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Injury clinic: Meniscus injuries

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Jason Dodd, Clinic Manager and Sports Injury Specialist at BodyLogics is with us to answer your questions regarding injuries and niggles. Over to Jason…

This week I thought I would talk a little about meniscus injuries and the changes that can occur.

Many of us may know someone who has a degenerative meniscus. But what does this mean? The meniscus acts as a shock absorber between your thigh bone and your shin bone. It basically stops the two bones colliding together. It also helps keep the movement relatively friction free, which is great for movement mechanics.

However, when we get knee pain, it can sometimes be attributed to this structure. Often, surgery is the first thing stated and then the patient is left wondering when it will happen. But what if I told you that surgery may actually be wrong? I want to share with you the facts and the research so you can make informed decisions later in life (or now if you are suffering from pain).

A study in 2015 showed that those who underwent surgery to remove some of the meniscus, vs those who were led to believe they had some of their meniscus removed (placebo surgery), had identical progress outcomes at the 2 year follow up (the same amount of people who did well was equal in both groups). The conclusion from this paper was that there is no evidence for surgical management of degenerative meniscus tears.

And another study carried out an MRI scan of 230 knees of healthy individuals, all who had no knee pain. And the authors found that 97% of all knees scanned, showed some biological changes in their knee (including meniscus tears and osteoarthritis). Remember, all these findings were in people who do not have pain!

So the question is then – what should you do? And does structural damage always mean you should expect pain?

And that’s the point of this post, we do not have conclusive answers. We believe that some things may be more beneficial than others, but ultimately we cannot say for sure who would benefit from what every time.

I would recommend working with your healthcare professional, ask as many questions as you can and sort a plan that suits your needs and gets you back to where you want to be.

** Did you know, all Trent Park members receive a 10% discount on any bookings made with us for any of our services. Please visit www.bodylogics.co.uk or call on 020 8368 9220 to find out more.