I got a knee injury possibly a meniscus tear. Is there a home remedy for such injury? It is also swollen. What can I do for this?

The meniscus is a U-shaped cartilage present in the knee joint. It provides cushioning for the knee and also helps to keep the joint in position, preventing hyperflexion. The meniscus can tear either due to injury or due to age-related problems.  A torn meniscus is not as uncommon as you would think, and many cases of a meniscus tear goes undiagnosed because of a lack of symptoms.

What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?

The symptoms of a torn meniscus can range from excruciating pain and a locked knee joint to a slight stiffness and swelling. In some cases, there are almost no symptoms, and the injured person may not even realize that he/she has a torn meniscus.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment options depend on the extent and location of the tear. The meniscus is quite a large piece of cartilage and does not have the same amount of blood supply everywhere. The outer portion of the meniscus is called the red zone, because it is rich in blood supply. Any tear in this region heals rapidly and quite well. The inner portion of the meniscus is called the white zone, and a tear in this zone heals slowly, if at all.

Medical intervention depends on the symptoms. For example, a clean tear in the meniscus has very few symptoms and invariably rest is prescribed as treatment. Any inflammation and/or pain mean that either the edges of the tear are frayed or there are bits and pieces of the torn meniscus floating around. Home remedies do not work in this case and surgery is needed. In most cases, an orthoscopy is done to remove the broken pieces of the cartilage and to smooth out the edges.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis is quite good if the tear is in the red zone, the person is young, or if the tear is very small. This is especially true in the red zone where surgery may be the last option, because the tear will heal by itself. Even if surgery is done the recovery time is minimal.

In the white zone, it is a little more complicated because healing is much slower, and if age is not on your side, it may not heal. Any removal of the meniscus is therefore not ideal, as it results in the remaining portion of the meniscus having to bear the load. This increases the chances of osteoarthritis in the knee at a later stage.


  1. http://dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/medical-conditions/a-z-of-medical-conditions/torn-knee-cartilage/
  2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001071.htm
  3. http://bncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2745476
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22074619

answered by G R

Some simple measure will help resolve your pain and swelling at home itself.

  • Rest is very important; as it helps in healing the meniscus muscle on its own, improving the blood supply to that area.
  • Avoid any kind of strain and activities involving repetitive movements of the knee as far as possible.
  • Wrap ice in a towel and apply for 10-15 minute every 2 hours to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Rest your feet on a table while sitting, or put pillow below your foot and keep it in elevated position to decrease the swelling.
  • If the injury is too severe, then visit a specialist before it worsens.

answered by S P

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