About Meniscus Injury
The meniscus is a ring of cartilage on the lower part of the knee (the tibial plateau) that the end of the large femur bone rides on. The meniscus is responsible for providing cushioning and stability of the knee joint while guiding movement. It is connected on the outer edges to the thick ligaments around the knee. The inside part of knee (medial meniscus) bears more weight and often sustains more damage than the outside part (lateral meniscus).
The meniscus is supposed to be smooth to ensure good gliding of the knee when it is bending. With injuries, poor alignment or weak musculature, the meniscus can become bruised and even torn. The outside edges of the meniscus have more blood flow than the inner portions. This means, depending on the area were the damage is located the healing process can be slow.
Many times, meniscus injuries are mild to moderate and can be rehabilitated with physical therapy. However, at times surgical intervention may be necessary to clean and shave down the torn areas of the meniscus. Physical therapy is very important in the full recovery after this surgical procedure.
How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is a very important part of recovering from a meniscus injury. Most injuries are mild and involve small tears, bruising or irritation. Physical therapy can pinpoint where there are limitations in movement of the knee joint and weakened musculature support. By pinpointing the mechanisms of injury, our treatments can focus on reducing your pain and swelling quickly. Then, we focus on improving your range of motion, joint mobility and strengthening to make sure your meniscus receives the necessary support.
If surgery is necessary, we work closely with your physician and the rehabilitation protocol. The primary focus is on eliminating swelling quickly, resolving pain, improving range of motion, restoring normal walking and strengthening the supporting muscles around the knee. We then show you what to do to maintain a healthy knee with physical activities and sports. Call us today to see how we can help you recover quickly from a meniscus injury.