What is a traumatic meniscus injury?

Each knee has two menisci. The medial meniscus sits between the tibia and the femur in the part of the knee closest to the midline (middle) of the body. The lateral meniscus sits between the tibia and femur in the part of the knee furthest away from the midline. The meniscus serves the important function of transmitting forces across the knee evenly when performing the weight-bearing activity. Due to their crescent shape and the fact that they are triangular in cross-section, they allow the rounded part of the bottom of the femur to fit better on the flat part of the top of the tibia. In addition, the meniscus helps to maintain the stability of the knee, improves lubrication of the knee, and absorbs some of the forces when performing weight-bearing activity.

There are two broad types of tears: Traumatic and Degenerative. Traumatic tears occur when there is a twisting or hyperflexion (deep bend) injury to the knee. These occur when playing sports such as football, skiing, squash or netball.

What are the symptoms of a traumatic meniscus injury?

The symptoms from a torn meniscus can be similar whether traumatic or degenerative. Usually, there is swelling and well-localised pain in the knee. The pain is made worse by twisting or squatting motions. Sometimes a fragment of the torn meniscus can displace inside the knee in such a way as to “lock” the knee. This can be thought of as being similar to something being caught in the hinge of the door, stopping it from moving.

How is it diagnosed?

A clinical assessment is very important, followed initially by an examination. An MRI scan will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

What are my options for treatment?

Because the meniscus has a poor blood supply that comes from the periphery of the meniscus, it has poor healing potential. This means that it is unlikely to heal on its own. In addition, because the knee movement will move the injured meniscus, the environment of the knee is not conducive to healing.

The British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK) has very clear guidelines on who should and should not have an operation on their meniscus. When the meniscal tear is merely causing pain, then a period of physiotherapy plus injections is recommended for the first three months, followed by reassessment. An operation may be suitable at that point.

Some meniscal tears are amenable to repair. The factors that predict success from surgical repair of the meniscus include patient factors and factors related to the tear itself. In non-smokers who are not overweight and are under the age of 40, success rates of repair are higher.

Tears that occurred within a few weeks of the operation, that are in the periphery of the meniscus (where the blood supply is greatest) have the greatest chances of success of the repair. Studies show that repairs are successful in up to 80% of patients. In the remainder, a second operation may be necessary to remove the torn part of the meniscus that has not healed.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or is experiencing pain across their lower limbs or difficulty with mobility and would like a consultant-led review, please contact us. Grosvenor Orthopaedics have extensive experience in the treatment of knee-related injuries with excellent patient outcomes.


Grosvenor Orthopaedics have extensive experience in the treatment of knee-related injuries with excellent patient outcomes.


If you would like to learn about other knee conditions click the button below to find out more


If you would like to learn about other knee treatments click the button below to find out more


The Knee Service at Grosvenor Orthopaedic Partners is led by Mr Luke Jones and Mr Chethan Jayadev, both Oxford PhD educated knee surgeons with London Teaching Hospital NHS consultant posts. They provide a comprehensive range of knee procedures as part of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals including highly specialised physiotherapists, all committed to returning you to optimal function.

Our team are well placed to manage and treat a diverse range of knee problems utilising cutting edge diagnostic technology and treatment approaches, both surgical and conservative. Below is an overview of some of the knee conditions we treat but for a more thorough understanding please contact our team here


Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon

DPhil(Oxon), FRCS(Tr&Orth), MB BS, BSc(hons)
Luke is a Consultant Knee Surgeon practising at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the Lister Hospital, Chelsea. He runs a high volume bespoke specialist knee practice that deals with all aspects of knee surgery from minor sports injuries to complex joint reconstructions.


Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon

MA(Oxon) BMBCh DPhil(PhD) FRCS(Tr&Orth)
Chethan is a Consultant Knee Surgeon practising at the world-renowned Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore, Spire Bushey Hospital and King Edward VII’s Hospital. His practice encompasses all aspects of knee surgery, from sports injuries and knee preservation to complex and redo joint replacements. He has a reputation as a thorough, meticulous surgeon offering patients a bespoke and personalised service. He is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date and evidence-based care. Chethan is a strong advocate of patient choice and always puts patients first


Consultant Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon

MBBS MSc FRCS (Tr & Orth)
Mark is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a passion for sports related injuries. He strives to not only provide excellent surgical treatments but also rounded, bespoke care that allows his patients to get back to the activities they love. This is evident in his specialist training which includes a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine from University College London to help him when treating all levels of athletes. Alongside surgical treatments, Mr. Webb offers non-operative (conservative) options including using orthobiologics, such as PRP and stem cells, to treat the symptoms of early arthritis, as well as tendon injuries. Treatment plans are tailored to the patient’s requirements and expectations using the best evidence available

What some of our patients say

Miss NN

Thank you and please accept my gratitude for a successful knee surgery and overall a very positive experience. This gold medal is for you!