Meniscal Injuries

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INJURY TITLE

Meniscal Injuries

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

A tear I the cartilage rings inside the knee joint.  The ends of the thighbone sit in them.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

This type of injury is often seen in footballer and basket ball players.  It happens when the knee (in a bent position) is caused to twist with the foot firmly placed on the ground.  The pain experienced after this may vary.  Small tears may cause little or no pain at all.  In an older person this would be consistent with degeneration of the cartilage.  The larger the tear usually means more pain and disability.  The disability can arise because the loos portion of the tear can get caught between the bone ends of the joint, stopping movement.

 

There are other structures in the knee that are attached to the meniscus.  The big ligament ton the inside of the knee is attached to it so injury to the meniscus could irritate this also and vice versa.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain along the joint line on the inside of the knee.
  • Inability to bend the knee fully or squat down to pick things up
  • Swelling (this may only come on gradually but it can be quite extensive)
  • Pain on weight bearing

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical examination to rule out other causes of pain
  • Most of the clinical tests are not sensitive enough to diagnose the condition.  The clinical picture from both questioning and function is how the diagnosis is usually made.
  • MRI can help but is rarely necessary

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Treatment depends entirely on the severity of the tear.
  • Small tears are usually best handled conservatively
  • For larger tears, surgery is usually needed to help with a return to function.
  • Prehabilitation before surgery is always a good idea to help maintain strength and range of motion in the joint.
  • Rehabilitation to regain full range of motion
  • Graduated weight bearing and return to activity
  • Progressive strengthening.

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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