Melbourne CDB Physiotherapy

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Meniscus Injuries

“I landed funny or twisted awkwardly on my knee, and now it catches or locks when I walk”

Meniscal injuries are a common cause of knee pain and highly associated with ligamentous injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and knee osteoarthritis.

The meniscus is crescent shaped cartilage within the knee joint, primarily designed to increase the surface area of contact for the femoral condyles on the tibia (knee bones). This ultimately allows the meniscus to act like a shock absorber at the knee during common daily activities such as walking, standing, running, squatting or jumping. 

Diagnosis of a meniscal injury

Meniscal tears generally occur in two ways

  1. Traumatic sports-related injury involving twisting while landing/jumping with or without impact to another player
  2. Gradually over time due to a chronic knee injury such as osteoarthritis 

Symptoms of meniscal injuries can be varied but usually include:

  • Movement-related pain at the front, side or back of knee
  • Pain with twisting 
  • Clicking, catching or locking of the knee while bending or straightening
  • Instability or a feeling of increased movement around the knee

Treating a torn meniscus

Depending on the cause of your meniscal injury (i.e. sports-related or chronic age-related) the treatment for meniscal injuries can be very different.

Generally sports-related meniscus injuries will require an MRI in addition to a thorough physical examination, as this will help determine if a particular tear requires surgical intervention. 

In contrast, the majority of age-related chronic meniscal injuries do not require an MRI and are managed through exercise, education and management strategies to improve your pain. Regardless of whether your injury is sports- or age-related the good news is the majority of meniscal injuries are successfully managed.

EducationCommon InjuriesMeniscus Injuries
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