The meniscus is a thin c-shaped piece of cartilage that sits in between your knee joint. The meniscus helps cushion the knee joint during impact activities like running and jumping. Meniscus tears occur during high impact activity and usually involve a twisting or rotating motion with the foot planted. The meniscus consists of a medial and a lateral portion of the cartilage cushion. There are several types of meniscus tears: longitudinal, radial, and horizontal. All three of these tears can lead to more severe tearing as shown in Figure 1 below.
The medial meniscus is usually injured with a valgus movement of the knee while the lateral meniscus is usually injured with a varus movement of the knee.
Symptoms of a meniscus tear can include:
popping of the knee
swelling of the knee at joint line
sensation that the knee is locking or giving way
catching of the knee
decreased range of motion within the knee joint
tenderness to palpation of the knee
Does Physical Therapy help?
Many meniscus tears don’t require surgery or the use of invasive techniques to improve the function of the knee joint. Mild and moderate tearing can be corrected conservatively with physical therapy.
Physical therapy will help correct any abnormal biomechanical movements that may be occurring during sports, running, lifting, or aerobic activity. Our doctors use research based techniques and evidence based functional testing to test and treat possible meniscal tearing. Physical therapy can help correct any muscle imbalance irregularities that may be contributing to a knee dysfunction. Physical therapy can help improve muscle performance and sports specific performance after injury with the knee joint. Good physical therapy incorporates core work, balance and proprioceptive exercises, quadriceps and hamstring strengthening, dynamic knee stability, neuromuscular activation, and hip strengthening and control exercises.
New Patients are Always Welcome!
The doctors at F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic in Overland Park & Shawnee, Kansas and Lees Summit, Missouri are here to help lessen and relieve your knee pain. Do not hesitate; contact us today for leading evidence-based assessments and treatments for your musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction.