Meniscus Injury Treatment
What is a meniscus?
A meniscus is a dense piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for the knee. Each knee has two wedge-shaped menisci, the medial meniscus on the inside and a lateral meniscus on the outside, which together promote smooth articular movement between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). The menisci are thicker towards the outer-edge and taper inwards toward one another to provide a donut-like cushion for the knee to distribute force and pivot upon.
What causes a meniscus tear?
The most common cause of a meniscus tear is degeneration with age and use. Meniscus tears also occur with acute trauma such as twisting or pivoting the knee as seen in many sports activities. The pivoting motion, when done repeatedly or improperly, may cause excessive loading on a portion of the meniscus causing it to tear.
What are Signs & Symptoms of a meniscus injury?
Meniscus tears often yield a sharp, stabbing pain on either the inside or outside of the knee. The discomfort is usually increased with specific activities such as squatting, lunging, kneeling, or sports that require pivoting. Swelling of the knee may or may not be present, but it’s quite common to feel clicks, popping, or catching as bone tries to glide across the meniscal tear.
Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?
The dense cartilage that makes up the menisci does not have a great blood supply with the exception of the peripheral edge. Low blood supply to tissue means a much slower rate of healing, which makes even minor tears something to be proactive on.
Minor tears may initially be no more than an annoyance, but the tear compromises proper shock absorption of the knee and increases the rate of future cartilage degeneration if left untreated. While major tears may require surgery, lessor tears can often be treated conservatively with manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises, which are proven to mitigate and alleviate pain symptoms.
What are the different types meniscus injuries?
There are several different types of meniscus tears. The six types of meniscus tears in generalized order of severity are: incomplete tear, radial tear, horizontal tear, flap tear, complex tear, and bucket handle tear.
Does Tangelo treat people with meniscus injuries?
We see people with meniscus injuries all the time, and achieve excellent results through our unique approach of combining manual therapy and movement training to get you out of pain fast!
By utilizing manual and instrument-assisted therapy techniques to address the tissues around the knee, we make sure the affected area is healing properly to get you out of pain as quick as possible. But, that’s only half of the equation as we have to treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.
After treatment, you’ll perform corrective exercises as part of your personalized rehab program. It’s these functional movements that unwind compensation patterns, correct movement dysfunction, and retrain your body (and brain) how to move properly to prevent further or future injury.
How can Tangelo Help Treat my meniscus injury?
At Tangelo, we don’t just focus on the obvious symptoms. We work hard to figure out what caused the problem in the first place. Our process begins with a comprehensive movement assessment to evaluate your knee, as well as your gait patterns, balancing, and lifting mechanics.
Our doctors use leading-edge manual therapy techniques to address the tight tissues around the knee and adjacent areas, which are likely adding to the movement restriction around the knee. These manual therapy techniques alleviate pain and provide a window of opportunity to improve movement patterns and balance of strength, which aid in unloading tension from the knee and redistributing load to larger joint areas like the hips.
Our rehab specialists instruct targeted corrective exercise and functional movements to enhance your ability to squat, lunge, jump, and run without discomfort. By improving the strength of your glutes, lateral hip stabilizers, and foot and ankle stability, we’ll teach you how to move in efficient ways to perform a variety of movements, so your knee tracks properly without causing additional harm. This comprehensive approach will make sure you get out of pain, stay out of pain, and go back to doing the sport or activities you love ASAP!
If you think you have a meniscus tear or any type of knee pain, we’d be happy to see you at any of our clinics in Seattle (Fremont, Green Lake, West Seattle) or Portland (Slabtown). You can schedule an appointment online or call the location most convenient for you!
What some of our clients have to say
I sprained my knee and went to another physical therapist and was unimpressed. Within a week of treatment at Tangelo the pain in my knee was going away and full range of movement was returning.
Their focus on building strength and teaching me the right exercises has enabled me to run and bike again. This is huge!! Thanks Sean, Geneva and Dr. Molina–it is great to have you part of my rehab team!!
I was experiencing knee and leg tightness that was causing numbness in a couple of my toes. I had gone to see a traditional chiropractor for a few sessions but my condition wasn't improving.
I then found out about Tangelo and the rest is history. Dr. Krysann was able to mix both traditional chiro adjustments with a lot of soft tissue work to loosen up my legs and knees.
Not only is Tangelo great for fixing ailments, the atmosphere truly sets it apart. You walk in and everyone greets you with a big smile. You truly feel like you have a team watching your back, working in harmony. They create an atmosphere that makes you want to stay and just hang out.
Definitely come check out the team at Tangelo if you're looking to be inspired to be your best physical self.
Other common conditions
Lower back pain and low back issues can occur suddenly, or can develop slowly over time. Chronic pain in the low back can result from disc injuries such as herniations or ruptures, joint problems, and irritated or inflamed nerves.
Shoulders conditions we treat include acute injuries such as rotator cuff tears and sprains, as well as chronic pain resulting from impingements, tendonitis and arthritis.
Knee pain can result from acute injuries, muscle imbalance, and repetitive-use injuries. Common conditions include Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, and IT band syndrome. Knee pain can be a symptom of related issues in the hips and ankles.
Foot & Ankle Pain
Conditions in the lower leg, foot and ankle include acute injuries such as sprains and strains, as well as chronic conditions such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
The muscle and ligaments of the neck connect the head, shoulders and back. Neck pain can result from poor posture, muscle imbalance, and injury. Often, neck pain is related to other interconnected muscle groups.
Elbow pain can be related to a number of conditions. Elbow tendonitis, or Tennis Elbow, is a common condition caused by inflammation and injury to the tendons. Overuse injuries and repetitive hand, wrist, or arm movements often cause elbow pain.
Tangelo treats conditions involving the body’s muscular and skeletal systems. Our hybrid approach was created to treat muscle, soft tissue, bone and joint conditions.
We provide service for muscle sprains and strains, repetitive-stress injuries, athletic injuries, acute injuries and chronic conditions.