What is the meniscus of the knee joint? What are the damage and how to diagnose them

Sooner or later, each person will wonder what the meniscus of the knee joint is. In fact, joint injuries are not so rare, and are found not only in the elderly, but also in the young, so it is very important to make out how to prevent them and, if necessary, treat them. In this article, we will look at what is the meniscus of the knee joint, as well as what types of injuries and methods of their diagnosis are.

What is a meniscus?

So, the meniscus is a cartilaginous layer that is located inside the knee joint itself and has the shape of a crescent. In the human body, this part of the cartilage tissue is very important, as it performs a cushioning function during walking. It is very important to understand what is the meniscus of the knee joint in order to protect yourself from knee injuries.Most often, meniscus diseases occur as a result of injuries, excessive motor activity, degeneration, as well as ruptures. According to statistics, meniscus diseases often suffer from representatives of the stronger sex at the age of eighteen to forty years.

what is the meniscus of the knee

In fact, in the knee joints contains two meniscus: internal and external. Their main goal is depreciation during walking and other movements. Such layers consisting of cartilage tissue prevent friction in the joints themselves, while at the same time reducing the load on them during running, walking, jumping and other sports exercises. The internal meniscus is not very mobile, and therefore it is injured much more often than the external one. Damage to the meniscus of the knee joint (treatment is described below) is the most common knee injury. Very often athletes involved in sports face this problem.

The main causes of damage

What is the meniscus of the knee, we have already considered. Now it is necessary to figure out for what reasons pathologies may arise. Very often, the meniscus is damaged as a result of a strong blow to the region of the knee itself, or upon receiving an injury, during which the knee sharply turned outward, or, conversely, inward.This can also occur as a result of excessive extension of the knee joint from a bent position. Very often, the first trauma of the meniscus leads to a chronic condition, so after the incident you need to treat your joints with extreme caution.

knee surgery for meniscus damage

People with chronic diseases of the knee are in a special risk zone. For example, athletes who receive permanent injuries in the knee area will have a great disposition to meniscus injury. With each damage, the cartilage will become thinner and thinner. It will begin to exfoliate, erosion and cracks will appear on it, which will increase in size with each passing day. The meniscus itself begins to collapse, so depreciation during walking and movements will become impossible.

Very often, the meniscus is damaged in people with excess weight, as well as those who are engaged in heavy physical labor or working in a standing position.

People involved in football, jogging, figure skating, hockey and other mobile sports have a huge risk of injury to the meniscus. Damage to the meniscus can be due to a person already suffering diseases such as gout and arthritis.If you do not start treatment in time, it can lead to the fact that the knee joint simply loses its function.

How to understand that the knee meniscus is damaged?

Most often only one knee is damaged. Damage to both joints is observed very rarely. The meniscus of the knee joint (symptoms and treatment are described in this article) at the time of injury is either broken or pinched between the cartilage of the knee itself. At the moment of the injury itself, the person will notice a strong click in the knee, followed by severe pain. The pain is so sharp and strong that the injured person usually cannot move and just stops. Such a strong pain lasts for several minutes, after which the human body becomes accustomed to such severe painful sensations. A person can already move a little, but still experiencing discomfort and burning pain.

knee meniscus symptoms and treatment

The meniscus of the knee joint is always very painful. Symptoms on the second day after the injury only worsen. It is almost impossible to make any movements with the foot, and the pains make themselves felt even at the slightest attempt to move.However, if you are at rest, the pain will not be so strong. According to the doctors, the younger the patient, the harder it will be for him to bear the injury. Older people have not so elastic joints, so their damage is usually not accompanied by so much pain.

Usually, on the second or third day after injury, the knee swells severely. In fact, this body reaction is protective. Articular fluid begins to be produced in an excessively large amount, intra-articular pressure increases, so the articular surfaces will try to release the strangulated meniscus. Unfortunately, most often the human body cannot cope with such a problem on its own. But still in some cases with minor damage it is possible.

Usually the disease is acute for about two to three weeks. After that, the patient usually notices improvement. Pain decreases, and swelling decreases. Rupture of the meniscus of the knee joint, the treatment of which must be started immediately, is a very dangerous disease, and in some cases leads to complete loss of joint mobility.Therefore, it is very important to consult a doctor for diagnosis and prescription of the correct course of treatment.

What are the types of damage meniscus?

The meniscus of the knee joint (the symptoms and treatment are described in detail in this article) is not so difficult to hurt. This can be done not only by athletes, but also ordinary people in the domestic environment. The most common types of damage to the cartilage of the knee area are:

  • complete separation of the meniscus from the point of attachment;
  • rupture intermeniskovogo ligaments, leading to excessive mobility of the joint;
  • trauma to the knee, which is chronic;
  • the presence of cysts;
  • combination of several types of damage.

knee meniscus rupture treatment

Each damage mentioned above is very dangerous, therefore it requires immediate treatment. It is better to consult a doctor on the same day.

What is the danger?

The rupture of the meniscus of the knee joint, the treatment of which must be prescribed in a timely manner, is very dangerous for human health. A rupture may result in the occurrence of a blockade in the joint, therefore, it will be impossible to make any movements with the foot. In addition, the joint itself is also damaged, which without the presence of reliable depreciation simply deforms over time.

And damage to such an important cartilage layer as a meniscus can lead to problems in the future. People who often damage their knees are prone to developing arthrosis.

