Two crescent shaped pieces of cartilage between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) provide stability where they meet at the knee. When damaged, the stability that the meniscus provides is compromised and affects mobility of the joint.
A meniscal tear is often caused by a sport or physical labor activity. Direct contact or a load and twist can pinch the meniscal tissue causing it to tear. It can also be related to a degenerative condition where older, less flexible cartilage tears during normal activities.
A physical therapist identifies structural alignment contributions to knee stress. Teaches flexibility and strengthening to improve leg alignment for activity. Mobilization of the joint to improve straightening and reduce pain are also used.
Without treatment the meniscus cartilage may slip, causing the knee joint to lock. Arthroscopic surgery followed by physical therapy is commonly used to trim or repair the torn meniscal edges.
Other recommendations will likely include:
Cold Pack therapy
An over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen can help relieve swelling