4 Important Types Of Meniscus Tears

A torn meniscus is quite possibly the most widely recognized knee injury. Also, there is not just one way where you can get your meniscus torn. There are different types of meniscus tears.
Every one of your knees has two C-shaped bits of the ligament that behave like a pad between your shinbone and your thighbone (menisci). The shinbone is the tibia, and the thigh bone is the femur.
Any action that makes you strongly turn or pivot your knee, particularly when putting your full weight on it, can prompt a torn meniscus.
A torn meniscus causes pain, tenderness, and swelling. You likewise may feel a problem with knee movement. You will also experience difficulty extending your knee completely and feel like your knee locks while walking.

1. Anatomy of the Knee And Meniscus

There are two menisci in our knees:
  1. Lateral meniscus
  2. Medial meniscus
The major meniscal functions are:
  • to alter the pressure across the knee during weight-bearing
  • Act as a shock absorber
  • fill in as optional joint stabilizers
In the lacking lateral cruciate ligament, the menisci fill in as joint stabilizers. It gives the articular ligament sustenance and helps to carry out movement without friction.
It also works with joint locking, forestalls hyperextension and ensures the joint stays put.
The femoral condyles glide posteriorly on the tibial level related to the tibial interior turn during knee flexion. The lateral meniscus goes through double the anteroposterior interpretation of the average meniscus during knee flexion.
This interpretation keeps the femur from reaching the back edge of the tibial plateau.
The meniscus is partitioned into three zones: the red-red, the red-white-and the white-white. The zones are separated by vascularization and hence recuperating potential.
  • The red-red zone is the optimal zone of the meniscus. It is excellently vascularized and has a decent mending rate.
  • The red-white zone is the center third with less vascularization but can heel at times.
  • The white-white zone has no blood vessels at all and, accordingly, can’t mend.

2. What Is A Meniscus Injury?

Patients portray meniscal tears in an assortment of ways. Its area might differ; the tear might be situated in the front, body, or back. A back tear is the most well-known. There are also many types of meniscus tears. 
The meniscus is separated into the external, center, and inward thirds. The third, where the tear is found, will decide the capacity of the tear to recuperate since the blood supply in that space is basic to the mending cycle.
Tears in the external 1/3 have the most obvious opportunity with regard to recuperating.

Knowing where and how a meniscus was torn assists the specialist in deciding the best treatment

3. What Are The Symptoms Of a Meniscus Tear

3.1. Intense Tears

Intense tears are frequently sports-related. They are generally the aftereffect of a twisting injury in the more athletic and sporty adult populace.
Manifestations of an intense tear are generally pain, swelling, and development abnormalities. When the tear impedes typical knee movement, the knee can “catch” or “bolt” as it moves.

3.2. Degenerative Tears

Degenerative tears are more normal in the elderly populace, mostly an early sign of osteoarthritis. The patient may encounter continued swelling yet frequently can’t remember a particular physical issue.
The swelling might be the aftereffect of a physical issue brought about by a minor development. Mechanical manifestations, for example, knee bolting, frequently exist. Or, then again, the patient may essentially encounter torment.

4. Types Of Meniscus Tears

Can the Meniscus Tear in Your Knee Heal On Its Own? Knee Cartilage

There are 4 major types of meniscus tears. These include:

4.1. Radial Tear

Radial tears of the meniscus are the most well-known kind of meniscus tear. These tears are inside the avascular zone of the meniscus, where there is no blood supply, and in this way, there is little limit to these tears.

4.2. Complex Tear

A complex tear implies there is a blend of tear patterns. Ordinarily, complex tears are not treated with meniscus surgery. A portion of the torn meniscus can be taken out in some conditions, while different bits can be fixed.

4.3 Horizontal Tear

A horizontal meniscus tear is probably the least common kind of tear to fix in the knee. Maybe rather than eliminating the segment of the meniscus that is harmed, the specialist will attempt to sew together the circumferential strands of the meniscus back together.
The area is vital to the meniscus fix. The more vascular segments of the meniscus, near the external edge, have a more significant potential for mending than do regions that are all the more halfway situated in the knee.

4.4. Bucket Handle Tear

A bucket handle tear is when the meniscus tears from the between in a horizontal way. It forms a flap-like structure that represents a bucket handle and can turn anteriorly and posteriorly.
Ways you can encounter a bucket handle tear include:
  • climbing steps
  • hunching down
  • twisting of the knee while taking a stumble when strolling
Now and again, you can have a persistent bucket handle tear because of degenerative changes in your knee joint.
At the point when joint pain causes the bones of your knee joint to rub against one another, regions can get sporadic and unpleasant rather than smooth. These progressions make it anything but a can deal with tear to happen.
Other less common types of meniscus tears include longitudinal and vertical types of meniscus tears.

5. Diagnosis Of Meniscus Tears

  • The doctor will initially take a background marked by the injury to help decide whether the signs and indications may propose meniscal harm and the type of meniscus tear.
  • Next, the specialist will assess the knee for swelling and tenderness in a physical assessment. The knee will be tender when pushed on the harmed side, where the tibia and femur meet.
  • McMurray’s test is where the specialist applies a pressing factor and moves the knee from directly to twisted to straight again to perceive what positions cause torment.
  • The specialist may utilize imaging to survey the measure of harm and types of meniscus tears. X-rays can show any breaks or ligament conditions in the knee. A narrow joint space or bone changes show bone-on-bone scouring and joint inflammation.
  • If the analysis is not satisfactory, an MRI 1(Magnetic Resonance Image) might be requested to uncover harm to ligaments and menisci. This test is 70 – 95% exact in uncovering the different meniscus tear types and can likewise show any tendon harm.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?

There are various meniscus tears, and some tears cannot heal on their own.

If your meniscus tear is on the outer third of the meniscus, it might mend naturally. This is due to the fact that blood cells can regenerate meniscus tissue in this region and can also aid in the healing process following surgical repair.

However, if the tear is in the inner two-thirds—where there is no blood flow—it cannot be repaired and may need to be surgically trimmed or removed.

2. Can you live a normal life with a torn meniscus?

Meniscus tears are manageable, and they might get better on their own. But you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if there’s a problem.

3. Is a meniscus tear a permanent injury?

A meniscus injury that, if not treated, can persist for years, resulting in pain and restricted movement. Untreated meniscus tears put the knee at greater risk for further harm and long-term impairment as well.

The Bottom Line – Types Of Meniscus Tears

Although there are various types of meniscus tears, it is important to understand all of them. This will help in charting out the appropriate treatment protocol for a speedy recovery.
Make sure to visit your doctor or a physical therapist for your treatment, as these injuries can turn serious and hamper your gait cycle.
  1. Wald, Lawrence L., et al. “Low‐cost and portable MRI.” Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 52.3 (2020): 686-696. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi


Ayushi Mahajan

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