Torn Meniscus

Treatment for Meniscus Tear of the Knee

Any forceful twisting, a hard landing or repetitive actions on your knee can cause a tear in your meniscus – the rubbery pad that acts as a shock absorber in your knee joint.

The symptoms of a torn meniscus are swelling, pain, losing full range of movement and a feeling of instability. Many knee injuries have similar symptoms, so if you experience any knee pain – especially after an injury – it’s important that you seek specialist medical advice as soon as possible.

The Capital Orthopaedics team, led by renowned surgeon Simon Moyes, are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating all knee conditions, including torn meniscus. Our aim is to get you back on your feet and back to your sport in the quickest time possible, with the strength to prevent re-injury.

Our consultant surgeons, in-house radiologists, physiotherapists and sports medicine professionals offer fast and effective diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for knee pain at three central London locations: The Cromwell Hospital, the Basinghall Clinic in the City and 45 Queen Anne Street.

What is a Torn Meniscus?

Your knee is a hinge joint that forms the connection between your thigh bone (femur) and your lower leg bones (tibia and fibula). In the middle of the joint are two half-moon shaped rubbery pads called the menisci, which provide shock absorption and help with smooth movement.

The meniscus get torn when your knee is wrenched or jarred – either in a forceful impact or through repetitive actions.

Once torn, the frayed edges of the meniscus can catch as you move your knee, and affect movement and other structures in the joint. If left untreated, a torn meniscus can lead to the bones degenerating (osteoarthritis) and ongoing knee problems.

What are the Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear?

Meniscus tear symptoms include:

  • Popping sensation
  • Swelling
  • Pain – especially when you twist your knee
  • Difficulty bending and straightening your knee fully
  • Feeling that your knee is catching or locking
  • Feeling of instability

You may be able to stand, walk and even carry on sports after the initial injury without serious pain. However, you are advised to seek medical advice if you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above.

What Causes a Meniscus Tear?

You can tear your meniscus if your knee is wrenched – for example, when pivoting or suddenly changing direction in basketball, tennis or football. They can also occur if you do a lot of squatting – for example in weight-lifting or high intensity workouts.

How Can Capital Orthopaedics Treat a Meniscus Tear?

Our consultant orthopaedic surgeons diagnose a meniscus tear through a physical exam and a range of imaging tests.

An MRI or ultrasound scan shows soft tissue damage, and an x-ray may be necessary to rule out any other knee conditions. Some meniscus tears can only be seen using arthroscopy: under anaesthetic, a tiny camera is inserted into your knee and the joint is viewed on a monitor.

Non surgical treatment

Minor tears can be treated with a period of rest, followed by physiotherapy exercises to restore strength and range of motion. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen reduce symptoms of pain and swelling.

Injections: we offer injection therapy, including steroids to reduce inflammation and plasma to stimulate healing in your knee.


Meniscus surgery may involve removing all or part of the meniscus. Your surgeon may opt for a meniscus repair, where the torn parts are sewn together. The operation is carried out using keyhole (arthroscopic) surgery.

Book an Appointment with Capital Orthopaedics

For a fast, efficient diagnosis and the most effective treatment for torn meniscus or any other knee problems, contact Simon Moyes and the Capital Orthopaedics team here.

Other Knee Conditions We Treat

Cartilage Damage

The slippery layer of cartilage that coats the bones of your joints can get torn or damaged through a forceful injury, repetitive actions or wear and tear. It can result in catching, pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness in the joint.

Knee Fractures

The bones of your knee can be broken as a result of a forceful impact, repetitive actions or a wrenching of the joint. Knee fractures are often extremely painful, making it hard to bend, straighten or weight bear on it. They can be associated with other soft tissue knee injuries, such as meniscus, ligament or tendon injuries.


The tendons that connect your muscles to the bones of your knee can get swollen and inflamed as a result of repetitive strain or lifting a heavy weight. Tendonitis can lead to more serious conditions such as ruptured tendons if left untreated.

Knee Arthritis

Repetitive activities, wear and tear or an old knee injury can lead to osteoarthritis. The smooth cartilage is worn away to expose rough bone surfaces; lumps called bone spurs may also form. The increased friction leads to damage to soft tissues in you knee, along with pain, swelling, stiffness and muscle weakness.

Anterior Knee Pain

Pain at the front of your knee can be the result of a number of conditions, so if you have any knee pain, contact us here for a fast, accurate diagnosis.

ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament is a thick cord of connective tissue that runs down the middle of your knee joint. It can get torn as a result of a forceful twisting action, leading to pain, instability, swelling, and preventing you from returning to sports.

Frequently Asked Questions

Book an Appointment with an Orthopaedic Specialist

The Capital Orthopaedics team is made up of highly experienced medical professionals – from Mr Simon Moyes, the renowned orthopaedic consultant surgeon, to physicians, nurses, anaesthetists and physiotherapists.
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