There are two types of meniscal tears, lateral and medial. The medial tears outnumber the lateral tears but in both cases they are caused by twisting and are much higher in basketball, football, and soccer.
Localized tenderness/pain at the involved joint line with a small amount of swelling after activity is the most frequent complaint. Pain is often aggravated by any rotational leg activity and in extreme situations they might be unable to fully extend the knee (Known as locked knee).
Some athletes that choose a more conservative (non operative) approach do well and can return to sports in about 8-12 weeks and are limited by occasional pain and instability. If surgery is required it is typically an outpatient procedure and athletes return to full function within 6 weeks.
Athletes returning to sport should progress slowly and monitor swelling and pain. Exercises should focus on creating hip strength to reduce stress on the knee while supporting the lower limb.
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