This is a common cause of knee pain. The menisci are a pair of crescent shaped cartilage which sits on the top surface of the tibia (shin bone) and act as “shock absobers” to spread your body weight through the knee joint.
They can be injured from twisting type injuries, especially sports injuries, leading to tears in the cartilage. If there is already damage of the knee joint, such as with arthritis, then tears can occur without a significant.
These tears can catch as your knee moves leading to pain, sometimes clicking or even giving way. Sometimes these symptoms can settle down, but more often than not arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery is necessary to improve the symptoms. With tears due to injury, if possible the tear is repaired, if this is not possible then the tear is trimmed and smoothed out. Tears in arthritic knees are not repairable, so these are trimmed and often symptoms are improved, but there may still be some residual pain due to other damage that has accumulated in the knee.
If you develop knee pain after an injury that does not improve with simple first aid treatment, it is always worth having this reviewed as there may be a meniscal injury that needs treating.
For more information click here