Physical Therapy- a first line of approach for meniscus tears
A recent study posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association supported conservative physical therapy as a first approach to nonobstructive meniscal tears in lieu of immediate arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. The research trial was performed in the Netherlands and has been reviewed by various branches of the medical community for its findings.
“This trial provides complementary data to the results of prior studies suggesting that physical therapy is a patient-friendly noninvasive equivalent to early surgery for meniscal tears”
- Andrea Dotson, M.D.
Authors of an accompanying editorial upon review of the article and research wonder why “the orthopedic community has been slow to decrease the number of surgeries in light of the research.” Perhaps getting the information out to the medical community at large may help to drive MD s and patients to seek PT as a first approach with nonobstructive meniscal tears.
Obstructive meniscus tears are torn in such as way that they get “caught” in the joint and cause locking in the knee. Other tears that are painful but do not cause catching in the knee, are considered non-obstructive.
If you have been diagnosed with a meniscus tear, ask your MD about PT first as a conservative measure for your care.
—Joann Tippett, MPT, CKPT, CCI