Before we discuss what is Meniscus tear rehab and exercises, we need to understand that, Meniscus is a wedge-shaped, rubbery disc that provides cushion to the knee joint. It is a tissue present in between the thigh bone, the shin bone and the kneecap. A meniscus tear is a very common knee injury that is caused due to a rapid twist or turn of the knee while the foot is planted on the ground. It is a commonly occurring knee injury among athletes, football, hockey, and basketball and rugby players. A meniscus tear may also occur in the knee joints of elderly people due to the wearing out of the meniscal cartilage with age.
Meniscus tear Treatment
Minor tears of the meniscus are treated with a combination of painkillers and physiotherapy and may take two weeks to about six months to heal depending upon the severity of tear and age of the patient. Arthroscopy is the most commonly performed procedures as it is minimally invasive and wounds take less time to heal. A patient need not even be admitted to the hospital to undergo this form of meniscus tear surgery. For more severe meniscal tears, the knee joint may have to be cut open to carry out repair or even replace the damaged meniscus with that of a donor.
Meniscus Tear Rehabilitation and Exercises
Whatever the form of meniscus treatment, rehab is must for a patient to fully recover from the meniscal tear. In case of majority of meniscus tears, few easy exercises can help preserve muscle strength in the front thigh or quadriceps, back of thigh or hamstrings, hip and calf muscles. It must be kept in mind that all exercises must be done strictly on the advice of the orthopedic and you don’t feel pain while doing so.
Following exercises are prescribed for meniscal tear rehab:-
- Front straight leg raises must be done as a set of 8 to 10 repetitions. These help to strengthen the muscles on top of the thigh. Lie on your back with your better knee bent and foot flat on ground. Tighten the injured thigh, keep it straight and raise the leg so that the heel is 10 to 12 inches above the ground, keep it there for 5 seconds and then bring down.
- Back straight leg raises must be done in equal quantity as above. You have to lie on your stomach and lift the injured leg straight up so that the toes are 6 inches above the floor, hold for 5 seconds and then bring down.
- Quad sets help in building muscle strength on top of thigh. Do similar repetitions as above. Sit on the floor with the injured leg straight, tighten the upper thigh muscles, press back of your knee to floor for about 5 seconds and then relax for 10-12 seconds.
- Hamstring curls must be done in equal repetitions to strengthen the back thigh muscles. Lie on your stomach, lift foot of the injured leg towards the buttocks so far as it does not hurt and then straighten it.
Many more exercises can be suggested but must be done only on the advice of your orthopedic.