Torn Cartilage

Cartilage is the tough, flexible tissue that covers the ends of your bones at a joint. It also gives shape and support to other parts of your body, such as the ears and nose. Healthy cartilage helps you move by allowing bones to glide over each other, and it protects bones by preventing them from rubbing against each other.

What is torn cartilage?

A cartilage tear can be caused by an abrupt injury or it may occur over time, especially as people age.  The knee is the most common spot for torn cartilage, especially the meniscus, and these tears are among the most common injuries for athletes.

The patient may feel the cartilage tear at the moment it happens. Other symptoms of torn cartilage include swelling, buckling, pain and difficulty walking.

How can you diagnose a cartilage tear?

Torn cartilage may be diagnosed by an X-ray or MRI, or a minimally-invasive arthroscopic procedure may be required to look inside the knee or other joint.


Treatment may involve wearing a brace during an activity to protect the knee from further injury. Surgery may be needed to repair the tear.

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Symptoms and Screenings for Torn Cartilage

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Causes and Preventions for Torn Cartilage

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Education and Resources for Torn Cartilage

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Support groups for Torn Cartilage

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Learn More about Torn Cartilage

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.

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