Diagnostic methods

The meniscus of the knee joint (the symptoms are described in this article) is very important to start treating correctly and on time. To do this, you need to pass a diagnosis in a timely manner. An accurate diagnosis can only be made if you understand the reasons for the injury. The specialist will offer the patient to undergo a comprehensive diagnosis, which will help to establish the diagnosis accurately. First of all, he will be made simple and contrast arthrography, as well as ultrasound scanning. If necessary, the doctor will also do arthroscopy, MRI and thermopolarography.

Arthroscopy is a very effective method for examining damaged joints. Also very effective procedure is arthrography. During its holding, oxygen is introduced into the joint itself, which allows to get good pictures in several projections. Thanks to these images, an experienced specialist will be able to determine the presence of an injury and choose the right treatment methods.

Knee meniscus: treatment by conservative methods

Treatment of meniscus injuries can be carried out by several methods, depending on the type and degree of injury. Conservative or surgical treatment is commonly used.

knee meniscus surgery

The first method of treatment is used to reduce the load on the joint, relieve pain, as well as eliminate inflammation in the body. During this treatment, doctors strongly recommend conducting special exercises and strengthen the muscles of the legs.

If this method of treatment did not give the desired results, then you need to resort to surgical intervention.

Knee meniscus surgery

Only a doctor can say for sure whether it is possible to do with conservative methods of treatment in case of damage to the meniscus, or whether it is worth having an operation. Most often, patients hope that after treatment with ointments and tablets, surgery may not be necessary at all. However, in real life is far from true. According to experts, the operation on the knee joint in case of damage to the meniscus will be as effective as possible if it is done immediately after the injury.So the joint will recover much faster, and there will be a much lower chance of developing complications.

Usually surgery is indicated for patients in cases where the meniscus tears become large or the cartilage tissue is crushed or torn off.

Today, surgery can be performed in two ways: open and closed. During the first one, specialists will open the joint cavity. But the second method is safer and more benign. In modern medicine, it is called arthroscopy. This technique has the following advantages:

knee meniscus symptoms

  • a specialist will be able to diagnose the type of damage as accurately as possible;
  • however, this method causes few injuries to surrounding tissues;
  • during the operation there is no need to make large cuts of the articular bag;
  • after surgery, the leg can not be fixed in one position, which is very comfortable for the patient. In addition, the length of stay in the hospital is significantly reduced.

How to restore meniscus?

It is possible to restore the meniscus in the presence of fresh injuries of the knee joint. In this case, special sutures will be applied to the damaged area using the arthroscopic method. Typically, this procedure is performed for people under the age of forty years in the presence of such indications as a slight separation of the meniscus or its vertical gap. This procedure can be performed only if there are no degenerative processes in the cartilage tissue.

Very often, an operation on the meniscus of the knee joint is carried out with the help of various devices that dissolve over time. They allow you to fix the meniscus in the desired position.

Removal and transplantation

The operation on the knee joint in case of damage to the meniscus may also imply the complete or partial replacement of cartilage tissue. This surgery is carried out in the event that the cartilage tissue is crushed, or there are complications after undergoing surgical or conservative treatment. Modern medicine is engaged in the partial removal of the meniscus, with the simultaneous alignment of damaged tissue.But the complete removal is carried out very rarely and is done only in extreme cases, since there is a high risk of postoperative complications.

Damage to the meniscus of the knee is very important to treat properly. If the injury was serious enough, then the specialists use the transplantation method. Both synthetic and donor tissues are used for this purpose. The graft will be inserted into a small incision. It is very important to accurately determine its size so that there will be no complications after the operation.

Rehabilitation period after surgery

Damage to the meniscus of the knee is always a difficult pathology that is not so easy to handle. If the patient was treated with an operative method, then it is very important to pass the rehabilitation period correctly. Usually it is divided into several stages, each of which must necessarily be passed. Immediately after surgery, outpatient treatment is carried out, which consists in the use of antibacterial and anti-thrombus preparations. Also, experts recommend a special lymphatic drainage massage. If necessary, can be used painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.A very important rehabilitation stage is the performance of special gymnastic exercises. In this case, at the initial stage, all of them should be carried out under the strict supervision of a specialist.

damage to the meniscus of the knee

The next stage of rehabilitation is a late recovery. If the previous recovery stage lasted about two months, then this stage may take much longer. The tasks of late recovery should include the establishment of the joint, restoring its position and bringing the muscle tissue of the lower extremities in tone.

Also good results can be achieved using physiotherapy methods. They allow you to speed up the recovery processes in the cartilage tissue, as well as normalize blood circulation and regenerate the soft tissues surrounding the damaged joint. The most effective physiotherapeutic procedures are massage, electrophoresis, as well as therapy with a laser and magnets. Of course, all procedures should be carried out by an experienced clinic worker, but massage can also be done at home. The main thing is to do it correctly, not pressing hard on the damaged joint.

The meniscus of the knee joint, the treatment of which is described in the article, is a very important cartilage tissue in the human body that performs a cushioning function. Therefore, in the presence of any damage to the meniscus is very important in time to consult a doctor. The medial meniscus of the knee requires urgent treatment, and surgical intervention is not excluded, therefore it is better not to delay and go to the clinic in time. If the doctor reports the need for surgery, you should not refuse, because very often conservative treatment does not give the desired results.

M26.3 is the ICD code for damage to the meniscus of the knee joint. According to this code, you can learn everything about the treatment of meniscus pathologies, taking into account the world peculiarities of treatment.


I want to say that the measure is good in everything. Most often, knee injuries are received by athletes, so try to treat your health more responsibly. The ICD-10 code “Damage to the meniscus of the knee joint” allows patients to become familiar with the peculiarities of the disease. Experts strongly recommend to use vitamins and trace elements to keep joints in good shape. Be healthy and take care of yourself!

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