What is a Meniscus Injury?
There are two menisci in your knee joint, one lateral (outside) and one medial (inside), and they sit side by side on top of your tibia. Their role is to act as shock absorbers and to add stability to the knee joint. When torn, the meniscus causes pain and swelling, and can often cause your knee to click or lock.
How a Meniscus Injury Happens
An acute meniscal tear usually occurs when the knee is forcefully bent, compressed and then twisted. The person will likely get pain and they may feel or hear a tear at the time of injury. Degenerative meniscal tears can also occur in the older population and don’t generally have a specific event that causes the injury. There are many different types of tears, and they can all differ in severity. The more severe ones can cause clicking or locking of the knee, and restricted range of movement and function. Some of these more severe injuries may require surgical intervention prior to physiotherapy. The meniscus itself has a poor blood supply, with the outer third having slightly more and therefore a greater chance of small tears healing.
It is very important to get a full physiotherapy assessment to ensure no other structures are damaged. A medial meniscus injury can occur along with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tear, known as the “unhappy triad”.
What Complete Care can do to treat Meniscus Injury
- Soft tissue therapy / dry needling to release muscle spasms around the knee
- Oedema management and advice on initial swelling
- Structured Rehabilitation Program exercises to increase range of movement and to strengthen the supporting muscles around the knee and hip.
- Proprioceptive and balance program to enhance function and stability
- Referral to a specialist as major tears may need arthroscopic surgery to remove or repair the damaged part of the meniscus.