Physical Therapy for a Meniscus Tear
The knee requires multiple, small, moving parts to work together in perfect harmony, including the meniscus. A meniscus tear is a severe injury that could lead to long-term mobility problems. The meniscus is a ligamentous cushion between the bones of the knee that provides comfort and stability while the knee is flexed. A meniscus tear takes place when a rotational force is applied to the knee while it is flexed. A tear could occur due to:
- A twisting force being applied to a pinned leg in a severe auto accident.
- A slip and fall injury from a great height.
- Sudden changes in direction that occur on a planted leg while playing sports.
Often, a meniscus tear will require surgical repair; however, in some cases, an individual might be able to get by with physical therapy alone.
Avoiding Surgery for a Meniscus Tear: Several Conditions
Not all tears will require surgery to repair. Several conditions must be met to avoid this procedure. Surgery can be prevented if:
- The damage is slight or incomplete.
- Several days after the injury, the swelling has gone down.
- The knee is not in any significant pain.
- The individual does not have any desire to return to competitive athletics in any way.
While many people will still opt for surgery to regain full strength in their knee, not everyone will desire this. Furthermore, some people may not want to take on the risk of having surgery.
Physical Therapy Exercises for the Recovery
Once an individual has decided against having surgery, it is essential to give the knee time to rest. During this period, some of the treatment options that will be helpful include:
- Resting the knee from all physical activity if possible.
- Elevating the leg to reduce the swelling.
- Applying ice to the knee to relieve inflammation.
- Taking pain medication if any discomfort is present.
- Wearing a brace on the knee to provide stability during the healing process.
Once the swelling and pain have subsided, physical therapy on the knee can begin. Therapy is crucial because it will strengthen the knee, reducing discomfort, and restoring range of motion. Some of the exercises that could be involved during physical therapy include:
- Quadricep exercises to strengthen the thigh muscles above the knee.
- Straight-leg raises to strengthen the muscles and the ligaments of the knee.
- Hamstring curls to improve the strength and flexibility along the back of the knee.
- Heel raises that will strengthen the calf muscles below the knee.
Once the muscles around the knee are strong enough, straight knee bends will be incorporated to strengthen the knee itself.
Watch YouTube Video: Top 7 Exercises After Meniscus Tear. This video demonstrates seven basic exercises that you can do after a meniscus tear that can help lessen pain and increase strength.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
During this healing process, it is normal for families to have questions about the accident and the injury. For help during this time, it is prudent to meet with an injury lawyer in Sacramento. A licensed injury attorney can help families review the records from the accident, discuss their options, and get their recovery process moving in the right direction. Reach out and talk to a Sacramento personal injury lawyer for help. Your family might be owed a financial award.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A meniscus tear is a severe knee injury; however, not everyone requires surgery. Sometimes, physical therapy could lead to a successful recovery. Should you or someone you know suffer a meniscus tear, please reach out to me at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 to receive free and friendly legal guidance and advice.
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