Meniscus Knee Surgery, Is It The Solution?

Surgery is all too commonly suggested before exploring other avenues when it comes to injury or treatment of damage. So is it the only option? Let’s take a look!

So what is a Meniscus?

Each knee joint has a medial and lateral meniscus, these look like two large C-shaped cartilages that separate the thigh bone from the shin bone. Each knee meniscus acts like a little wedge to assist with stability at the knee joint especially with rotational movement. They also act as shock absorbers while walking, running, and jumping, protecting the bone surfaces and allowing you to move.

What is a Meniscal Tear?

A meniscal tear is one of the most common cartilage injuries that occurs at the knee and is a very common source of knee pain. Such injuries can be put down to trauma, age or both.

A traumatic tear is often a result of a sporting injury and is more common in a younger person. In an older adult, tears may occur due to age-related degeneration of the meniscus.


Signs And Symptoms Of Meniscal Tears

·       Pain

·       Swelling around the knee

·       Stiffness/inability to move the knee through its normal range

·       Feeling the knee give way

·       A catching or a locking of the knee


Your Physiotherapist will perform a physical examination including a series of knee tests, which will help to identify if there is damage to the meniscus and whether it is a likely source of your pain. An MRI may needed to confirm this however is often not required if you are seeing an experienced Physiotherapist.

So if my Meniscus is Torn, do I need surgery?

This is one of the most common questions following a tear and often the answer is fortunately no, or at least not as a first line of treatment. 

There have been a few studies that show patients who had meniscus surgery didn’t have a better outcome than those who had Physiotherapy treatment alone.

It is important to discuss your symptoms and history with your Physiotherapist to know which management path is right for you. The Physiotherapists at Medwest Health Care can assess your knee injury and start early conservative treatment for meniscal tears to get you back on track and doing the things you love.