Meniscal Tear – Identifying and navigating a common Knee Injury

The menisci are two C-shaped pieces of cartilage that sit between your shinbone and thighbone and serve as shock absorbers. A common knee injury is a Meniscal Tear, especially in athletes who play contact sports. But how can you know if your meniscus is torn? What can you do to change it? Explore now.

How to diagnose a Meniscal Tear

Meniscal tears frequently happen when the knee is directly touched, put under strain, or rotated or twisted erratically. A meniscal tear might result from a quick pivot or a deep squat. Aging also has an impact since gradual wear and strain can cause a degenerative meniscal tear

Symptoms of a Meniscal Tear

How can you tell if your meniscus is torn?

A meniscal tear could be indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Knee area pain that is sudden and sharp.
  • Stiffness or swelling in the knee.
  • A “pop” was felt during the occurrence.
  • Challenging to bend and straighten the leg.
  • ‘Giving way’ in the knee sensation.
  • Restricted knee range of motion.

It’s critical to seek the advice of a physiotherapist if these symptoms persist in order to receive a proper diagnosis, which typically entails a physical examination and imaging tests like an MRI.

What to do about a Meniscal Tear?

Treatment for a meniscal tear depends on its size, type, and location. Here are a few approaches:

1. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE):

Initial treatment for a suspected meniscal tear includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help reduce pain and inflammation.

2. Physiotherapy:

Physiotherapists can lead you through exercises that are intended to build stronger muscles, enhance balance, and extend your range of motion. This can lessen stress on the meniscus and stabilise the knee.

Both the non-operative and post-operative management of a meniscus tear involves the use of physiotherapy. It helps to strengthen the knee to ward off further injuries while restoring function, improving mobility, and reducing pain.

In the first stage of physiotherapy, the goal is to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Ice, heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound might be used to accomplish this. If necessary, your physiotherapist may also instruct you on how to correctly use crutches or a knee brace.

Exercises: Increased range of motion will make your knees more flexible and aid in your return to full motion. This may entail heel slips, moderate knee bends, or hamstring stretches.

Strength Training: For stability and support, it’s important to strengthen the muscles that surround your knee, especially your quadriceps and hamstrings. Exercises like straight leg raise, hamstring curls, and leg presses may be suggested by your physiotherapist

Training for Balance and Stability: Exercises that increase balance and stability will help lower your risk of developing knee issues in the future. Exercises on a wobbleboard or a Bosu ball may be part of this.

Functional Training: Your physiotherapist will add exercises as you make recovery progress that are related to your individual objectives and activities. If you’re an athlete, for instance, this can involve plyometric exercises or sport-specific drills.

Your physiotherapist will educate you on safe movement practices, appropriate footwear, and injury prevention methods to safeguard your knee and stop further meniscus tears

3. Surgery:

May be a possibility if the tear is significant or if symptoms don’t go away with conservative care. The torn meniscus may need to be repaired or, in rare cases, removed during the treatment.


Despite being common, a meniscal tear should not be disregarded. Consult a doctor or physiotherapist if you have ongoing knee discomfort and think you may have a meniscal tear. It is definitely possible to resume your normal activity levels with the proper care. A successful recovery requires patience and commitment to professional advice because every recovery journey is different.

The treatment for meniscal tears at Freedom Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre employs a range of techniques, including targeted physiotherapy exercises, advice on safe and effective workouts, and guidance on lifestyle changes that can support your recovery. In instances where a meniscus tear is severe and non-responsive to conservative management we have strong links with many Orthopaedic Consultants and will assist you in this.

Physiotherapy Services we offer:

Our clinic offers a wide range of services that are all recommended and tailored to everyone who comes and visits us. The range of treatments we offer complements the body and mind, helping to keep you pain and injury-free, delivering preventative measures to maintain your well-being and enhance your performance levels.

Our main aim is to restore your personal well-being so you can enjoy an active, healthy, and pain-free life. Click on any of the services to find out a little more about each treatment and understand if it might be right for you.

Unlock your movement potential. Contact us today

Meniscal Tear
by Laura Cattell

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