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"Does this mean I have a tear?"

ZocdocAnswersDoes this mean I have a tear?


hello! i had a surgery on my right knee on 2002. I had a discoid meniscus. so they repaired it on 2002. my knee starts hurting again almost 3 years ago. i got a mri on june this year, on the mri's results says this:linear abnormal signal in the body medial meniscus, only seen on one image of one sequence is likely artifactual. otherwise, the medial meniscus in intact. lateral meniscus appears diminutive and fragmented troughout with a large fragment displacing in the trochlear notch. associated significant thinning of the weightbearing surface articular cartilage of the lateral compartment with multiple small subchondral tibial cystic changes. what this mean? do i just have a tear? or what? thank you!!


I'm sorry to hear about your knee pain. I recommend that you speak with your orthopaedic surgeon. For the sake of explanation, we will discuss your discoid meniscus. A discoid meniscus is an abnormal development of usually the lateral meniscus, in which the meniscus is more discoid and overgrown. This occurs in only 3-5% of the population, and can be treated conservatively or, as in your case, with surgery. Based on your MRI description, it does not sound like you definitively have a tear of the medial meniscus. However, it sounds like you have significant tearing and fraying of your lateral meniscus, which was likely the discoid meniscus, Moreover, it sounds like time and wear and tear have caused some signs of arthritis of the lateral compartment of your knee, represented by the changes in your cartilage and the cystic changes. The tearing and fraying of your lateral meniscus is bad enough that part of the tear is actually just flapping around in your joint. Without an intact lateral meniscus, the weightbearing portions of your cartilage lack an adequate shock absorber, and hence begin to see a lot of wear and tear in the form of arthritis. If this becomes increasingly symptomtic (painful or you have mechanical symptoms like popping, locking, clicking), please see your orthopaedic surgeon for evaluation and possibly surgical intervention

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