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Step Up to Therapy After a Meniscus Tear


stk159373rkeThe menisci, two semicircular pieces of knee cartilage located where the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) meet, help diffuse the forces on the knee and act as shock absorbers. Meniscal tears are common. Young athletes often tear a meniscus when twisting with the knee flexed and the foot firmly planted. Older adults may develop degenerative “wear and tear” meniscal injuries.

 

Signs of a possible torn meniscus include

 

·       swelling

 

·       joint pain

 

·       the knee “catching” and locking

 

In young adults, the surgeon may be able to repair the meniscus by reconnecting the torn ends. But most often, meniscal tears are treated with surgery called a partial meniscectomy performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon makes two small slits in the knee and removes the damaged portion of the meniscus and any loose fragments that can cause the knee to catch or lock.

 

After partial meniscectomy, you may have restricted range of motion in the knee, along with some pain and possible swelling. This is where visits to our office and a home exercise program can help you return to normal functioning more quickly. We can design a program to extend your range of motion and increase the flexibility of the knee. As your condition improves, we can add exercises to strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings. Keeping these muscles strong helps stabilize the knee and reduce the risk of future injury.

 

Most people do not require prolonged physical therapy after partial meniscectomy if they diligently perform their exercise program at home. Young adults who have a torn meniscus reconnected may require more extensive physical therapy. Individuals whose goal is a rapid return to athletics may also need an intensive program of thigh muscle strengthening to protect against reinjury.

 

If you have undergone surgery to repair a torn meniscus, please see us. We can develop an individualized exercise regimen that will enable you to return to your sports and everyday activities while avoiding reinjury to this very important structure.

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.
Tom Willemann

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