Meniscus Tear Treatment Singapore​

Dr. Bryan Tan


Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries. 

The menisci (plural for meniscus) are “shock-absorbers” in your knee and are found within the knee joint, between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia).

Twisting injuries to the knee can cause the menisci to rip.

Meniscus Flap Tear

What Is A Meniscus Tear?

A meniscus tear is a tear in the cartilage of the knee. The knee may lock if the meniscus is severely damaged, causing the torn portion to be displaced.

A meniscal tear can be a result of stress, injury, or degeneration. It is vital to understand your symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible, as early diagnosis and management can reduce further complications.

What Are The Types of Meniscus Tears And Patterns?

A meniscus tear can be categorised through location, specific tear pattern, or proximity to a blood supply. The outside third of the meniscus is where tears are highly-likely to occur because of their proximity to the blood supply.

The following regions are prone to meniscus tears: The body; Anterior horn; and The posterior horn (the most common region for tears)

The most typical meniscus tear patterns are:

  • “Bucket handle” tear pattern
  • Radial tear patterns
  • Complex, degenerative tear pattern
  • “Parrot beak” tear pattern
  • Displaced flap or flap tear pattern
  • Longitudinal, peripheral pattern 

What Causes Meniscus Tear?

Twisting of the knee whilst weight bearing is the most common cause. Sometimes, however, the injury can be cumulative. Some patients ignore mild pain and discomfort in their knees and go about their sports and activities. Then finally even a mundane movement like stepping up a high step or walking can cause the compromised meniscus to tear.  

Symptoms Of Meniscus Tear

The following are the most common symptoms of a meniscus tear:
  • Dull ache of the knee after the injury
  • Swelling of the knee, often occurring 12 – 24 hours after the injury
  • Pain with certain movements of the knee especially when bearing weight (eg squatting or running)
  • Sudden inability to fully straighten the knee (also known as “locking”)
  • Popping or clicking sensation in the knee with movements
  • A feeling that the knee is not stable
  • Sensation of something shifting inside the knee with movements

How Is Meniscus Tear Diagnosed?

Physical Examination

Your doctor may perform an in-depth examination of your symptoms and review your medical history to determine the cause of your injury.

In order to confirm the tear, your doctor may use and perform:

  • The McMurray test to check the range of motion of your knee.
  • A circular motion of your knee to identify the tear as it puts more strain on the meniscus and produces an audible clicking sound.

Imaging Tests

  • Imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT Scan may also be required.
  • If none of the aforementioned examinations confirms the diagnosis of a meniscal tear, your doctor may recommend surgery or meniscus transplantation. 
​​Is your meniscus tear affecting your quality of life, and your ability to perform everyday activities such as working, playing sports and wearing your clothes?
Dr. Bryan will assess your symptoms in detail before recommending the right treatment plan for your condition.

How To Treat Meniscus Tear?​

Treatment options can generally be classified into 2 categories: non-invasive and invasive options. I generally start patients off with non-invasive treatment modalities first, unless the pathology is such that surgery is clearly required.

If non-invasive options prove to be ineffective, it may then be necessary to resort to more invasive options.

RICE. The majority of sports-related injuries can be treated with the RICE protocol. RICE is the acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

  • Rest. Immediately stop engaging in the activity that injured you. Crutches may be suggested by your doctor to avoid putting too much pressure on your injured leg.
  • Ice. Apply cold packs for 20 minutes, as frequently as needed. Do not apply ice to the skin directly.
  • Compression. Wear a stretchable compression bandage to prevent swelling.
  • Elevation. When resting, lean back and elevate your leg above your heart to help minimise pain and swelling.

To lessen the aftermath effect of the trauma, your doctor may advise you to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen to reduce pain, swelling, and discomfort.

Meniscal Debridement (resection)

During the arthroscopic meniscal debridement treatment, microscopic surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions. The torn meniscus segment is removed, leaving behind a small but healthy piece of cartilage.

Meniscal Repair

Keyhole surgery, also known as ALL-Inside repair, can be used as a mode of treatment for some meniscal tears, without the need for external incisions. The restoration of the meniscal tear is frequently done simultaneously with an ACL reconstruction to treat both the ligament injury and the meniscal tear as much as possible. Despite its complexity, meniscal repair has a success rate of 60%-70%.

Anatomy/ Pathology

The knee is a hinged joint formed between the thigh-bone (femur) and the shin-bone (tibia). The meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage located between the 2 bones at the periphery of the knee joint. They act as “shock absorbers” within the joint. There are 2 menisci (plural for meniscus) in each knee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my meniscus tear heal on its own?
What is the role of the meniscus?
Can I still walk or move with a torn meniscus?
What will happen if I delay the treatment or leave a torn meniscus untreated?
How long will it take for me to recover after surgery?

Billing & Payment

Medisave & Insurance Claims

The following are accredited For Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents and Foreigners. If your insurance is not listed, you will still be able to make claims for eligible procedures! We have experience processing claims from many other various insurance providers. Please contact us if you have any queries.


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