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The 7 Best Torn Meniscus Exercises

Here are physio approved torn meniscus exercises to do following the diagnosis of a meniscus injury to your knee

OhMyHealth has designed this video of the best torn meniscus exercises to do following the diagnosis of a meniscus injury to your knee. First you may want to know what your meniscus is, and where it is..?

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torn meniscus exercises help following a meniscal injury

Anatomy of the meniscus

The meniscus is a cushion like structure made of a fibrous cartilage. It fits within the knee joint between the tibia and femur. There are two menisci inside the knee joint – the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. The medial meniscus is C-shaped and the lateral meniscus is more circular. They act as shock absorbers for your knee, and also enable the femur to glide smoothly on the tibia when bending and straightening.

How does the meniscus get injured?

The meniscus may be injured or torn during normal activities such as walking or squatting. They can also be torn by traumatic force encountered in sports or other forms of physical exertion. The traumatic action is most often a twisting movement at the knee while the leg is bent. In older adults, the meniscus can be damaged simply due to ‘wear and tear’. Sometimes in acute or traumatic injuries  – which typically occur in younger, more active patients – there can be a displaced tear which can cause mechanical symptoms such as clicking, catching, or locking during motion of the knee joint.

Surgical vs non-surgical approach for meniscus tears

Interestingly enough, research has shown that osteoarthritis patients with meniscus injuries who follow a non-surgical approach and have physiotherapy treatment and follow a rehabilitation programme, have the same long term outcomes  as those who had surgery and physiotherapy. So it may be worth pursuing a non-surgical approach first? As always chat to your orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist to decide what is best for you. 

Torn meniscus exercises

We have created a video of Phase 1 exercises which you can start in the first days following an injury to your meniscus. The aim of these exercises is to improve your muscle strength, and increase your knee range of movement. You may experience some discomfort or pain. That is quite normal, however the pain should not be more than a 3/10 with 1/10 being a slight niggle and 10/10 would be excruciating. There is a recommended certain number of repetitions – this is a guideline only. If you can only do 10 repetitions before needing a break, you can either split the repetions into sets of 10 OR do less reps and as you get stronger build up the number of reps you can do.

Phase 2 exercise will be posted soon on OhMy Health…  so be sure to check in regularly. You can also read all the great articles about joint health and learn more about ways to protect you joints and to keep enjoying life to the full!

Good luck with getting started with those Phase 1 exercise, and see below to be able to download the exercises for easy use every day.

Get your copy of all the meniscus exercises together on one pdf to use at any time.


Carron Howard

Carron is a physiotherapist with over 20 years of experience, specialised in orthopedics, rehabilitation, sports injuries, backs and necks. She is a qualified Pilates instructor with a strong focus physical fitness, injury prevention and recovery. B Physt UP, OMT 1, SPT 1
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