Meniscal tears are common knee injuries that affect athletes and non-athletes alike. The meniscus is a C-shaped cushion of cartilage between your thigh and shin bones. It acts to absorb shock and stabilize the knee. Each knee has two menisci. Meniscal injuries are either acute or degenerative. Acute injuries are caused by a specific movement, typically a twisting motion when the knee is bent and the foot is planted. Degenerative injuries, on the other hand, result from repetitive movements that wear away the cartilage over time. Causal factors include repetitive squatting, kneeling, and heavy lifting. Symptoms of meniscal tears include a popping sensation, locking so the knee will not fully straighten, swelling, stiffness, and pain with knee rotation. A physiotherapist can evaluate for meniscal tears using a detailed history of the injury, evaluation of symptoms, and a variety of special tests specific for this type of injury. Based on the outcome of these tests, your physiotherapist may recommend you visit your doctor for further diagnostic tests, such as an MRI, and possible referral to an Orthopedic surgeon. Often, however, meniscal tears can be managed without surgery. Physiotherapy treatment for non-operative meniscal tears initially aims to reduce pain and swelling. Techniques may include manual therapy, compression, activity modification, and thermal modalities. As treatment progresses, your physiotherapist will work with you to restore your strength and function with manual therapy, strengthening, balance exercises, and agility training. Physiotherapy treatment for surgical meniscal tears focuses on maximizing postoperative recovery. As with non-operative tears, initial treatments will focus on reducing post-operative pain and swelling. Treatment then progresses, using exercise and manual therapy techniques to restore movement, strength, and function. Your physiotherapists at Keystone Physiotherapy are experienced and highly skilled in maximizing your recovery from both non-operative and operative meniscal tears. We offer individualized, comprehensive care to speed pain relief, restore function, and prevent re-injury. Call us today and get the care you need.