Meniscus Tears

Have you been experiencing knee pain that is limiting you during your daily activities and wonder if your meniscus is involved? Or perhaps you’ve gone to see a physician and have been told that you have a torn meniscus and are unsure of what the next step is?

What is a meniscus anyway?

The meniscus is a piece of fibrocartilage that is found between our knee joint, serving to provide  cushioning and absorb forces between our femur (thigh bone) and our tibia (shin bone) as we walk, run, and squat. There are two menisci in each of our knees; one located in the inner (medial) part of the joint and one in the outer (lateral) part of the joint.  While tears to the medial meniscus are more common, either one can suffer a tear and cause pain, swelling, loss of range of motion, and a catching or locking sensation.

Meniscal tears are generally divided into two broad categories as either acute or degenerative. Acute tears occur more frequently in younger, athletic populations, most often due to direct trauma or twisting on a bent knee. Degenerative tears, on the other hand,  are found more frequently in older populations because of gradual wear on meniscus over the years which make a tear more likely during regular activities.


So what happens next?

While surgery may sometimes be necessary depending on the type and location of the tear, this is not always the case. In fact, studies have shown that, in particular with degenerative tears, physical therapy can be just as effective in reducing pain and improving knee function! In cases where surgery is ultimately required, either due to the type of tear or because conservative treatment was not enough to resolve your symptoms, our physical therapists can help guide your recovery. 

Following a thorough evaluation which includes a detailed history and special tests, our therapists will devise an individualized program alongside you to help you reach your goals. Treatment can consist of various techniques, including:

  • Joint mobilizations and soft tissue manipulation techniques to reduce swelling and restore range of motion
  • Modalities such as ice, heat, and electrical stimulation which can decrease pain and improve muscle function
  • Therapeutic exercises to strengthen the muscles of your core, hip, thigh, and ankle in order to reduce the amount of stress on your meniscus and provide additional stability. As you progress through your rehab so will your exercise program to help ensure you are able to return to your daily and recreational activities.

If you’ve recently suffered from a meniscus tear, or have knee pain in general, contact us for an evaluation and we will help you progress to your best!

Are you ready to start therapy?

A licensed therapist performs your treatment. Schedule your appointment now!