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Meniscus Tear Patient Education

Increase patient engagement in and out of the clinic with MedBridge's interactive videos and high-quality handouts. Explore a sample of our meniscus injury patient education resources below.

Explaining Meniscus Injuries

The meniscus cushions the knee joint, and keeps the bones from rubbing against each other. The meniscus can be injured during a bending and twisting motion, such as the impact from a sports tackle or a car accident.

Explore Patient Education

An Integrated Approach is Always the Winner

by Terry Malone, PT, EdD, ATC, FAPTA

We greatly appreciate the interrelation of the hip and thigh and that unfortunately the body will avoid using some musculature when allowed to just function (quadriceps avoidance is the common term).

Data now says an integrated approach is required. So we really need to do isolated strengthening – open chain knee extension (sometimes this may be somewhat range specific). Our recommendations are as follows:

  1. Perform a terminal extension with what is a maximal load from 30 degrees to full extension.
  2. Perform another terminal extension, which will be a much larger load, from 90 degrees to 30 (two sets of 10 repetitions).
  3. Integrate the above with isometric wall holds at approximately 30-45 degrees (hold as long as possible, walk around a short time and repeat; do this 3 times daily).
  4. Include controlled lunges/squats and/or leg press allowing the full lower chain to be active.

With a meniscus patient, we would use the 90-30 degree open chain and avoid terminal extension.

Remember that an integrated approach has always been the winner!

    Recent texts:
  1. Noyes’ Knee Disorders: Surgery, Rehabilitation, Clinical Outcomes.Noyes FR editor and Barber-Westin SD, Associate editor, Saunders Elsevier Publisher, Philadelphia, PA, 2010
  2. Insall & Scott Surgery of the Knee 5th Edition. W Norman Scott editor, Churchill Livingstone-Elsevier Publisher, Philadelphia, PA, 2012.
  3. Postsurgical Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation: Knee and Shoulder. Manske RC editor, Elsevier Publisher, Philadelphia, PA, 2006.
    Seminal classic texts and articles:
  1. Disorders of the Knee. Helfet AJ and 12 guest authors, Lippincott Publishers Philadelphia, PA, 1974.
  2. Knee joint changes after meniscectomy. Fairbank FJ. JBone Joint Surg [Br] 30:664-670, 1948.
  3. Microvasculature of the human meniscus. Arnoczky SP, Warren RF. Am J Sports Med 10:90-95, 1982.
  4. Rehabilitation of the Surgical Knee. Davies GJ Editor, Cypress Publisher, Ronkonkoma, New York, 1984.
    Recent Peer-Reviewed Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses:
  1. A systematic review of clinical outcomes in patients undergoing meniscectomy. Salata MJ, Gibbs AE, Sekiya JK. Am J Sports Med, 1907-1916, 2010.
  2. Meniscectomy as a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Papalia R, del Buono A, Osti L, et al., Br med Bull, 89-106, 2011.
  3. History of knee injuries and knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Muthuri SG, McWilliams DF, Doherty M, Zhang W. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 1286-1293, 2011.
  4. Effects of articular cartilage and meniscus injuries at the time of surgery on osteoarthritic changes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in patients under 40 years old. Ichiba A, Kishimoto I. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg., 409-415, 2009.
  5. Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis. Katz JN1, Brophy RH, Chaisson CE, de Chaves L, Cole BJ, Dahm DL, Donnell-Fink LA, Guermazi A, Haas AK, Jones MH, Levy BA, Mandl LA, Martin SD, Marx RG, Miniaci A,Matava MJ, Palmisano J, Reinke EK, Richardson BE, Rome BN, Safran-Norton CE, Skoniecki DJ, Solomon DH, Smith MV,Spindler KP, Stuart MJ, Wright J, Wright RW, Losina E. N Engl J Med. 2013 May 2;368(18):1675-84.
  6. Focusing on results after meniscus surgery. Editorial Philippe Beaufils, Roland Becker, Rene Verdonk ,Henrik Aagaard, Jon Karlsson. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, January 2015, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 3-7, First online: 20 December 2014.
  7. Rehabilitation of meniscal injury and surgery. Cavanaugh JT. J Knee Surg. 2014 Dec;27(6):459-78. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1394299.
  8. Effect of Exercise Therapy Compared with Arthroscopic Surgery on Knee Muscle Strength and Functional Performance in Middle-Aged Patients with Degenerative Meniscus Tears: A 3-Mo Follow-up of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Stensrud S,Risberg MA, Roos EM. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2014.
  9. Weightbearing Versus Nonweightbearing After Meniscus Repair. VanderHave KL, Perkins C, Le M. Sports Health. 2015 Sep;7(5):399-402. doi: 10.1177/1941738115576898. Epub 2015 Mar 10.
  10. Alterations in knee kinematics after partial medial meniscectomy are activity dependent. Edd SN, Netravali NA, Favre J, Giori NJ,Andriacchi TP. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Jun;43(6):1399-407. doi: 10.1177/0363546515577360. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

3 Recommended Knee Exercises

The following exercises have been selected to accompany Terry Malone's recommendations for knee rehabilitation.

Build Home Exercise Programs

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Seated Knee Extension with Anchored Resistance

Wall Quarter Squat

Standard Lunge

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