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  • Writer's pictureAntonia Counts

Meniscus Tear: Physical Therapy or Surgery??

A meniscus tear is a common injury that occurs in the knee joint, and it can be very painful and debilitating. Meniscus tears often occur as a result of sudden twisting or rotation of the knee, which can cause the cartilage in the knee to tear. Many people assume that the only way to treat a meniscus tear is through surgery, but physical therapy can be a highly effective alternative that has several benefits.


Here are some reasons why you should consider physical therapy instead of surgery for a meniscus tear:

1. Physical therapy can help avoid surgery

Physical therapy can be very effective in helping to heal a meniscus tear, and in many cases, it can help avoid surgery altogether. Physical therapy can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling in the knee, and it can also help to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the joint. This can help to improve overall knee function and prevent further damage to the meniscus.

2. Physical therapy is non-invasive

Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment option, which means that it does not require any incisions or cutting into the body. This can help to reduce the risk of complications associated with surgery, such as infection, bleeding, and scarring.

3. Physical therapy is less expensive

Physical therapy is generally less expensive than surgery, which can be a significant factor for many people. Surgery often requires hospitalization, anesthesia, and a lengthy recovery period, all of which can be costly. Physical therapy, on the other hand, typically involves regular appointments with a physical therapist and may require some at-home exercises or stretches.

4. Physical therapy has fewer side effects

Surgery can be associated with a range of side effects, including pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Physical therapy, on the other hand, is generally well-tolerated and has few if any side effects. This means that you can get back to your normal activities more quickly and with less discomfort.

5. Physical therapy can improve overall health and wellness. Physical therapy can be a valuable tool for improving overall health and wellness, even beyond the knee joint. By working with a physical therapist, you can learn proper techniques for stretching, strengthening, and balancing your body, which can help to prevent future injuries and improve your overall quality of life.


Here at OFF THE BLOCK Performance Physical Therapy, we are currently treating a high school Varsity Soccer player from Clemson South Carolina who chose to seek out sports physical therapy instead of an invasive surgery! He is now back playing soccer at full capacity only 2 short months later and it’s stronger, faster and more confident than ever!!


In conclusion, physical therapy can be a highly effective alternative to surgery for a meniscus tear. It is non-invasive, less expensive, has fewer side effects, and can help to improve overall health and wellness. If you are experiencing knee pain or have been diagnosed with a meniscus tear, it is worth considering physical therapy as a treatment option. Talk to your doctor or a licensed physical therapist to learn more about how physical therapy can help you recover from a meniscus tear.



See another article below from an international medical journal

Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy versus physical therapy for traumatic meniscal tears in a young study population: a randomised controlled trial


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