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Physical therapy as good as surgery for healing knee meniscal tears

November 1, 2022

In the journals

Physical therapy works as well as surgery for healing degenerative meniscal tears in the knee, an injury related to tissue aging that can lead to osteoarthritis.

In a recent study, more than 270,000 people ages 45 to 70 with meniscal tears either had surgery to repair the damage or underwent 16 half-hour sessions with a physical therapist over an eight-week period. The sessions included exercises like calf raises, leg presses, lunges, stair walking, and balancing on a wobble board. Researchers did routine follow-ups for five years. Over all, improvement in knee function and risk of developing knee osteoarthritis were similar regardless of whether people had physical therapy or surgery.

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About the Author

photo of Matthew Solan

Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Matthew Solan is the executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. He previously served as executive editor for UCLA Health’s Healthy Years and as a contributor to Duke Medicine’s Health News and Weill Cornell Medical College’s … See Full Bio
View all posts by Matthew Solan

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