Whether you have a torn meniscus or not can only be confirmed by MRI. If there is a meniscal tear then initially a conservative approach to treatment is initiated. This involves rest, application of ice and elevation of the injured limb. With time inflammation subsides and the pain lessens. Then if the knee is actively used, or through physiotherapy, the muscles around the knee joint strengthen and lend support given by the meniscus. Generally this approach to treatment takes care of the symptoms. Surgery is only thought of if these conservative methods fail. So though the tear is not fully repaired, in most cases it heals enough to allow normal joint function.
So, if there is ache after a four mile walk, I suggest you stop it, and start the conservative approach of rest, application of ice and elevation of the injured limb. Then do as your doctor advises. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
thank you, kindly, Dr. Mathur!!