Meniscal Tear

Knee injuries are extremely common in the population and out of the knee pathologies meniscus tears seem to be the most common. Meniscecetomy was the standard procedure employed in the 90s and early 2000s but unfortunately a high number of people reported joint instability after the procedure and started exhibiting signs of early degeneration in the knee. High rates of reoperation and persisting pain after surgery were some of the factors that called for the need of other non-operative means of treatment. Comprehensive Platelet Rich Plasma with prolotherapy has become extremely popular in the management of these injuries and we honestly feel all meniscal injuries without surgical indications should be subjected to PRP with prolotherapy as the first line option.

Meniscus Anatomy & Function

The menisci are C- shaped fibrocartilagenous structures, with the medial meniscus being slightly more circular than its hemispherical lateral counterpart. Each meniscus has a flat underside to match the smooth top of the tibial surface, and a concave superior shape to provide congruency with the convex femoral condyle. The attachments of the anterior and posterior horns onto the tibia keep the menisci in place. The menisci are believed to carry out functions like nourishment and lubrication of the articular cartilage, shock absorption and adding stability to the knee joint.

Menisci as a Team Player in Providing Stability to the Knee Joint

The menisci play a role along with the other ligamentous structures in bringing stability to the knee joint. On the medial aspect, the medial collateral ligament gives a strong connection to the medial meniscus along with the medial tibial and femoral condyles. Laterally, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) attaches to the lateral femoral epicondyle and the head of the fibula. The collateral provides tension and limit motion during extremes of movement. (full flexion and extension) Several ligaments work together with the menisci to prevent overextension of any motion. The anterior and posterior meniscofemoral ligaments form an attachment between the lateral meniscus and the femur and remain taut during complete flexion. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are key to prevent excessive backward or forward motion of the tibia.

Shock Absorption

Lubrication & Nutrition

The articular cartilage on the femoral and tibial side is avascular and is dependent on the meniscus to provide lubrication to the knee joint. This is accomplished by the menisci by di using synovial fluid across the joint.


Twisting injury of the knee and injury su ered while getting up from a squatting position are some of the common traumatic insults. The menisci also undergo age related wear and tear. Meniscal damage can be caused by either trauma or gradual degeneration. Traumatic injury is most often a result of a twisting motion in the knee or the motion of rising from a squatting position, both of which place particular strain and pressure on the meniscus. Tears are the most common form of meniscal injury and are generally classified by appearance into four categories:

Precarious Blood Supply

The self-preserving capacity of the meniscus is somewhat hampered owing to the fact that a very small portion of the meniscus(10-25%) receives direct blood supply. This area is often referred to as the red zone, and the inner portion of the meniscus which does not receive blood supply is referred to as the white zone. Healing in the white zone is next to impossible owing to its avascularity whereas the red zone has a better chance of healing itself.
Whereas younger people usually suffer from traumatic tears, incidence of degenerative tears increases drastically with age. Moreover these degenerate tears are considerably less likely to heal because of the decreased diffusion of synovial fluid.

Symptoms of Meniscal Tears


Discoid Meniscus Condition

Discoid meniscus is another cause of meniscal tears. A discoid meniscus has an aberrant morphology when compared with the normal meniscus (figure) leading to incongruity. Presenting commonly in the adolescent age group, the lateral meniscus takes up the shape of a disc rather than the usual crescent shaped morphology. Discoid meniscus usually presents with snapping of the knee in extension as the femur slips over a ridge in the meniscus. They tend to go undetected till an individual suffers from an injury and is investigated into. (MRI Imaging)


MRI is considered as the gold standard, when it comes to imaging of the meniscus. Still it is not a great idea to depend on MRI alone due to the high number of false positive and false negative patients. One study that brought these issues into the spotlight was performed on college basketball players at Duke University who displayed no clinical symptoms of knee abnormality. Internal irregularities of the knee including cartilage defects, joint effusions, bone marrow edema, and even discoid menisci were found on the MRIs of 75% of subjects, who never displayed any symptoms of meniscal abnormalities. Because of the extensive attachment of the meniscus to other structures, an increased signal uptake can very well mimic a meniscal tear.

