In between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) are two C shaped pieces of a tough type of cartilage (fibrocartilage) called the medial and lateral meniscus.
These act as shock absorbers in the knee. The one on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) is more commonly injured than the one on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus).
A meniscal injury may occur as a result of trauma (often a twisting type injury) or due to degenerative changes (wear and tear.) Often when people say that they have “torn cartilage” in their knee, they mean that they have a meniscal injury or tear of the meniscus in the knee. Sports involving twisting type movements such as soccer or gaelic football are common causes of meniscal injury at the knee.
Symptoms often include, pain, swelling and sometimes locking or giving way.
Assessment at IONA Physiotherapy will include specific tests to your knee to assess the likelihood of an meniscal injury. Small tears usually respond well with physiotherapy, however a larger tear may require an arthroscopy (key hole surgery.) You will need to be seen by a chartered physiotherapist after your surgery to ensure that your range of movement, muscle strength and function returns to normal.