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Infographic. Exercise therapy for meniscal tears: evidence and recommendations
  1. Jonas Bloch Thorlund1,
  2. Jorge Rodriguez Palomino2,
  3. Carsten B Juhl1,3,
  4. Lina Holm Ingelsrud1,4,
  5. Søren Thorgaard Skou1,5
  1. 1 Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  2. 2 La Trobe Sports and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Department of Occupational and Physical Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev and Gentofte, Denmark
  4. 4 Department of Orthopedics, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  5. 5 Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Næstved-Slagelse-Ringsted Hospitals, Region Zealand, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Jonas Bloch Thorlund, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M 5230, Denmark; jthorlund{at}

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Meniscal tears are common, and surgery to treat meniscal tears is one of the most frequently performed orthopaedic procedures.1 Recent evidence has challenged the clinical dogma of surgery as treatment for meniscal tears in patients aged 40 years or older, with exercise therapy emerging as a valid treatment alternative.2 3

When treating meniscal tears, it is likely important to take the aetiology of the tear into account. Tears are typically categorised as traumatic or degenerative. Traumatic tears are most often observed in young sports active individuals and present as a tear to an otherwise healthy meniscus.4 Degenerative lesions are more common in middle-aged and older individuals and considered to be an early sign of knee osteoarthritis.5 Importantly, 60%–70% of meniscal surgeries are performed in patients aged 40 years or older, suggesting that most surgically treated meniscal tears are likely of degenerative nature.1 …

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  • Contributors JRP designed the infographic and layout. JBT and STS provided infographic content and editing guidance. JBT drafted the accompanying text. All authors provided feedback to the accompanying text and approved the final version.

  • Funding The study was commissioned and funded by the Danish Society of Sports Physiotherapy (DSSF). STS is supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF—6110-00045) and the Lundbeck Foundation.

  • Disclaimer DSSF had no influence in designing, performing or writing the study and the decision on publishing the results.

  • Competing interests STS is one of the founders of Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D). GLA:D is a non-profit initiative hosted at University of Southern Denmark.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.