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Clinically Relevant Meniscus Pathology: Evaluation and Treatment

presented by Dan Rhon, PT, DPT, DSc, PhD, OCS, FAAOMPT

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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This course is part of our OCS Prep-Program. Learn more about the full prep-program here: MedBridge OCS Prep-Program.

Derangement of the meniscus is a common knee injury, and often goes undetected and mismanaged. It is also commonly associated with the aging of the tibiofemoral joint, and in this situation, labeled a degenerative meniscus tear. How do you know if a meniscus injury is the cause of pain or dysfunction, or merely part of the aging process and potentially a less relevant finding? Proper managing depends on a good knowledge of prognostic factors, along with a solid understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics of the tibiofemoral joint. This lays the clinical foundation for effective identification of clinically relevant meniscus pathology. A well-focused history and physical examination is the key to properly assessing meniscus derangement in the knee. Following this course you will have the knowledge to display an understanding of the role that the meniscus plays in the function of the tibiofemoral joint, as well as be able to accurately articulate the evidence supporting age-related changes in the meniscus, and the prevalence of asymptomatic meniscus tears.

Meet Your Instructor


Dr. Dan Rhon is a clinician, active researcher, and assistant professor at Baylor University in Texas. He received an MPT and DSc through Baylor University and then a DPT through Temple University. He attended a manual therapy clinical fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas, is a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Basic Anatomy, Physiology, and Biomechanics of the Meniscus

This chapter will cover the anatomy and physiology of the meniscus, and its role in the function of the knee joint. We'll assess the structures that function alongside the meniscus that contribute to the integrity and function of the tibiofemoral joint, and review biomechanics of the knee, and the role of the meniscus in facilitating proper function of the knee.

2. Epidemiology and Etiology of Meniscus Tears

Dr. Rhon will cover the epidemiology and etiology of meniscus tears, to include prevalence and high risk populations. He'll provide insight towards the most common mechanisms of meniscus injury, other injuries that are associated with concurrent meniscus injury, and different types of meniscus tears and the common classifications systems. We'll then learn the patient populations at highest risk for meniscus injury and describe common patient profiles for acute versus degenerative meniscus injury.

3. Subjective Evaluation of Patients with Suspected Meniscus Pathology

This chapter will cover the subjective examination of the knee suspected to have a meniscus injury. The subjective approach is very important, as it helps you plan your objective exam. Your interviewing skills are key as you attempt to identify the problem as it is most relevant to the patient, and understand how historical variables and current symptoms play into the diagnosis and prognosis.

4. Objective Evaluation of Patients With Suspected Meniscus Pathology

In this chapter we will cover the objective examination of the knee suspected to have a meniscus injury. The objective exam serves as a tool to help strengthen the initial hypotheses established about the injury. A physical examination of the direct and indirect structures of the knee, and their association with pain and function, can help the clinician determine an appropriate diagnosis and course of treatment, as well as establish a prognosis for recovery.

5. The Role of Diagnostic Imaging in the Diagnosis and Management of Meniscus Tears

Dr. Rhon reviews the current evidence for the role of diagnostic imaging in the diagnosis of meniscus tears. He'll explain the diagnostic value of radiographs, MRI, and CT-Scan for the diagnosis of meniscus pathology.

6. Overview of Effective Non-Surgical Interventions for Meniscus Tear and Prognosis

This chapter reviews the current evidence for non-surgical treatments for meniscus tears. We'll discuss specifically the role of exercise therapy in the management of meniscus tears and clearly articulate the need for identifying relevant impairments in patients with degenerative meniscus tears, describe the relationship between meniscus tears and knee osteoarthritis (OA), and the relationship between degenerative meniscus tears and knee OA.

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