A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes you to forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when putting your full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.
Each of your knees has two menisci — C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act like a cushion between your shinbone and your thighbone. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. You also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully.
Conservative treatment — such as rest, ice and medication — is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.
If you’ve torn your meniscus, you might have the following signs and symptoms in your knee:
- A popping sensation
- Swelling or stiffness
- Pain, especially when twisting or rotating your knee
- Difficulty straightening your knee fully
- Feeling as though your knee is locked in place when you try to move it
How Physical Therapy helps Meniscus Tears
Many research studies have proved that Physical Therapy can be as effective as surgery in treating meniscus tears. This is how Physical Therapy can help:
- Reduce pain and inflammation.
- Normalise joint range of motion.
- Strengthen your knee: quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Strengthen your lower limb: calves, hip and pelvis muscles.
- Improve patello-femoral (knee cap) alignment.
- Normalise your muscle lengths Improve your proprioception and balance Improve your technique and function eg walking, running, squatting, hopping and landing.
- Minimize your chance of re-injury.