QUESTION: How do you know you have a meniscus tear? Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. Although anyone can experience a meniscus tear, it is most commonly seen in athletes who participate in contact sports. ANSWER: You may have a meniscus tear, if you notice swelling and pain in the knee, a popping sensation during the injury, difficulty bending and straightening the leg, and a tendency for the knee to get stuck or locked up. Rest the knee and avoid putting weight on it as much as possible. Icing can also reduce pain and swelling if done for 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days following the injury. Using an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to compress can also control swelling. In cases of more severe tears, repair of the meniscus may be necessary. The decision to repair is based on many factors, including the location of the tear and age of the patient. In patients whose meniscus is unlikely to heal on its own, surgery to remove the torn section is recommended. Though the meniscus plays an important role in the function of the human knee, once it’s torn and unable to be repaired, many of the beneficial aspects of that structure are lost. Most people who’ve had surgery for a torn meniscus see excellent short-term results, but studies show they are at a higher risk for developing knee arthritis later in life. Do you have a painful knee? Come see me! Expedite your appointment online at www.hipandkneedoc.com. or give me a call at 918-514-3009 (press 2 for appointments). Ron PS: My office is conveniently located in Tulsa, Oklahoma at 65th and Yale.