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Meniscus Tear Diagnosis

Orthopedic Surgery

How is torn meniscus diagnosed?

After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will examine your knee. He or she will check for tenderness along the joint line where the meniscus sits. This often signals a tear.

One of the main tests for meniscus tears is the McMurray test. Your doctor will bend your knee, then straighten and rotate it. This puts tension on a torn meniscus. If you have a meniscus tear, this movement will cause a clicking sound. Your knee will click each time your doctor does the test.

What tests can diagnose a torn meniscus?

Because other knee problems cause similar symptoms, your doctor may order imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis.

  • X-rays. Although x-rays do not show meniscus tears, they may show other causes of knee pain, such as osteoarthritis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This study can create better images of the soft tissues of your knee joint, like a meniscus