A lateral meniscus tear, is an injury to the meniscus (cartilage tissue) that is located on the outside (outer aspect) of the knee. Injuries to the lateral meniscus are less common than medial meniscus injuries, and may occur in combination with injuries to other structures of the knee, such as the cruciate or collateral ligaments. Lateral meniscus tears often occur traumatically due to excessive weight bearing and twisting forces that are commonly seen in sports. However, lateral meniscus tears can also occur due to a degenerative process through gradual wear and tear associated with overuse (such as long distance running), a simple twist, or repeated squatting over the years. In older patients, where degenerative changes are present, injury to the lateral meniscus may occur with a relatively trivial movement. Lateral meniscal tears that take place from sports occur when the foot is fixed on the ground and a twisting force is applied to the knee (e.g. when another player’s body falls across the leg, or when a player is tackled) or following a forceful jump or landing. Pain and swelling in the outer aspect of the knee will result in instability, and is often felt when the knee is straightened or bent. Typical symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, locking, catching, or buckling.
For more information on injuries associated with a lateral meniscus tear, please request a consultation with orthopedic knee specialist, Dr. Lubowitz, by clicking the link below.