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For such a tiny piece of the knee, a torn meniscus can be a major pain. Play it safe, though, because a small tear can grow. If you're an athlete, our orthopedic sports medicine doctors focus on how to get you back in the game.

The meniscus is a piece of rubbery cartilage. It is a shock absorber between the shin and thigh bones. These major bones carry a lot of force, leaving the meniscus at risk for tearing. Sports, a strong twist of the knee or even just daily use over years can cause the tear. Once torn, you may have pain, swelling, locking or clicking. A severe tear may require surgery.