Meniscal Tears

Well done! You’ve taken the first steps to understanding and rehabilitating your Meniscal Tear! Once you read this page answer the questions on the sheet given by your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia and bring that to your next treatment session. Recovery from your Meniscal Tear is crucial in order to achieve your goals and gain rapid and long-lasting results. Your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia has requested that you read this page so that you understand your condition and know how to best manage in between physiotherapy consultations. meniscal tearsmedial meniscus injury

What is a Meniscus?

The knee joint is a complicated joint, made up of many ligaments, muscles, four bones, three joints, cartilage and two Menisci. Menisci are used in various joints in the body to increase the congruency of the joint, while allowing some shock absorption. There are two Menisci in each knee, a Lateral (away from the midline) Meniscus, and a Medial (towards the midline) Meniscus.

What caused my Meniscus Tear?

meniscus tearThe Menisci of the knee are the most commonly injured Menisci in the body, and one of the most common knee injuries, especially in adults participating in sport. Meniscal injuries usually occur when the knee is twisted under load, for example when a basketball player suddenly pivots on a basketball court, or when a football player receives a hard tackle. However, injury may occur by something as simple as getting up too quickly from a squat. The incidence of Meniscal injury is higher for the Medial Meniscus, as it attaches more firmly to the knee. Medial Meniscus injuries may also be associated with Medial Collateral Ligament injuries, as they have an intimate relationship with one another.

How can you help me with my Meniscus Tear?

A detailed history, taken by your Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician, of the pain or injury is important in diagnosing a Meniscal Tear, while a physical assessment of the knee, hip and surrounding structures, can determine the location and severity of the tear, and the best course of action in treating the condition. For minor tears, treatment will usually involve strengthening supporting structures, to allow for full function. Unfortunately, the Menisci receive very little blood flow, and therefore do not recover on their own. For more serious tears, your Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician may refer you to a surgical specialist for operative repair. However, it is still important for the supporting structures to be as strong as possible, to allow for rapid recovery post-op. Therefore, Physiotherapy pre- and post-op is still highly encouraged.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Meniscal Tear?

  • AVOID activities that aggravate your pain, until you have seen a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician.
  • AVOID generic strengthening activities such as squats and lunges, until you have seen a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia Clinician, as they may contribute to muscle imbalances, rather than helping them.
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, while avoiding aggravating activities, such as high impact activities, or activities that involve twisting the knee.
  • For RELIEF, applying ice to the area may help to reduce some pain and inflammation. Be sure to wrap the icepack in a towel, and only apply for 10 minutes every 2 hours. CEASE use if you have any negative reaction.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles de-loaded and moving freely with no restrictions.
Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your structural weaknesses have resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups.
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