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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. 1Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  2. 2La Trobe Sports and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Department of Occupational and Physical Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev and Gentofte, Denmark
  4. 4Department of Orthopedics, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  5. 5Department 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}health.sdu.dk

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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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