Back to Sports
The sports world is beginning to return following the pandemic. But, athletes in all sports are finding that they are not in playing shape. After taking several months off, getting back into shape has been more of a challenge than expected. Unfortunately, this has led to several injuries. The knee is one of the most injured body parts not only for professional athletes, but the weekend warriors as well.
The meniscus in the knee is a cartilage space that sits between your shin bone, or tibia, and your femur. The meniscus is C shaped and redistributes forces between the two bones. It does this when you are walking, running, or doing other sports related activity. People injure their meniscus when bearing weight and rotating, or twisting. This can lead to swelling and stiffness in your joint. People often complain about a clicking in their knee, as well as the inability to fully extend their knee. A lack of strength and stability in your knee is also common. There are different types of tears, however an X-ray and MRI are most effective to see what the issues are.
Treating a torn meniscus depends on the location of the tear as well as the severity or size of the tear. Often, treatment is effective and include cortisone injection and physical therapy to help restore range of motion and strength. If it’s serious enough, you will need arthroscopic surgery, in which the torn area of the meniscus is removed. After the surgery, physical therapy is required to help restore the motion and strength so you can return to normal activity.
Therapy for a torn meniscus focuses on the range of motion, or straightening of your knee. This often limits your motion. This is motion you need for all activities including walking and running for sports related activity and everyday life. Physical therapy will also focus on strengthening and stability of your quadricep muscle as well as stability of your hip and ankle as well. Over time, moving into sports related activity will happen to help you make a safe transition back to on field activity. A meniscus will heal in 6-12 weeks depending on the severity and whether or not you need surgery.
Written by Casey Badder PT