Meniscus Pain: Surgery or Exercises?

Meniscus rehab

Meniscus Pain: Surgery or Exercises?


Are you grappling with knee pain that disrupts your daily life? The culprit might be your meniscus. In this guide, we’ll unravel the complexities of meniscus pain, exploring whether surgery is necessary or if exercises can provide relief. Learn what to avoid during your recovery and discover effective rehab strategies with simple exercises. Plus, we’ll highlight a crucial consideration for a successful recovery journey.

Understanding the Meniscus:

To make sense of this, let’s start by understanding what the meniscus is. The meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage in your knee joint that acts as a cushion, providing stability and distributing weight. There are two menisci, one on the inside (medial) and one on the outside (lateral). It’s important to note that the meniscus has different blood flow levels at various parts.

Diagnosing Meniscus Issues:

Meniscus issues can result from injuries, especially twisting, or normal degenerative changes in the joint over time. To determine if your meniscus is the culprit, you can perform three simple tests at home. Positive results, causing pain, indicate potential meniscus involvement. These tests include deep knee flexion, joint line tenderness, and Thessaly’s (standing on one leg and rotating).

Signs for Surgical Consideration:

Certain signs may indicate the need for surgery in meniscal injuries. Age is a factor, with those below 45 and experiencing an injury being potential candidates. While most cases won’t require surgery, considerations include instability, frequent knee giving way, or joint locking. An MRI, detailing tear types like displaced flap or bucket handle, guides the decision-making process.

Essential Precautions during Recovery:

Understanding what to avoid during recovery is crucial. Deep bending and excessive twisting are primary factors to steer clear of, as persistent engagement can be aggravating. With meniscus injuries having a prolonged recovery period, maintaining awareness is key for effective recovery.

Rehabilitation Strategies:

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the recovery process. Instead of specific exercises, focus on strengthening various leg areas without aggravating symptoms. Emphasize single-leg exercises to prevent imbalances and target quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and adductors. Gradual progression, attention to form, and avoiding obvious shifts in movement are key principles.


In conclusion, effective recovery from a meniscus tear involves understanding the injury, considering surgery based on specific signs, avoiding aggravating activities, and implementing a thoughtful rehabilitation program. By targeting various leg muscles, this comprehensive approach aims to restore normal functioning and minimize the risk of recurrence, facilitating a successful and sustainable recovery from meniscus issues.

If you are struggling with knee pain and need a consultation, you could find us in Nottingham. You could give us a call on 0115 901 7867 or use our online booking system. We are based in Nottingham

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