Bone, Joint and Muscle Conditions

Meniscal Tears

What Are Meniscal Tears?

Meniscal tears are tears or separation in the substance of the meniscus. The meniscus is shock-absorbing cartilage in the knee. It lies between the shinbone (tibia) and the thighbone (femur). The meniscus helps distribute weight, makes the knee bend smoothly and moves lubricating fluid around the joint.

When the meniscus tears, it can be painful. If it is not treated, a tear can also make it more likely your child will develop arthritis.

Meniscal Tears in Children

Any child can get a meniscal tear. A tear usually happens when an active child or teenager suddenly twists their knee. Sometimes this occurs while children are playing sports that require a lot of pivoting and sudden starts and stops. Meniscal tears often happen at the same time as injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Meniscal Tears at Seattle Children's

We specialize in treating injuries to the bones and joints of children and teenagers who are still growing. To decrease the risk of early arthritis, we strive to save and repair the torn meniscus whenever possible.