Do we, the Exercise Professional/Physiologist have a role to play in the care of clients with degenerative meniscal tear?
ABSO-BlOODY-LUTELY is the answer I am expecting to hear back!
Anyone about to get their knee cut into to repair some manner of chronic damage needs to ask oneself the question, or needs to be asked the question: So what are you going to do to correct why your knee ended up injured in the first place?
Below is a link to a study published in The BMJ in July this year that didn’t just ask whether Exercise Therapy was useful for people who could warrant surgery for degenerative meniscal tear – rather the researchers compared Exercise Therapy to Surgery. One or the other is your option- not both!
If you are keen to read the full article, check out the link below. And also, I have provided a link to the publication that provides greater detail on what the Exercise Therapy actually looked like.
But if you want the short of it, here it is.
After three and 24 months, there was no difference in the outcomes for the patients. The only difference between the two groups after 2 years was in symptoms such as; swelling, mechanical problems and restricted range-of-motion- the Exercise Therapy group showing better outcomes- no biggie really!!!
Finally some key points on the Exercise Therapy program for those not using the link I provided.
- The program consisted of mostly functional single-legged exercises with increasing balance challenges.
- Plyometrics were included after week 3 with the focus on keeping the knee over the foot.
- Load increased gradually and set length decreased gradually.
- Program was 12 weeks long with 3 sessions per week expected (combination of supervised and unsupervised sessions).
And let’s not forget team, an Exercise Program is not only going to help the intended site- metabolic and mental health can also be positively influenced by a quality Exercise Program for the knee. Can knee surgery do that?
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