Diseases & Conditions
Meniscus Tears Overview
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disk that acts as a "shock absorber" between the thighbone and shinbone. It helps cushion and stabilize the knee joint. Each knee has two menisci—one on the outside of the knee and one on the inside.
A meniscus tear is often caused by a single acute injury—such as a sudden twist or quick turn during sports activity. Because the menisci weaken and wear thin over time, older people are more likely to experience a degenerative meniscus tear.
In many cases, a surgical procedure called "arthroscopy" is used to repair or remove a torn meniscus.
This video provides information about the causes and symptoms of meniscus tears, surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, and what to expect during recovery.
AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.