Treatment for a Torn Miniscus

Each knee has two menisci, which act as cushions for shinbone and thigh bone, and they help prevent the bones from wear and tear. A torn meniscus, one of the most common knee injuries, can be caused by any activity which has you forcefully twist or rotate your knee, especially when the entirety of your weight is put on it. Tears can even occur from kneeling, lifting, and deep squatting. Contact Madison Physical Therapy in Brooklyn if you believe your pain is stemming from a torn meniscus.

Torn meniscus signs and symptoms

If you have any of these signs and symptoms, the source of your knee pain may be a tear in your meniscus:

  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Knee pain, especially when twisting or rotating
  • A popping sensation
  • Difficulty bending and straightening your leg
  • The feeling that your knee is locked


Treatment often begins conservatively depending on the location, size, and type of tear. Your doctor and our physical therapy in Brooklyn may suggest:

  • Rest - Avoid activities which involve twisting, rotating, or pivoting the knee. If the pain is severe, your doctor may recommend crutches. This will take the pressure off of your knee.
  • Ice - Ice can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Keeping your knee elevated, apply a cold pack, bag of frozen vegetables, or a towel filled with ice for about 15 minutes at a time.
  • Physical Therapy - A physical therapy treatment plan, during therapy or at home, can be used to strengthen the muscles around the knee in hopes of a quicker and more successful recovery. Physical therapy may use different exercises that can help build up knee-strength:
    • Quadricep exercises - also known as the “quad,” this muscle helps support the joints and keeps the leg strength.
    • Straight leg raises - this exercise can help improve hip strength, which has a positive correlation to the support that's placed on your knees.

    • Plyometric exercises - these types of exercises help train you how to properly jump and land. Helping to restore neuromuscular control of the muscles around the knees and hips, this exercise will give you the confidence you need to get back to doing what you love.
  • Surgery - If your knee locks or physical therapy has not relieved the pain, surgery may be an option. A torn meniscus may be repaired, especially in children and young adults. In the case the tear is unrepairable, the meniscus may be surgically trimmed. Physical therapy may be suggested post surgery to optimize knee strength and stability.

Your treatment options will depend on the severity of your torn meniscus. Speak with a specialist at our physical therapy in Brooklyn to determine which is best for you. Contact us today to begin treatment!