There are two menisci in the knee- medial and lateral. They both act to shock absorb in the knee. The medial meniscus is at greater risk of injury due to its shape, size and relationship with the knee joint and other ligaments of the knee.
What Causes a meniscus tear?
The menisci can be injured after a traumatic incident or through degeneration. Traumatically, the menisci are usually injured when the knee is bent combined with a twisting motion of the knee. Less force is required in degenerative tears and usually occur overtime, affecting an older person.
What are the symptoms of a meniscus tear?
An acute, traumatic injury of a meniscus will cause knee joint effusion after a few hours of the incident. Patients may also complain of locking or clicking in the knee. There may be difficulty walking as well as achieving extremes of knee straightening or bending movement. The knee is usually painful on squatting or going upstairs.
Symptoms in a degenerative meniscal tear are usually less severe, as the foundations of the injury have been built up overtime and a specific activity may have aggravated it. Minimal knee joint effusion may be present and there may be discomfort with walking and going up and downstairs.
Injury to the outer third of the meniscus and degenerative tears usually respond well to conservative management. Those that do not respond to at least 4 weeks of conservative therapy are candidates for arthroscopic surgery.
Patients should expect to be able to return to normal sports/ activities.
Treatment for a meniscus tear
Physiotherapy aims to restore pain- free range of movement with capacity to return to normal activity through soft tissue releases, knee motor control and strengthening exercises, stretches and proprioceptive exercises. Correcting movement patterns and joint mechanics will also help to prevent future episodes of pain.
Your Physiotherapist will discuss your treatment goals and educate you about the condition, the rehabilitation process and preventative methods to reduce the risk of future injury.
To book an appointment with one of our skilled Physiotherapists please call (02) 8068 8832 or email us at [email protected].