Most patients are able to continue walking on their injured knee. The patient who has a degenerative (getting worse over time) meniscal tear tends to have good days and bad days, depending upon how irritated the meniscus is and how inflamed the knee becomes. If the patient has minimal symptoms that they can tolerate, then continued observation is appropriate.
If the symptoms become problematic for a period of six weeks or more, an MRI scan can help diagnosis the source of the problem. X-rays are not helpful in the diagnosis of a meniscal tear, as they only provide imaging of the bone, but they may help your specialist rule out another problem, such as arthritis. If a meniscal tear is confirmed, your orthpaedic specialist will probably prescribe a regimen designed to reduce inflammation and to rest the injured knee. However, if the painful symptoms do not resolve, further treatment is generally arthroscopic surgery. The meniscus does not have a good blood supply on the inner two-thirds of its anatomy. Because of this, once a tear occurs, the likelihood of it healing is minimal.
Return to the Meniscus Care page.