The meniscus is the padding in between the two long bones of the lower leg, the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shinbone). Meniscal injuries are generally classed as sudden onset (acute) or wear and tear (degenerative). Treatment includes exercises to optimise bending and straightening while improving muscle strength and coordination.
The meniscus often develops micro-tears through normal life and occasionally larger tears related to a twisting or landing injury.
The damaged meniscus cannot be repaired and is generally cut out, which can increase the onset of osteo-arthritis. Studies increasingly show that surgical intervention is best avoided.
When our physios are deciding on the best management for meniscus injuries, it’s best not to focus too much on MRI findings. Studies show that over 50% of people over the age of 50 will show meniscus tears on MRI, even if they have no knee pain, and the relationship between tears on MRI and knee dysfunction is quite low. Our treatments focus on how the knee is functioning in regards to pain, swelling, exercise tolerance and balance.