Bucket Handle Meniscus Tear

Knee Anatomy




Meniscus tears come in different shapes and sizes.
One type is called a “bucket-handle” tear. These large tears are more common in younger patients, and are always traumatic injuries (compared to degenerative tears seen in patients with early signs of wear and tear in the knee).

MRI of the Left Knee shows a medial meniscus bucket handle tear

Anterior (Front)

Bucket Handle Meniscus TearPosterior (Back)

The medial meniscus is displaced in the middle of the knee. The patient was not able fully extend his knee


A bucket-handle tear is a tear around the rim of the meniscus, causing the central portion (the bucket-handle) to displace into the joint. These types of tears generally involve large amounts of the meniscus, and are often amenable to meniscus repair (rather than removal of the meniscus). Patients with these bucket-handle tears may have limited motion of the knee joint if the meniscus tear is large enough to get caught inside the knee.


Meniscus Repair

Right Knee                             Left Knee

Medial Meniscus Tear Left Knee


Before and After Repair



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