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Exercise and physiotherapy the answer for knee pain!

February 22, 2017


Meniscus tears of the knee are a common injury that can affect all ages. In some cases, an acute meniscus tear can result in a physical block in the knee that causes symptoms such as painful clicking and locking of the knee joint. This kind of meniscus injury is most common in younger patients (<35 years) and athletes. For most people over the age of 35, meniscus injuries are classified as degenerative, and can be thought of as the early signs of osteoarthritis (Englund M. The role of the meniscus in osteoarthritis genesis. Med Clin North Am2009;93:37-43, x. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2008.08.005 pmid:19059020, cited in – accessed 22/2/17 ).

Knee  Anatomy

If you are over 35 and have knee pain as a result of a degenerative meniscus then you may have discussed the option of having arthroscopic surgery with your GP or specialist. But, the evidence has been stacking up over the past 5 years that suggests that in the long term, exercise and physical therapy is as effective as surgery at treating this condition. ( – accessed 22/2/17) – accessed 22/2/17)

Arthroscopic surgery, as with any form of surgery, has its risks and can be very costly depending on your health insurance coverage. In addition, surgery is necessarily followed by rehabilitation with a therapist which involves the exact same exercises that you would be prescribed if you opted to have conservative, exercise based therapy in the first place!

The moral of the story: before you opt for surgery for your degenerative meniscal tear, try a 6-12 week course of exercise and physical therapy with one of our skilled therapists here at Focus Physiotherapy. You might just save yourself a lot of time and money, and avoid the risks associated with surgery and hospital admission!!

Author:  Angus Tadman (B.App.Sc Physiotherapy,  Hons Class 1)

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