- The menisci are two pieces of cartilage in the knee joint that absorb shock from putting weight on the knees with every step taken. In athletes, these tears occur by quick, sudden or collision movements. Another common cause is the natural wearing thin of the cartilage over time and use. Symptoms include pain in the area, stiffness and swelling, the knee locking, the sensation of the knee "giving way", and the knee cannot move its normal full range of motion.
Most of the time, treatment requires surgery. First, physical therapy will concentrate on range of motion exercises and then strengthening techniques will be introduced until original function is achieved.