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Why Does a Meniscus Tear Occur?

Although a meniscus tear is known as an athlete’s disease, it is among the most common knee injuries today. Of course, athletes are more at risk for meniscus injuries than other people. Meniscus tears cause pain and negatively affect our daily life.

Anatomy of the Meniscus

The menisci are located between the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) in the knee joint. Anatomically, the articular surfaces of the femur and tibia facing each other are incompatible. The menisci, on the other hand, act as a hard cushion in the cartilage structure that eliminates the incompatibility of the joint surfaces. It is divided into medial and lateral meniscus. The lateral meniscus is less injured because it is more mobile than the medial meniscus.

Menisci provide stabilization of the knee. It protects the bones from wear and tear. When the knee is in extension, it absorbs 50-70% of the load on the knee. When the knee is flexed, it absorbs 85-90% of the load.

Why Does A Meniscus Tear Occur?

Generally, bending the knee increases the load on the menisci. Therefore, rotational strain of the meniscus during bending of the knee causes injury. This injury is accompanied by a trauma. Anterior cruciate ligament injury may also occur with this trauma. It is common in young individuals.

It is common in sports that involve the pivoting movement, such as football and basketball. Those who repeat excessive squats are at risk.

Another cause of injury occurs due to inactivity. It is more common between the ages of 45-60. It occurs due to osteoarthritis (calcification).

Other causes: Overweight, Extreme weight loss, sitting for more than 2 hours a day, sedentary life etc.


What Kind of Treatment is Followed?

In the treatment of meniscal tears, the size and location of the tear are important. The peripheral one-third of the meniscus is supplied with blood. Therefore, the healing potential of the injury in the bloody area is high. Other factors that influence treatment include the individual’s age, occupation, level of daily activity, and other injuries to the area.  

Your doctor may apply to conservative treatment or surgical methods after examining you in detail. Not every case of meniscus tear requires surgery. On the other hand, if there is no improvement with conservative treatment, surgery may be preferred.

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