Youth Athlete Injury Prevention Program
Topic: Meniscus Tears A meniscus tear is a very common knee injury involves the meniscus cartilage between the femur and tibia to be torn either partially or fully. There are two menisci in each knee. First of all, the meniscus is a piece of cartilage in your knee which provides a cushion between your femur and tibia, protecting the bones from wear and tear. There are many different types of tears that can occur, such as longitudinal tears, radial tears, oblique flap tears, horizontal tears, and root tears. More complex tears could be a combination of two or more tears listed previously. Unfortunately, this injury is very common in athletes, especially those involved in sports that require sudden stops and turns, such as football, basketball, soccer, and tennis. Meniscus tears occur when athletes land on their feet too aggressively, causing an over-rotation of the knee; when the knee joint moves to the side due to impact at the side or front; or when the knee joint flexes too far due to quick force. Symptoms include pain in the knee, swelling, immobility of the knee, a tendency for the knee to lock up, and the feeling that the knee is giving way or is unable to support you. Treatments include both surgical and non-surgical procedures depending on the size, location, and type of tear. Physical therapy programs focus on regaining full range of motion, strength, and control of the knee and muscles surrounding it.