Maybe you pushed it a little too hard in that game of pick up football over Thanksgiving or maybe, like one of our TRX Community members, you recently started a new sport or hobby and awoke the next morning in pain, only to discover you tore your medial meniscus.
Meniscal injuries may be the most common knee injury and are fairly common in athletes who play fast paced, high impact sports such as football, basketball and soccer. A direct blow to the knee during a tackle or a sudden twist to evade a defender can stretch the ligaments and tear the meniscus. In this installment of Ask the Doctor, Dr. Perkash addresses a question from a TRX Community member who recently tore his medial meniscus and is wondering if the TRX can have a role in his rehab.
I'm a 44 year old coach who, up until four months ago, had never had an injury from working out, aside from soreness from pushing a little too hard now and then. About four months ago, I started to take jiu jitsu classes and shortly thereafter tore my medial meniscus. I just recently had arthro on it and am going through physical therapy. Do you have any suggestions for TRX exercises to strengthen it...and for others in preventing an injury like mine?
Medial meniscal tears are quite common sports injuries, especially as people enter their 40s and 50s and remain quite active. The meniscus is a cartilaginous tissue in the knee joint that cushions and spreads pressure between the ends of the femur and tibia bones. The meniscus glides slightly in knee flexion and extension. In knee flexion and internal rotation of the knee, the medial meniscus is more susceptible to injury, whereas in flexion and external rotation the lateral meniscus is more susceptible.
The meniscus has a blood supply along the outer portion but has no blood supply to the central portion, making the outer portion more amenable to healing than the inner. Often surgery involves removal or possible repair of the torn meniscus, depending upon the circumstance. The diagnosis is usually made with an MRI scan after a careful history and physical exam. Rehabilitation after surgery involving a meniscal repair generally involves limited weight-bearing for six weeks to three months, while rehabilitation after surgery involving a partial removal of torn meniscus involves early mobilization beginning three to five days after the acute pain and swelling has resolved. After a partial meniscal resection, light exercises for quadriceps strengthening and range of motion are usually started two to three weeks postoperatively, and competitive athletics can be initiated four to six weeks after surgery.
The TRX provides an excellent tool for knee rehabilitation after a mensicectomy. Rehabilitation can begin with performing TRX Single Leg Hamstring Curls and TRX Hamstring Runners and progress to TRX Double Leg Hamstring Curls to promote knee range of motion. TRX Squats with progression to a TRX Single Leg Squat, TRX Balance Lunge and progression to a TRX Single Leg Lunge will strengthen the quadriceps and knee musculature to reduce the risk of future injury and return to full athletic competition and performance. TRX Hip Abduction/Adduction, both prone and supine, and the TRX Side Plank are helpful in increasing lower extremity strength, flexibility and balance for full participation in athletics involving the knees and lower extremities.
It is important to consult with your physician and physical therapist regarding specific limitations and restrictions regarding your individual situation and proceed with rehabilitation under the guidance of your health care professionals.
For more on how TRX Suspension Training bodyweight exercise is a safe, scalable and effective solution for you or your patients, visit our Sports Medicine page.
NOTE: Any medical information in this blog is of a general nature and not a substitute for the advice of a medical professional. If you need medical advice, see a doctor.