A torn meniscus is damage to the cartilage that sits on top of the tibia and allows the femur to glide when the knee joint moves. Tears are usually described by where they are located and their appearance (for example, "bucket handle" tear, longitudinal, bucket handle, parrot beak, and transverse). While physical examination can predict whether it is the medial or lateral meniscus that is damaged, a diagnostic procedure, like an MRI or knee arthroscopy can locate the specific part of the cartilage that is torn and how it appears.
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