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Meniscus Tear – Tips for Athletes to Reduce your Risk

31st Mar 2022 | 0 comments

Your knee joint is made up of two bones: the femur (shinbone)  and the tibia (thighbone). The patella (kneecap) is located in front of the joint to provide protection. You have two C-shaped pieces of fibrocartilage between your femur and tibia that act as shock absorbers. They are called menisci. On either side of the knee you have one meniscus – the medial meniscus on the inside and the lateral meniscus on the outside. Besides stabilizing your knee joint, they also help to keep its movement smooth.

What is Meniscus Tear?

what is meniscus tear


Meniscus tears in Singapore are partial or complete tears in the cartilage of the knee. Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. Meniscus tears are often caused by severe trauma or degenerative changes that occur over time.  Tears can be identified by their appearance and the location of the tear within the meniscus.  

Several factors put you at higher risk for meniscus tears:

  • Physical activity –  Sudden turns and sudden stops can put you at risk of meniscus tears. Engaging in sports such as football, basketball, soccer, tennis also increase meniscus tear risks.
  • Age – As one ages, the meniscus weakens. Most people over the age of 30 suffer from meniscus tears. 
  • Sex – Men are more likely to suffer a meniscus tear than women.
  • Other Conditions – Having osteoarthritis puts you at a higher risk of injuring your knee or tearing your meniscus. Osteoarthritis occurs as joints wear and tear and causes pain and stiffness.


Those who tear their meniscus may feel a popping sensation. In many cases, people can still walk on their injured knees, but they may begin to feel more stiff after a few hours or days. There are a few other symptoms to look out for.

  • A popping sensation
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Knee pain, especially when you twist or rotate it
  • Difficulty bending and straightening the leg
  • Knees that tend to lock up or get stuck


Symptoms of meniscus tear may not heal on their own and treatment may be necessary. A prompt review by the orthopaedic doctor is needed as this may require further investigations and treatment. The treatment you receive will be determined by how bad the injury is, where the tear is, how big the tear is and your age. Initial treatment will focus on controlling your pain and swelling. You may also undergo physiotherapy, medicines, and surgery for meniscus tear treatment in SingaporeAs a treatment option, you may see a physiotherapist or an orthopedic surgeon.


It’s important to keep the muscles around your knees strong and balanced to prevent a meniscus tear. More so, to prevent an injury to the meniscus tears, you should follow these tips:

Don’t Ignore Knee Pain



knee pain

One of the most important meniscus tear tips is to not ignore knee pain. By doing this you can avoid the condition from getting worse.  Meniscus tears are tricky because you may feel pain, but you can still move around.  Your symptoms may initially seem mild, but the pain will become increasingly severe over the next few days or weeks. Leaving tears untreated can lead to further deterioration. Having a progressive meniscus loss can increase the risk of developing degenerative knee arthritis. Seeking early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Warm up with Dynamic Stretching

It’s a common mistake to skip the warmup and stretching. But warming up with stretching is very important before and after exercising, participating in sports, or other activities. A person’s joints can be injured if their muscles surrounding their knees aren’t prepared to withstand the strain and impact of exercise. 

When muscles are stretched, they work more effectively, resulting in better performance. Furthermore, stretching and flexibility help to protect the knee from injury by increasing range of motion and protecting the ligaments. As an added benefit, stretching can help prevent or alleviate knee pain.

Strengthen Leg Muscles

You can help strengthen your leg muscles by doing specific exercises. By strengthening the surrounding tissues, the knee joint becomes more stable. By keeping your leg muscles strong and balanced, you lessen the amount of pressure on your knee and its meniscus. Exercises targeting these muscles can help you prevent meniscus tears:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings 
  • Hip Abductors
  • Thigh Abductors

Exercise intensity should never be abruptly increased. When increasing an exercise’s load or intensity, go slowly at first.

Rest Your Muscle

Taking a break from your activities is the best thing to do if you suffer knee discomfort. Exhausted muscles are more prone to injury. Allow your body enough time to heal soft tissue damage after exercising. The microtears get worse if you train or exercise before they have fully healed.

Consult Specialist for Knee Pain

knee specialist in singapore

A key element of your treatment and safety is follow-up care. If you’re experiencing problems, consult a specialist for knee pain. Seeking medical attention is always better than trying to endure the pain. In the usual course of care, a doctor will examine the knee to find out what is causing the pain and to determine how much motion it has. The following symptoms indicate that you should go to the emergency room:

  • Your knees are becoming more painful or swollen.
  • Sore or stiff knees make it impossible to walk.
  • Conditions don’t improve as expected.

For the best treatment plan for your knee pain, speak with our knee pain specialists in Spire Orthopaedic.