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Care and Treatment for Meniscus Tears

Why Choose Treatment for Meniscus Tears at University of Colorado Hospital?

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Our doctors are specially trained in sports medicine and participate in teaching and education. UCH also offers sports medicine services specifically for active women; it is one of the few hospitals in the country to do so.

What is a Meniscus Tear?

The menisci are wedges of firm, rubbery cartilage between the three bones in the knee joint: the kneecap (patella), the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia).

Menisci provide a cushion that helps to distribute body weight across these bones. Meniscus tears create stress on the bones and cause:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Locking of the knee

Meniscus tears can occur from injury, such as a severely twisted knee, or from wear and tear.

Tests and Treatments


Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test shows three-dimensional pictures of the ligaments and other tissues in the knee. The MRI confirms damage to the meniscus.



Your doctor may treat a minor tear with physical therapy and medication. If the tear is severe, however, you will need surgery, either to repair the meniscus or remove it. This is done via a minimally invasive approach.

Your Medical Team

The doctors and staff at University of Colorado Hospital work together to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate your bones, joint and muscle injuries.


Bone, Joint and Muscle Specialists

  • Family practitioner – A doctor who provides medical care to individuals and families.
  • Orthopedic surgeon – A doctor who treats injuries and diseases of the bones, joints and muscles.
  • Physiatrist – A doctor who diagnoses and rehabilitates physical injuries.
  • Nutritionist – A specialist in the treatment and prevention of disease through proper diet.
  • Physical therapist – A specialist who treats diseases through exercise, massage, water, light and heat.
  • Sports psychologist – A psychologist who specializes in the mental aspects of sports activities, exercise and other physical activities.

Other Bone, Joint and Muscle Staff


Athletic trainer – A provider who helps to prevent and treat injuries.

Meniscus Tears: Getting a Second Opinion

It is important to seek a second opinion if you are not comfortable with the recommended treatment for your meniscus tear.

Meniscus Tears: Additional Resources

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine