Torn Meniscus Exercises

Torn Meniscus Exercises

The goal of exercises in cases of a meniscus tear in the knee is to strengthen the leg muscles and knee little by little as you progress through three intensity stages of exercise:

Stage 1

- Stage one begins when acute swelling subsides.

- Extend your leg straight out and tense your thigh muscles. Hold the tensing for five seconds before relaxing. Perform three sets of twenty to thirty tensing repetitions. This may be done a couple of times each day.

- Begin in a seated position. Place the palm of your left hand on the left side of your knee joint and the palm of your right hand on the right side of the knee joint so that the fingers from both your hands meet on the underside of your knee. You will use your hands and arm muscles to gently bend and straighten your knee and leg. Repeat the motion ten times in a row, attempting to further your range of motion each time. Be careful not to force range of motion or increase it too fast. You may perform this exercise several times throughout the day.

-Begin in a seated position with your toes pointed straight ahead. Your feet are flat on the floor. Your thighs should be in alignment with your hips, with your hips bent in. Your knees should be bent to 90 degrees and directly over your feet. Place a firm pillow directly between your knees and press the pillow for ten seconds. Hold the press for a moment and then relax. (Figure 200). You may perform up to three sets of fifteen repetitions. The Pillow Press exercise can be done twice per day.

Stage 2

- Stage two begins as your able to support your own weight on your affected leg and bend and straighten your knee and leg.

- Get into a pony ridding posture (Figure 201) and hold it, making sure that your head is straight ahead, your knees are in alignment with your feet, and that your knees don’t go further than your feet (you should still be able to see your feet). Note that your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth. Allow your tailbone to dip under your body. You’ll feel your body weight settle evenly across the foot. Hold the position for a few moments.

- Take a seated position. If you are a taller individual, you may need to sit on a bench or counter top. Slowly begin to bend and extend the affected leg (Figure 202). You may do two sets of ten to twelve repetitions several times per day. Once comfortable performing un-resisted Leg Extensions, you may add ankle weights to perform resistance Leg Extensions. Start with a very light weight, such as one pound ankle weights, and gradually increase the weight. As your leg strengthens, you should try to find a heavy enough resistance weight to make it difficult for you to complete the last (tenth or twelfth) Leg Extension repetition.

- You may perform the Baby Steps Exercise.

Stage 3

- As you can walk up inclines or climb up stairs with normal knee and leg function, stage three begins.

- You may now do the following exercises:

Low Back Stretch

Hip Circles

Knee Circles Exercise