There are two menisci in each human knee. These are made up of cartilage, which mould to the surfaces of the bones. The menisci are on either side of the knee and assist in distributing the body weight across the joint of the knee. The menisci effectively protect the femur and the tibia bones in the leg from dealing with excessive force due to a person's weight.
When the menisci are injured it can cause major problems as there is no direct blood supply to them and healing cannot occur. The cartilage is in place to prevent the bones in the leg rubbing together and damaging. People who suffer from a meniscus tear will initially experience pain and swelling. Joints may lock and become unable to straighten. Doctors will X-ray to ascertain whether or not a tear is present, and occasionally an MRI scan is taken.
The treatment to correct a meniscus tear varies and depends upon a number of factors. The activity level and the type of tear are looked at when deciding upon treatment. If surgery is required then there are two options, one would be to replace the meniscus and the other would be to repair the part of the meniscus that is torn. Water on the knee can be caused by a tear but can also be caused by injury to the ligaments, and arthritis. The fluid will build up around the knee joint causing swelling, pain and stiffness. Bruising can also occur on the front, sides and the rear of the knee.
If a person is suffering from persistent knee pains then a check up at a doctor should be sought as soon as possible.