Ok, so you’ve been diagnosed with a tear in your meniscus and you’ve been recommended surgery. What if there was another option? A cheaper option? An option with less risk, an option that doesn’t fast track you on your way to a knee replacement. Would you be interested?
Let me begin by saying not all meniscal tears are the same, and some large acute tears that cause significant pain and disability often require surgical intervention. However many of the tears we see in the clinic are degenerative and recover well with graded strength exercises.
The big question anyone should be asking themselves before they even consider surgery is- have i tried 8-12 weeks of specific and graded strength exercises? We know that 8-12 weeks is the appropriate time frame to see changes in muscle tissue and allow the body to repair. Worst case scenario you try 8-12 weeks of strength work and you’re still having issues with your knee, you get the surgery, you’re going to have a far better outcome post surgery. Most likely you’ll avoid the surgery all together.
What does the research say?
There are many common surgeries performed that show no better outcome than conservative management. One of these surgeries is the arthroscopic degenerative mensical repair. Why would you risk surgery if the evidence suggests it’s no better than conservative management including strength work? I know 8-12 weeks can seem like a long time, but in the scheme of things it’s not really, you’ll benefit from a healthier and stronger knee as well. Many high quality Orthopaedic surgeons are readily recommending Physiotherapy as the mainstay of management when it comes to meniscal tears.
So what should i do?
- Allow 8-12 weeks of high quality strength work following your diagnosis of a meniscal tear.
- Think of your tear just like you would of grey hair or wrinkles on your skin, after all it is often a normal part ageing.
- Please don’t think that surgery is your only option.
Should you have any questions please feel free to call us on 9544-0477 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply drop in to our Cronulla clinic in person, look forward to hearing from you. Beachside Physiotherapy, Cronulla.