Limitations of Surgical Repair

The traditional surgical techniques of meniscectomy have come under a lot of scrutiny in the past couple of decades. A considerable number of studies show that although there is some short-term improvement in aspects such as pain control, the long term effects of meniscectomy, meniscal repair, and meniscal allograft transplantation reveal that symptoms, such as pain and instability, will persist for years afterward. The main reason that these and other treatments are ineffective in healing the meniscus can simply be attributed to the fact that, regardless of what is done to structurally repair the meniscus, it is still primarily an avascular cartilaginous structure which cannot heal without a sufficient supply of nutrition.
The takeaway is that surgery does not initiate the regenerative process and sometimes procedures such as meniscectomy can even trigger the degenerative cascade of arthritis. Hence it is our firm belief that regenerative treatment should be considered for most patients with meniscal pathology.

At Alleviate

We follow a combination of Comprehensive

As the platelets reach the injured meniscus, they release important growth factors primarily from the alpha granules. They bring about the healing process by the basic stages of inflammation, fibroblastic proliferation and maturation. We intern are trying to initiate and complete the healing process which has been halted or not been initiated before. The surrounding structures such as the Collateral ligaments, cruciate ligaments, joint line, capsular attachments, quadriceps and patellar tendon insertions, vast us medals and the pet anserine are some of the structures that are addressed with comprehensive prolotherapy. We also supplement hyaluronic acid in our first session as quite often the meniscal damage is associated with early arthritis and compromised lubrication of the joint. This has to be coupled with a strong and intensive physical rehabilitation protocol. Special attention is netted out for the strengthening of Quadriceps and Hamstrings. Further a Multidisciplinary approach is the fastest way in reaching one’s goals.

Menisci as a Team Player in Providing Stability to the Knee Joint

FAQs - Meniscal Tear

What is Meniscal Tears?

Meniscus tears are common knee injuries that occur when the meniscus (the cartilage in the knee) is torn. A torn meniscus can cause pain, swelling and can create a catching sensation when walking.

What are the causes of Meniscal Tears?

Meniscus tears are usually caused by overuse of the knee joint in the menisci, bent for too long, aged and worn tissues can also be prone to tears, resulting in an injury. These tears occur when the menisci get damaged or torn.

What activities affects Meniscal Tears?

Abrupt or a sudden twist that puts pressure on the knee joint can cause meniscal tears. It mostly occurs in football or basketball where sudden pivot can result in an injury causing a tear or worn out tissues. It may also cause due to kneeling, deep squatting, or lifting heavy items.

How do I know if I have a tear in a meniscus?

The most common symptoms associated with a torn meniscus are as follows:

  • A slipping or popping sensation in the knee joint
  • Pain while twisting or rotating your knee
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Feeling your knee is locking or catching
  • Inability to move straight in full range
  • Feeling your knee giving away or unable to support
When to consult a doctor?

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or difficulty in moving your knee or other associated symptoms, you need to immediately consult with a doctor.

How is a meniscal tear is diagnosed?

A meniscal tear is diagnosed by a doctor who will ask various questions about the history of the injury. The doctor may use a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis of the meniscal tear. You may have to even discuss your other medical histories (if any).

What are the tests determines meniscal tear?

Your orthopedist will conduct X-ray tests and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to assess meniscal tears.

What are treatment options for a meniscal tear?

Treatment for a torn meniscus will start with conservative techniques that include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Medications
  • Physical Therapy
Can taking rest helps in healing torn meniscus?

Rest is a part of any treatment for a torn meniscus and the best way to help the meniscus tear heal. It is important to avoid activities that would cause pain or further damage.

How does keeping an Ice pack helps in torn meniscus?

Ice pack helps in reducing swelling and pain. Place the pack or a bag of ice cubes for about 15 minutes every 4 to 6 hours for a day or two.

What is the best modification used for meniscus?

Yes. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), may help relieve pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Can Physical therapy help in healing meniscus tears?

Physical therapy is considered as the initial treatment process for managing pain and restoring movements.

What are the other treatment options available for meniscus tears?

Depending on the clinical assessments, the physical therapy or the rehabilitation program is combined with the Image guided Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Prolotherapy.

What happens in Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for meniscus tears?

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is an effective minimally invasive method to treat chronic pain where the patient’s blood containing concentrated platelets is drawn and injected into the damaged or injured for regeneration of the tissue and to stimulate the healing process.

Is prolotherapy helpful for meniscus tears?

Prolotherapy is a non-surgical pain management treatment. Prolotherapy is an alternative treatment for chronic pain. It is also used for meniscus tears in the knee. The purpose of the injection is to stimulate the growth of new collagen tissue which will heal the meniscus tear.

Where should I consult for Meniscus Tears?

At Alleviate Pain Clinic, you will get the best quality treatment approach where more than 90% of the patients suffering from Meniscus Tears are treated with non-surgical methods. Call us today at 080 2361 4888 OR +91 9620244761.

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