The meniscus is a cartilage that can be found in the knee joint. Each knee has two of them: one is located on the knee’s inner side (the medial meniscus) and the other is on the outer side (the outer meniscus). The two menisci are critical to mobility, as they allow people to perform most physical activities.
Unfortunately, the meniscus can tear when the knee joint endures more pressure than it can handle. These tears often occur when a person plays sports or lifts something heavy. Surgery is usually the treatment recommended for a meniscus tear. However, according to CBS News, there may be another form of treatment that is just as beneficial, yet more affordable:
“If you suffer a torn meniscus, you may not want to rush to get under the knife. A new study that compares physical therapy to knee surgery for the common injury finds that therapy can be just as effective—not to mention cheaper.
However, therapy didn’t always help, and some people wound up having surgery to fix the problem. But those who stuck with therapy had improved as much six months and one year later as those who were given arthroscopic surgery right away, researchers found.
“Both are very good choices. It would be quite reasonable to try physical therapy first because the chances are quite good that you’ll do quite well,” said one study leader, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a joint specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.”
Depending on the degree and location of the tear, it is possible that physical therapy at a Seattle Northgate urgent care facility is all that is needed to recover from a torn meniscus. Physical therapy is also advisable for meniscal tears that leave the knee stable, if the injury’s symptoms do not persist or limit physical activities in any way. The decision to forgo surgery often depends on whether or not the knee joint remains functional. It must also not keep the patient from participating in his or her regular activities.
To see if physical therapy is a viable treatment option for a meniscal tear, visit or call a Northgate, Seattle urgent care center such as U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group and schedule a consultation with one of the facility’s experienced physicians.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Torn meniscus treatments: Physical therapy just as good as surgery, says study, CBS News, March 19, 2013)