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Protecting and Repairing Meniscal Injuries

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Protecting and Repairing Meniscal Injuries

Although some athletes return to the game soon after a meniscal injury and others take months to recover, there is a good reason for this variation. To repair this athletic injury, especially common in soccer or football, treatment depends on the type and severity of the injury, the activity level of the patient and the response to treatment.
The menisci are discs of cartilage that fill the area between the large upper thigh bone and the shin bone, acting as shock absorbers at the knee joint. If a movement stresses the meniscus, it can subsequently become torn or damaged.
Most tears can be treated with physical therapy and exercise, along with anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections. Typically, patients who need surgery may have a “partial” meniscectomy—where the torn portion of the meniscus is removed—or a repair that requires joining the torn edges with sutures.

  • After a partial meniscectomy, physical therapy can usually start within a few days, when bearing weight is comfortable and can be tolerated.
  • After a meniscal repair, the patient can also begin physical therapy within a few days but will sometimes need to refrain from weight bearing for approximately four to six weeks, depending on the extent of the tear. Slow, steady weight bearing would follow this period of healing, although it can be several months before the patient can return to sports.

Regardless of the initial treatment, our first focus will be to reduce the swelling and inflammation, and relieve pain.

Such exercises are designed to:

  • control exercise progression to avoid injury
  • encourage gentle improvement of strength and
  • facilitate complete range-of-motion

Proper aftercare and consistent exercises will encourage healing, prevent any future injuries and let you return to your sport within a reasonable amount of time.

Talk to us about an exercise regimen designed especially for you.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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