Meniscus Tear​


Cartilage is a firm, rubbery covering at the end of bones that prevents them from painfully rubbing against each other. It acts as a shock absorber and also secures certain joints to keep them steady. 

Two special C-shaped cartilages located between your thighbone and shinbone, support the knee joint and are referred to as Menisci. They assist in the distribution of nutrients to nearby structures as well. In any situation, if your knee is forced to twist or rotate when your foot is firmly placed on the ground, it leads to the most common knee injury known as “meniscal tear”.  

In the younger age group, menisci are quite resilient to damage. An exception in children is the presence of a disc shaped meniscus instead of two C-shaped ones in the knee which is more prone to injury. Aging (above 30 years) is a risk factor as the menisci weaken and may succumb even to squatting or walking on an uneven surface. Certain degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis also make the menisci vulnerable. Vice versa, an injured knee has a greater chance of developing osteoarthritis, if unstable and left unhealed. 

​As is typically seen in most joint related injury or ailment, your symptoms may include:

  • Pain. May be notable immediately at the time of injury.

  • Swelling and/or stiffness

  • A popping sensation, felt with meniscal tears

  • Difficulty bearing weight (on knee)

  • Locking (of knee or hip). May feel like something blocking movement and you may not be able to straighten the knee fully.​

In any case of trauma it is prudent to get a medical consult. If you experience the above mentioned symptoms, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital for expert evaluation. Also if over a period of time your symptoms don’t improve or get worse, you can always revisit our highly trained professionals.

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Your doctor may ask you detailed questions about how you got the injury or what initiated your symptoms, followed by a physical examination. Sometimes, imaging (X-ray or MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is warranted and in certain cases, arthroscopy (inserting a very thin pipe with a camera into the joint to directly visualize the structures) may be scheduled.

​To help you with the pain, oral painkillers or cream/gel applications may be prescribed. Resting the joint and icing it, aid in reducing swelling and allowing the healing process to proceed smoothly. Your health care provider may refer you for surgical repair of torn cartilage depending on the severity of damage.

Depending upon the severity you may need to go for open surgery or arthroscopic repair (inserting instruments with a tiny camera through a small cut).

​The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

​Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.​