Meniscus Tear Symptoms: What To
Meniscus tear symptoms are not quite as specific as the symptoms of a
torn acl, however, there are many things that you should be looking for
if you think you may have torn your meniscus. Below you will find the
most common meniscus tear symptoms.
Swelling is one of the most common symptoms of a torn meniscus. A
meniscus tear involves damage to the meniscus, or cartilage of the
knee. Since this cartilage is within the knee joint, swelling that
occurs with a meniscus tear is confined within the joint. This means
that your entire knee will swell, often quite a bit.
Your knee will feel very tight, and will look visibly larger than your
uninjured knee. When put side by side, you will be able to tell if it
Many people describe it looking like a
grapefruit - large
and puffy. Your knee cap may dissappear. This type of swelling is
called an effusion, because it is contained within the joint.
tear will usually swell very slowly, usually over the first 24-48 hours. This
is important to know when you talk to your physician, because it helps
to differentiate your injury from other types of knee injuries during
Although swelling is common with
meniscus tears, it varies
quite a bit among different injuries. I have seen several patients
with meniscus tears who experienced no swelling, or very little
swelling. More information about meniscus tear swelling
Another meniscus tear symptom is pain. Pain is usually rated as mild to
moderate, 2-7 on a 10 point scale. It is usually sharp at
first, and then may become throbbing or achey as your knee begins
Trying to straighten or bend your knee often increases pain, and this
especially true after your knee swells up. Although pain is
common, you can have a meniscus tear without experiencing pain. But
chances are if you don't have pain you probably won't notice your
tear very quickly.
More information about meniscus tear pain
Clicking, Catching, Popping
Following a meniscus tear, you may experience popping or clicking in
your knee when you bend and straighten it. The meniscus sits directly
between the femur and the tibia, and if there is a tear, this disrupts
the normal movement of the bones. Depending on the tear, and its
placement within the joint, it may pop or click when you bend the knee,
or you may feel like your knee catches and needs to pop. This is a very
common menicus tear symptom.
Loss of Range of
Because a meniscus tear may cause swelling, you will most likely lose
range of motion in your knee. You may have trouble
bending it, often unable to bend to 90 degrees. It may also be
difficult to completely straighten it out.
More information about meniscus tear loss of
Loss of Strength
Because of the swelling and injury to the knee, your quadriceps muscles
may be inhibited by the body in order to try to protect the injury.
This means that you will have trouble lifting your leg, or
straightening it out, both because of pain, and a feeling of weakness.
A meniscus tear may be hard to diagnose on a clinical exam.
This is true if you have few of the symptoms above. However,
if you do suffer from some of the meniscus tear symptoms above, you
should see your family physcian for evaluation. Popping, catching,
clicking, pain, swelling, loss of range of motion, and loss of strength
are the most commonly seen meniscus tear symptoms.
Didn't find what you were looking for? Search SII for more information...
Running Pain Solutions
The key to getting rid of minor aches before they become major pains is a simple, total body prevention program.
Written for Runners by a runner, you'll learn a holistic approach to improving mobility, restoring normal movement and muscle activation patterns, and restoring the body and mind connection.
This Kindle Book contains a step by step program to keep you running pain free. Included are detailed instructions and illustrations for exercises to improve mobility, balance,
neuromuscular control, strength and endurance. Only $7.49!
Get Your Copy Today!