Meniscus Injuries: A Review of Rehabilitation and Return to Play

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Despite the lack of literature on isolated meniscus repair rehabilitation, the authors of this study formulated a helpful framework and set of guidelines for clinicians to follow.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

The menisci play a vital role in knee health by increasing tibiofemoral joint space and contact area, reducing localized stress, and buffering against both rotational and axial sheer force. Injury to the menisci may alter joint kinematics, leading to increased peak contact stress and accelerated degenerative joint surface changes. In the United States, the number of arthroscopic meniscal repairs doubled from 2005 to 2011, reflecting a growing appreciation for the role of the menisci in long term knee health (2). Despite the lack of high-quality studies evaluating rehabilitation following meniscus repair, the authors sought to summarize available evidence regarding rehabilitation phases, exercise selection, training goals, objective measures governing progression, and clinical decision making.

Injury to the menisci may alter joint kinematics, leading to increased peak contact stress and accelerated degenerative joint surface changes.
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Rehabilitation of a meniscus tear repair is very similar to an accelerated ACL protocol, with the greatest differentiating factor being the consideration of compressive loading and range of motion.

METHODS

Although the paper was titled a “review article,” the authors did not attempt to produce a systematic review or meta-analysis. Their review is a synopsis of current literature on meniscus repair and knee rehabilitation presented in the framework of a

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