Meniscus Tears

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What is a Meniscus?

You have two menisci in each leg, between your thigh bone (femur) and your leg bone (tibia). They are fibrocartilaginous structures that provide stability, and shock absorption when walking, running, jumping, squatting, and lunging. Menisci can become torn due to trauma or degeneration. Traumatic meniscus tears commonly occur with twisting injuries. Degenerative tears can develop over time, particularly as part of osteoarthritis.

What Does a Meniscus Tear Feel Like?

Symptoms of a meniscus tear depend on whether it’s due to trauma or degenerative.

TRAUMATIC MENISCUS TEARS
  • A click may be felt at the time of injury
  • Pain along the joint line (between the thigh and leg bones)
  • It might be painful to walk on the affected leg straight after the injury
  • Swelling in the knee joint
  • Certain movements can be painful, such as pivoting and squatting
  • After the time of the injury, the knee can continue to click, catch, lock and give way
DEGENERATIVE MENISCUS TEARS
  • Gradual onset of pain
  • The pain is felt with certain activities such as kneeling and squatting
  • Pain usually reduces with rest
  • As the degeneration continues, other symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as stiffness in the morning, creaking or cracking in the knee or catching/locking can occur
Causes and Risk Factors
TRAUMATIC MENISCUS TEARS
  • Excessive rotation of the knee when pivoting during sports such as soccer, footy and basketball, commonly causes traumatic meniscus tears
  • impact to the side of the knee (commonly during footy and rugby)
DEGENERATIVE MENISCUS TEARS
  • Studies show that being male and older than 60 years of age are risk factors for developing degenerative meniscal tears
  • Occupations involving repeated kneeling, squatting, or climbing stairs (more than 30 flights of stairs)

Osteopathic Treatment for Meniscus Injuries An Osteopath can provide hands-on treatment to reduce muscle tightness and improve mobility of your knee, and other surrounding areas that may be contributing/compensating for the issue. Treatment may include massage, stretching, joint articulation, joint manipulation, dry needling and/or myofascial cupping. Your Osteopath can also give you exercises and stretches to help manage the knee pain, and strengthen your knee and other areas if necessary. In some cases, surgery may be required to treat a meniscus tear. Your Osteopath will do a thorough assessment and may suggest that you speak to your GP, or have scans on your knee, to determine whether surgery is necessary.

We understand how much an injury can impact on your daily life and activities and would love to assist you in getting back to what you enjoy doing. To make an appointment, book online, or give us a call.

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