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A torn meniscus is a common knee injury. In younger people, the meniscus is fairly tough and rubbery. An isolated meniscus tear in a young patient is uncommon. However, young people not uncommonly tear their meniscus in conjunction with ACL tears as a result of a forceful twisting injury. I also see meniscus tears in young patients who may have torn their ACL and then have not had their ACL surgically reconstructed. Without an ACL, there is much more shear force in the knee and the meniscus is slowly overloaded and weakened by these forces and then tears.
The meniscus becomes more prone to tear as we age and as it loses some of its elasticity. Skiing the bumps for decades can take a toll on the meniscus or “shock absorber”. It is therefore not uncommon for me to see someone in their late 40’s or early 50’s with isolated meniscus tears. These commonly occur as the result of a fairly simple mechanism (i.e. rotating on their knee while playing tennis).
Look for more posts to come on what a torn meniscus feels like and the treatment options that are available. Be sure to check out our new website at www.vsortho.com for more patient information on how to treat common conditions and injuries or contact our offices for more information.