Daily Tips and Advice

Cartilage / Meniscus Tear

Stuart Fossella - Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Comments (0)
Posted 7 years ago
anatomical image of the knee including ligaments and cartilage

Cartilage / Meniscus Tear

Between the thighbone and the shin bone lie two C-Shaped discs of cartilage, the Meniscus. These act as shock absorbers and help to distribute body weight at the joint.

The following link provides a 3D image of the knee joint. Note the disc lying between the thigh and the shin bone Healthline

The meniscus can be damaged through sporting activity, usually involving a twisting and or bending force at the knee, a late tackle or foot stuck in the ground. Or due to simple everyday slips and twists of the knee.

As we age, the meniscus becomes more fragile and susceptible to damage. They can as we age be torn while performing the simplest of activities, such as during DIY-when crouching and holding awkward postures.

Clinical Signs

  • People who have suffered a torn cartilage, may suspect they have damaged the knee because of a sudden movement or accident whilst playing sport. If this is the case they may experience sudden pain across the joint line where the thigh and shin bone meet.
  • Some people report a tearing sensation
  • Damaged cartilage may cause knee swelling and force people to walk in an awkward manner.
  • Straightening the knee fully may be difficult, also known as locking of the knee.
  • Bending the knee fully may also be difficult.


  • In the early stages, Physiotherapy will be used to reduce pain and restore knee mobility.
  • Techniques to do this include Rest Ice Compression Elevation, Acupuncture, soft tissue mobilisation, targeted stretches and strengthening drills.
  • As pain settles, Physiotherapy techniques will target strength, flexibility and balance losses.
  • Specific rehabilitation drills including sport specific drills will all ultimately leading to a return straight back to the activity of your choice.


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