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Sports Medicine

Meniscus Tear

03/15/2010

Question:

I have reciently been diagnosed with an extensive tear extending to the inferior anticular surface of the posterior horn and body of the medial meniscus with lateral meniscus demonstrating slight blunting of the free edge of the body but no definate tear, after a fall on the ice. My question is, is this injury common in such a fall or could it be the result of previous tear that was repaired 5 years ago with no symptoms since?

Answer:

Meniscal tears can be asymptomatic, in which case a person's knee symptoms could be due to another cause. Depending on your age, the findings you noted - which presumably are from a knee MRI scan - can be seen in an older adult who may have no symptoms. The slight blunting of the free edge of the lateral meniscus is most likely due to degenerative change, whereas the medial meniscus tear may be degenerative, traumatic, or both.

A medical history and physical examination by your physician should help determine if your meniscus tear is symptomatic, and also, interpret the knee MRI findings in the context of your prior meniscal repair surgery.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University