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Symptoms of a Meniscal Tear

If you suspect you have a meniscal tear, you should know that the symptoms vary, depending on the type of tear you have. There are three types of meniscus tears and each has its own symptoms. They are as follows:

  • Minor – A minor tear will likely stop hurting after 2 or 3 weeks. You may have swelling and slight discomfort and pain which will go away after a couple of weeks.
  • Moderate – If a moderate tear goes untreated, your pain may come and go for years. You may feel pain if you twist or overuse your knee, and the pain is usually at the center or side of your knee. Swelling will get worse over a few days and might limit how you bend your knee. You will still be able to walk, but activity is limited. You might also feel a jarring pain when you squat, stand up, or go down stairs.
  • Severe – If you have a severe tear, you will not be able to straighten your knee. It might give way without warning or feel very wobbly. After the injury, it might swell and become stiff right away, or it may take 2 or 3 days. A piece of meniscus may come loose and move into the joint space, which can cause your knee to lock or catch.

Return to the Meniscus Care page.

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