3 tests to identify if you may have torn your mensiscus (knee cartilage)!

The meniscus is a crescent shaped, thickened cartilage pad that sits between the two bones (femur and tibia) of the knee joint. The meniscus acts as a smooth surface for the joint to rotate, translate and spin on, when moving the knee.

A torn meniscus can result from any activity that causes a forceful twist or rotation of your knee, such as aggressive pivoting or sudden stops and turns. Even kneeling, deep squatting or lifting something heavy can sometimes lead to a torn meniscus.

In older adults, degenerative changes (think “wear and tear”) in the knee joint can also contribute to a torn meniscus with little or no trauma.

At Instinct Health, we are experts at managing all types of knee injuries and conditions, including meniscal tears. Our Physiotherapists will accurately diagnose and manage your injury with hands-on treatment and an injury specific rehabilitation program in line with best practise management guidelines.

We will outline 3 simple tests that you can perform easily at home, which may indicate you have irritated or injured your meniscus (cartilage) in your knee;

  1. Single Leg Twist Test:

Standing on the painful leg, holding onto chair with both hands, twist your body back and forth in a 45 degree clockwise/counter clockwise position for 30 seconds.

If you feel pain, locking, catching, clicking, instability or a feeling of your knee “giving way”, this may indicate you have injured the meniscus (cartilage) of your knee.

  1. Duck Walk Test:

Squat down into a deep squat position (think bottom to heels) with chest up, arms extended in front of your body and hands together.

Walk forwards, taking alternate steps on alternate legs, in a waddling fashion like a duck!

If you feel pain, clicking, locking, catching or general feeling of instability in either knee, this may be another indicator of meniscal injury.

  1. Step Down Test:

With a handrail in easy reach, hold one hand above the rail and slowly step down off a step onto the lower surface below.

If pain, locking, or a feeling of the knee ‘giving way or instability’ is evident, this may indicate that you have injured the meniscus of your knee.

These 3 easy tests can serve as a quick self-assessment tool, to help you identify any niggly and undiagnosed meniscal (cartilage) knee injuries.

If you have ongoing knee pain, your knee feels unstable or randomly locks up, come in and see one of our passionate, positive and knowledgeable Physiotherapists at Instinct Health.

We will get you moving pain free and back into the activities you love in no time. All you have to do is ‘Trust your Instinct”!

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3 tests to identify if you may have torn your mensiscus (knee cartilage)!