniscus sits on the outside of the knee.
A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully.
The torn meniscus treatment will depend on its size, type, and where it is located in the cartilage. Initial treatment normally consists of rest, NSAIDs, and physical therapy. If these conservative treatments fail, patients are faced with surgery depending on the location of the tear. If you are young enough and the tear is on the outer third of the meniscus, which has good blood flow, arthroscopic surgery can potentially stitch it back together to heal. If you are too old or the tear is on the inner two thirds of the meniscus, which has little to no blood flow, it is likely the meniscus will have to be removed. A third option, regardless of age or the tear location, is a single treatment of Orthowave® High-energy Shockwave Therapy, the FDA approved non-invasive alternative to surgery for numerous orthopedic injuries.