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How to avoid surgery of the knee!


In the clinic we see thousands of patients with knee pain each year, most avoid surgery, some have surgery because they require it and believe it or not some have surgery that could have been avoided. It’s the latter group that that i want to talk about, imagine having knee surgery you don’t need. The cost, the risk, and more often than not the poor outcome.

Often the knee pain is caused by what we call a degenerative meniscal tear. Ok, so what the meniscus? It’s a soft pliable structure in the knee that acts as a shock absorber, and sometimes it can become worn, much like we get wrinkles and grey hair. In times gone past orthopaedic surgeons would readily operate on these tears, however in more recent times there has been a trend to conservatively manage these injuries. Physiotherapy is the mainstay of conservative management, involving graded strength work to build the muscle in your knee which will take pressure off the injury.

Unfortunately some orthopaedic surgeons continue to operate on these tears, generally the patient doesn't do well following the operation. Remember if you're seeing a surgeon be sure he only looks after knees, this makes sense, would you trust a marine mechanic with your family car?

There are 2 key things you should be asking yourself before having surgery for your degenerative meniscal tear-

  1. Have I done 8-12 weeks of graded strength work

  2. Have I spoken with a well respected orthopaedic surgeon that ONLY looks after knees

Should you have any questions please feel free to call us on02 6672 8495 or email us at or simply drop in to our clinics in person.  Look forward to hearing from you.​


Matt and the team at Active Life Physio.


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