Meniscus Tear

A torn cartilage in the knee

Perth knee surgeon | Orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Colvin - shoulder and knee surgery

Meniscus Tear

Knee surgeon perth

What is a meniscus tear?

A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries. When people talk about a torn cartilage or cartilage damage in the knee, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus.

The meniscus is a piece of rubber cartilage that provides cushioning in the knee. There are two in each knee, one on the inner half and one on the outer half. They are shaped like the letter ‘C’.

Dr. David Colvin, trained in orthopaedic surgery in Perth. David's specialty is knee and shoulder surgery and sports injuries.

About Dr Colvin

What causes a Meniscus Tear?

Meniscus tears often happen in younger people while playing sports. When you twist on the knee under load, it may cause a split in the rubber. This is a traumatic meniscus tear. In older people, the rubber cartilage in the knee ‘perishes’ over time, making it prone to tearing. This is known as a degenerative meniscus tear.

Symptoms of a Meniscus Tear.

When you tear your meniscus, you may feel a 'pop'. Most people can still walk on their injured knee, but over a day or two the knee may become stiff and swollen. The most common symptoms of a meniscus tear are:

  • Pain, usually on one side of the knee.
  • Stiffness and swelling of the knee. A catching sensation.
  • A feeling of your knee ‘giving way’.
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee, called a locked knee.

An MRI scan is the best way to diagnose a meniscus tear.


CO.RE Exercises

meniscus tear - orthopaedic surgeon Perth WA

In the field of shoulder and knee reconstruction, successful outcomes from an operation are 50% surgery and 50% rehabilitation. You could say the surgery is the easy bit, the rehabilitation is all hard slog. Dr Colvin’s CO.RE exercise programs are just that, a core plan for your successful recovery.

Choose your program

How are Meniscus Tears treated?

How Dr Colvin treats your meniscal tear will depend on the size and shape of the tear, and where it's located. With a knee arthroscopy, Dr Colvin can remove the torn cartilage with a partial meniscectomy or perform a meniscus repair.

There are several different patterns of a meniscus tear. The most common patterns are bucket handle, flap, and radial tears.

The location of the meniscus tear is very important in determining the treatment.  The outer one-third of the meniscus has an abundant blood supply. A tear in this area can heal. This type of meniscus tear is suitable for meniscus repair surgery.

In comparison, the inner two-thirds of the knee meniscus lacks a blood supply. Without nutrients from the blood, tears in this area cannot heal even if repaired. For this type of tear, you may need a partial meniscectomy.

Make an appointment with your orthopaedic surgeon

Meniscus tears are common knee injuries. Dr Colvin can confirm the diagnosis, advise on surgical treatment, and assist with a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

If you need an orthopaedic surgeon, don't hesitate to contact Dr Colvin’s practice in Perth, at Western Orthopaedic Clinic to book an appointment on 08 9489 8788.

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy is a keyhole operation that orthopaedic surgeons use to treat structural problems inside the knee joint. A fibre optic telescope is inserted into the knee joint through very small cuts at the front of the knee. A camera is attached to the arthroscope, and a clear view of the inside of the knee joint can be seen on a video monitor.
Read More about knee arthroscopy

Knee Cartilage

Cartilage is one of the body’s building blocks. It is a structural component for firm but elastic tissues. Two different structures in the knee are made from cartilage. This leads to a great deal of confusion.
More information on knee cartilage


Articular cartilage is the smooth surface lining found in all joints. Articular cartilage can be damaged by injury or by wear and tear. This wear and tear process occurs in all joints. When it becomes severe it is called osteoarthritis.
Articular cartilage and osteoarthritis

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Suite 213/25 McCourt St,
Subiaco WA 6008


Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5.00pm AWST

Consulting Rooms

Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic

  • These rooms are part of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.
  • Parking is available on site.


Dr David Colvin operates at:
St John of God Subiaco Hospital
12 Salvado Rd,
Subiaco WA 6008