Degenerative meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis

Meniscal tears are present in 60-90% of people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Physical therapy and home-based exercise programmes are considered first-line treatments for people with degenerative meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, but there is a lot of confusion as to what type of exercises and treatment is effective.

A research trial (TeMPO) looked to identify the elements of a physical therapy programme and home-based exercises that are most effective for patients with meniscal tear and knee osteoarthritis.

Amongst a group of health professionals, from physical therapists to orthopaedic surgeons, a consensus was reached in how best to manage patients with meniscal tears and concomitant knee osteoarthritis. The following interventions are advised:-

# manual therapy

# stretching

# strengthening

# neuromuscular functional training

Any impairments in range of motion, musculotendinous length, muscle length and neuromotor control were important in gaining optimal knee function. Home-based exercises that focus on the major muscle groups that support the knee, including Gluteus Medius, were considered important in gaining maximal knee function and stability.