Lateral meniscus tear symptoms, diagnosis and treatment new health advisor labral tear hip surgery recovery

The knee joint is surrounded by connective tissue known as the lateral meniscus and the medial meniscus. Located between the tibia bone and the femur, these hemispherical-shaped cartilages function to prevent knee joint damage and normal or rapid wear, protect the area from injury, and deter the negative effects of shock. The injury of the medial meniscus is more common than the other. What Are the Menisci?

Besides protecting the knee joint, the two menisci create a cup shape for the femur to rest. They fill the gap in between the femur and the tibia bone. Their inner surfaces are somewhat thin, but their outer edges are thick. If the crescent moon shaped cartilage was not there, the two bones would not interact well at all as the end of one is curved and the other flat.

• Located on the outside section of the knee, the lateral meniscus is the more round of the two menisci.


It is more moveable than the other one as it is not attached to a knee joint capsule or ligament. Although rare, lateral meniscus tear can occur.

• The medial meniscus is longer, but still is crescent shaped. It is bigger in size due to its proximity to the tibia. Because it is located on the inside section of the knee and is attached to the joint capsule and a ligament, it is more susceptible to injury.

The tear can happen with time as the meniscus becomes less resilient. It can also happen when your foot is fixed firmly on the ground and your knee is twisted unexpectedly by a sudden motion. Diagnosis of Lateral Meniscus Tear Patient History and Examination

• When you think you have injured your menisci, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. You will be asked questions like how you hurt your knee, if you’ve suffered other knee injuries, and symptoms you have experienced since your knee was injured.

• Since the medial meniscus is injured more often, a special test is available. This test is known as the McMurray’s test: This test is performed by holding the knee in one hand by the joint line and flexing it to full capacity, while the other hand holds the sole of your foot. Your doctor will then put stress on the knee by pushing it laterally from the medial side. While still holding the knee, the other hand will rotate your leg in an internal motion while the knee is still extended. If you feel a click or experience pain, the test is positive for a lateral meniscus tear.

• MRI: When you tear your meniscus, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will show the injury as white lines on black. While this test will show a tear up to 90% of the time, it does not always. If a meniscus tear shows up on a MRI, it is considered a Grade 3. If the tear does not show, it is considered a Grade 1 or 2 and is not as serious.

• Arthroscopic repair: An arthroscope is basically an endoscope that reaches the knee joint when inserted through a small incision. This allows the surgeon to see the tear and its severity. Dart-like repair pieces are inserted and then put across the tear. They “pull” the injury together so that it can heal back into one piece. Overtime, the dart pieces are absorbed into your system. The surgery is an in and out procedure taking less than 40 minutes to complete.

If you are required to have surgery, your knee may be put in a brace or cast to keep it immobile. This will allow the meniscus time to heal. You will also have to use crutches to move about in order to keep the weight off the injury for approximately a month.

After enough time has passed for sufficient healing, you will be prescribed rehabilitation or physical therapy exercises. These exercises are designed to build up strength in your knee and help you regain mobility. Depending on which type of surgery you received, your rehabilitation time can range from a couple of weeks to a few months.