What we’ll cover
  1. What is the mensicus?
  2. How does a meniscus tear happen?
  3. How do you know if you have a torn meniscus in your knee?
  4. Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?
  5. Can physio help a torn meniscus?

Meniscal Injuries – What are they and how are they best treated?

Meniscus and cartilage injuries are a common knee injury that can occur from a specific injury or gradually as part of the normal wear and tear to the knee joint. Our physiotherapist Sarah Yule examines the best way to treat meniscus injuries.

What is the mensicus?

The knee is a hinge joint structured to allow for two main movements: extension (straightening) and flexion (bending) of the knee. The knee has two C-shaped menisci that sit between the tibia (shin bone) and femur (thigh bone) and assist in absorbing and distributing force as well as stabilising the knee.

How does a meniscus tear happen?

Meniscal tears can either be traumatic or degenerative in nature. A traumatic meniscal injury typically occurs as a result of twisting the knee in a slightly flexed/bent position and most commonly occurs in sports involving pivoting/ change of direction movements. Degenerative meniscal tears occur as part of normal progressive wear in a joint, and in the older adult the tear may be related to the natural degeneration of the meniscus that occurs with age.

How do you know if you have a torn meniscus in your knee?

Pain is commonly experienced when a meniscus is injured, with twisting, bending or straightening the knee common movements that may bring on your pain. Swelling may occur either immediately following the injury or progressively over the ensuing hours. You may also experience clicking or locking symptoms.

Whilst there is usually pain with during squatting or twisting movements, unless the injury has caused locking of the knee, many people are still able to walk, sit and sleep without significant discomfort.

Can a meniscus tear heal on its own?


There are many different types of meniscal injury as shown in the diagram above. The most common type of meniscal injury is a radial tear.  A degenerative or complex tear, involves a combination of different tear patterns and therefore due to its complex nature are often more effectively treated with conservative physical therapy rather than surgical intervention. A bucket handle tear on the other hand is often responsible for causing a physical locking of the knee restricting knee mobility and function, and thus surgical intervention is often warranted.

The location of meniscal injury will additionally affect the healing prospects of your meniscal injury, with a rich blood supply increasing healing success. As pictured, the outer third of the meniscus has a greater blood supply and thus greater healing capabilities compared to the inner third which has a poorer blood supply and thus poorer healing capabilities.


Can physio help a torn meniscus?

The majority of meniscal injuries can be effectively treated with a comprehensive 6-8 week period of physiotherapy, depending on the extent of your injury and the individual. Your physiotherapist will initially work on reducing your pain and inflammation, and work to restore your knee range of motion and muscle length. As your pain reduces and your function begins to improve, the focus of physiotherapy will transition towards a specific and graded exercise program focusing on building the strength and proprioception of your knee and ultimately geared towards returning you to your favourite activity or sporting goals.

If you are experiencing knee pain or have a meniscal injury call us or book online to make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today. When assessed and treated early, it results in reduced recovery time and improved long term outcomes.

Follow us
on instagram

Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with clinic news and the latest tips and advice from our team of physiotherapists.