Meniscus tears can be relatively painless, especially when they are small and are in the knees of less active patients. However, larger meniscus tears can be quite painful. They can lead to locking, swelling, pain, and can grow is size—especially in the active patient.
When these kinds of symptoms persist more than two weeks and when non-surgical measures fail to resolve the problem, an orthopedic evaluation should be completed. This will frequently include an MRI (Figure 1).
Meniscectomy was originally performed as an open procedure but with the development of minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, a partial meniscectomy has evolved into one of the most successful and commonly performed orthopedic procedures. During this procedure, only the portion of meniscus that is torn is removed and the healthy remaining meniscus is preserved. The size and configuration of the tear determines how much meniscus is removed.